|Cholesterol - A Risk Factor in Heart Disease|
Posted by maiko muki
Cholesterol is essential to life and is used by every single cell in the human body. Some people are genetically predisposed to a high cholesterol level but diet and lifestyle changes can help to lower cholesterol naturally. Cholesterol is a white flaky substance ,different from other waxy substances. Cholesterol is produced by the liver and is found in bile which helps to digest fatty foods in the intestine. Cholesterol is found in human blood and brain tissue. It is also found in arteries that has plaque buildup. Significant changes occur in the arterial walls during the process of plaque buildup. The actual hardening is due to the formation of bone tissue in the arterial wall. This hardening is referred to as atherosclerosis or the hardening of the arteries. Fat and cholesterol work their way into the artery wall to produce the dreaded build up of plaque. Obviously the main role of cholesterol in the body is not the production of a heart attack. Cholesterol is produced by the liver for several vital purposes.
Cholesterol serves various important functions in the body. It is a vital component of the microscopic wall or membrane that surrounds each cell, providing the cell with support and protection. Cholesterol is also required for the formation of Vitamin D and for the hormone testosterone estrogen, progesterone and cortisol. In the brain and spinal cord, cholesterol serves as part of the insulation that covers your nerve cells and keeps your nerve signals going to the right locations. It also forms a key role in the formation of bile. Without cholesterol we would not be able to digest the fats found in many of the foods we eat. When the cholesterol level in the blood rises because of diet , the production of cholesterol by the liver is reduced in an attempt to keep the level of cholesterol in the blood constant.
Cholesterol comes from two sources, your diet and the cholesterol manufactures on its own. The vast majority of cholesterol is supposed to be made in the body. However, in our modern "fat and calorie overload" we consume far more than our bodies can use. To make matters worse the high calorie and fat content in our diets can stimulate excess cholesterol production making it harder for cholesterol to be removed from the blood stream.
Cholesterol does not travel around the blood stream by itself, It is generally packaged with fats called triglycerides. Triglycerides are the body's preferred form of energy storage. The only reason you can survive for long periods without food is because of your body's triglycerides stores. Triglycerides make up about 95% of the fats in the foods you eat, and the vast majority of the fat in your body. Triglycerides are constructed from fatty acids. When a triglyceride is needed for energy it is broken down in the fat cell into three fatty acids. Your body can make some fatty acids, however, there are two fatty acids which must come from the diet, and these are called "essential fatty acids"namely linolenic and linoleic acid. So you do need to eat a small amount of dietary fat each day, about 5 to 10 percent of your total calories.
Carefully count the fat calories you consume as excess cholesterol in the bloodstream can cause major damage to your cardiovascular system resulting in various forms of heart disease and even death. Your body is an amazing biological machine, but it can only tolerate so much abuse, you need to be working with your body by reducing the amount of fat, calorie and cholesterol you consume.
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