Monday, December 1, 2008

The Fight Between The Good Cholesterol and The Bad Cholesterol

Our bodies know that we need cholesterol to be healthy. The liver manufacturers and distributes cholesterol.

Cholesterol is soft, it is waxy and is found in the bloodstream and is in all of the cells of our bodies. It is a normal state for the body to contain cholesterol. Your body needs the substance, cholesterol in order to build cells, and to function. Too much of a good thing is bad though and too much cholesterol in the bloodstream can lead to a heart attack or a stroke. When there are high levels of cholesterol in the blood stream it is called "hypercholesterolemia".

The substance cholesterol is not able to dissolve in our blood, so it has to be transported to and from the body cells by carriers, called, "lipoproteins". LDL is known as Low-density lipoprotein and is known as the "bad cholesterol. High-density lipids and triglycerides are known as the "good cholesterol". When the doctor orders a total Lipid panel; he is wishing to know the total LDL, HDL and triglycerides in the bloodstream.

The LDL or "bad cholesterol", can slowly build up in the inner walls of the arteries slowing down the blood to the heart and brain. When LDL combines with other substances they form plaques, which are, think hard deposits that can then be used to put humans at risk for stroke and heart disease. A clot that has formed due to atherosclerosis can break off and become a heart attack or can result in a stroke.

The other component in the total cholesterol value is the triglycerides. They are formed from fat. When you have elevated triglycerides you can become overweight, or obese especially if you are inactive, smoke cigarettes or consume excessive amounts of alcohol. Individuals with high triglyceride levels often consume foods that are high in cholesterol. Individuals who have diabetes or other heart disease will also have high levels of triglycerides.

The Lp cholesterol means that there is a high level of Lp (a), which is a risk factor for premature development of fatty deposits in the arteries. Keeping all these levels together is the job of your doctor.

In order to keep the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides under control it is important to schedule a screening so that you can find out what your cholesterol levels are, eat a diet that is low in cholesterol and saturated fats, reach and maintain a healthy weight, exercise on a daily basis and follow all of your health care professionals advice.

Maintaining proper levels of both the good cholesterol and the bad cholesterol will go along way in keeping your body strong and healthy.

Dee Braun, a single mom of 6, is a Cert. Aromatherapist and natural health practitioner. Click now to visit Health or High Water at where you'll find info to improve your health using nutritional supplements to battle the ravages of time, poor nutrition, & toxins.

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