Understanding “CHOLESTROL” : The Good and the Bad

Understanding “CHOLESTROL” : The Good and the Bad

Cholesterol is a soft, waxy substance found among fats circulating in your bloodstream and in all of your body’s cells. It is very important for our body but could also be very dangerous if there are high levels of it in our blood. The higher your blood cholesterol level, the greater your risks for developing heart disease or having heart attack. 

Your liver and other cells in your body make about 75 percent of blood cholesterol. The other 25 percent comes from the foods you eat.

Two main kinds of lipoproteins carry cholesterol:
1.Low density lipoprotein, or LDL, “bad” cholesterol
2.High density lipoprotein, or HDL, “good” cholesterol

The problem with cholesterol happens when special cells catch LDL and deposit the cholesterol in the walls of the blood vessels. It can slowly build up in the inner walls of the arteries that feed the heart and brain. Together with other substances, it can form plaque, a thick, hard deposit that can narrow the arteries and make them less flexible. This condition is known as atherosclerosis. If a clot forms and blocks a narrowed artery, a heart attack or stroke can result. That is why LDL is known as “bad cholesterol”

HDL returns extra cholesterol that isn’t needed back to the liver, by “mopping up the baddies”. That is why HDL is known as “good cholesterol.”