Each year, millions of people die due to heart disease and high cholesterol level is often considered as the major cause. Many biochemical processes require cholesterol. However, high cholesterol level is often associated with cardiovascular problems. Cholesterol is a type of sterol, which is a combination of steroid and alcohol. Cholesterol can also be seen as a type of lipid inside the cell membranes. In our body, cholesterol circulates in our body with the blood plasma. Age could affect the amount of blood cholesterol. A basic knowledge that many people know is that LDL or low density lipoprotein is known as the bad cholesterol, while HDL or high density lipoprotein is praised as the good cholesterol.
It is desirable if our LDL level is lower than 100mg/dl and the total cholesterol level should be lower than 200mg/dl. The cholesterol level is considered as borderline high, when it is between 200 and 239mg/dl. Oxidized LDL particles are often associated with the formation of fatty deposits on the arterial wall and this situation is often known as arteriosclerosis. This could be considered as likely reason of the incidence of coronary heart diseases. On the other hand, if HDL is high and LDL is low, it is likely that that fatty deposit is less likely to be found on the arterial wall. Animal fat is a common source of cholesterol, so we should prevent the intake of excess animal fat through our diet. Cholesterol is also found in plants, but only at trace amount.
We only need a limited amount of cholesterol from our food, because our liver can produce a large amount of it. Cholesterol is produced from unburned food metabolites in our liver. In this case, unused food metabolites will be converted in our lived into VLDL or very low density lipoproteins. Then VLDL is secreted into plasma and then they will become fatty acids and LDL. Despite its bad reputation, cholesterol is needed to maintain the integrity of cell membranes in our body. It is needed to ensure that the fluidity of membrane can be regulated over a wide range of temperature. Cholesterol is also needed for the production of bile, which is needed to digest fat. Bile is also essential for the metabolism of various fat-soluble vitamins, such as vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin E and vitamin K.
It is important for us to change our diet if we want to lower the level of cholesterol. A good step is to increase the intake of polyunsaturated fat and lower saturated animal fat. This is something that we can do by changing our eating pattern and if you are really concerned with your condition, it should be something that you will glad to do. If you want to control cholesterol level, it is important to have increased intake of lecithin, vitamin C, garlic, pectin, phytosterol, niacin and EPA. As an example, regular consumption of vitamin C should be enough to reverse the growth of cholesterol deposit on our arterial wall.