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Thursday, April 18, 2013

What IS Cholesterol? - Good Cholesterol, Bad Cholesterol


So... what exactly is Cholesterol and how does it affect me or anyone?  


Image Credit: http://www.slo-niacin.com/cholesterol-basics

Cholesterol is a fat like, waxy substance that helps your body to function in its normal way. It is naturally present in the body’s cell walls or membranes everywhere in the body.  

Cholesterol forms part of the outer membrane that surrounds every cell, including the brain, heart, liver, intestines, nerves, muscles and skin.

Our body’s use this cholesterol to produce many hormones which carry chemical signals around the body, vitamin D, and bile, the acids that help to digest fat. Without cholesterol, your body would not work and is vital to ensure the body's normal function.

However, the body only needs small amounts of cholesterol in the blood to meet these needs. If we have too much cholesterol in our bloodstream, the excess can be deposited in our arteries, including the coronary arteries of the heart, the carotid arteries to the brain, and the arteries that supply blood to our legs. 

Cholesterol deposits can cause narrowing and blockage to the arteries, which affects the blood supply to our body.

Many of us thing that foods are laden with cholesterol but in fact, it is foods like eggs, offal and shellfish are the main causes.  We need to be aware of the types of fat that we are putting into our bodies, especially saturated fats, as the liver converts this fat into cholesterol.

Finish reading article at Am I Diabetic

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