July 4, 2018

Cholesterol and Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL)

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance found in the walls of cells in all parts of the body, from the nervous system to the liver to the heart. The body uses cholesterol to make hormones, bile acids, vitamin D, and other substances.

Cholesterol is made in the liver and released into the bloodstream. Body can also get cholesterol from the food eaten. Cholesterol has many good uses, but is a problem when there is too much of it in the blood. A diet high in saturated fat content, heredity, and various metabolic conditions such as type II diabetes, can influence an individual’s level of cholesterol.

Cholesterol circulates in the bloodstream but cannot travel by itself. As with oil and water, cholesterol (which is fatty) and blood (which is watery) do not mix. So cholesterol travels in packages called lipoproteins, which have fat (lipid) inside and protein outside.

Two main kinds of lipoproteins carry cholesterol in the blood:
■Low density lipoprotein or LDL
■High density lipoprotein or HDL

LDL-C makes up the majority of the body’s cholesterol. When LDL-C levels are high in the bloodstream, cholesterol/plaque may build up in the wall of the artery, resulting in a progressive disease called atherosclerosis. This can increase the risk of blood clots in the arteries. If a blood clot breaks away and blocks an artery in heart or brain, the patient may have a stroke or heart attack.
Cholesterol and Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL)

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