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Cholesterol Options

Cholesterol Options

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Published by Linda Waiters
For More Information About Cholesterol...

I Highly Recommend that You Visit This Link Right Now:
For More Information About Cholesterol...

I Highly Recommend that You Visit This Link Right Now:

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Categories:Types, Reviews
Published by: Linda Waiters on Mar 05, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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 ==== ====Learn natural ways to lower cholesterol here:http://tiny.ly/zTIM ==== ====Cholesterol is a waxy steroid of fat produced in liver or intestine, used for the synthesis ofhormones and cell membranes and transported in the blood plasma of all mammals. Cholesterol isa very essential structural component of plasma membrane of mammals required for maintainingproper membrane permeability and fluidity. It is also an important agent required for themanufacture of bile acids, steroid hormones and vitamin D. It is the principal steroid synthesizedby animals however, smaller amounts are also produced in plants and fungi. Cholesterol is entirelyabsent among prokaryotes. If its concentration increases in blood then the risk of cardiovasculardiseases increases so its level must be kept under control. The word cholesterol has originatedfrom a Greek word and was first discovered by Francois Poulletier de la Salle in gallstones in solidform in 1769 but, chemical identification was done by Eugène Chevreul in 1815 who gave theterm cholesterine. PhysiologyCholesterol participates in the synthesis of male and female steroid hormones especiallytestosterone and estrogens. About 80% of the body's cholesterol is synthesized by the liver whilerest comes from our diet. The major sources of dietary cholesterol are meat, fish, poultry, anddairy products. Among meat, liver is excessively rich in cholesterol content while foods of plantorigin lack cholesterol. After consuming a meal, the dietary cholesterol is absorbed from theintestine and packaged inside a protein coat. This cholesterol-protein coat complex is known aschylomicron which is later stored in the liver. Liver bears the potential of regulating cholesterollevels in the blood stream. Cholesterol synthesis starts from simpler elements present in the body.In blood circulation it is transported within lipoproteins and if its level increases then the risk ofatherosclerosis increases. Typically for a person weighing 68 kg the total body cholesterolsynthesis is 1 g per day. The daily additional dietary intake of cholesterol in the United States is200-300 mg. The body maintains equilibrium by minimizing the total amount synthesized in thebody if the dietary intake of cholesterol increases. Cholesterol is also recycled, it is excreted by the liver via bile into the digestive tract. About 50% ofthe excreted cholesterol is again reabsorbed in the small intestine and reaches blood stream.Phytosterols can compete with cholesterol reabsorption in the intestine and thus, reducecholesterol level. Cholesterol is a fat required by the body in small amounts. High blood levels ofcholesterol can lead to coronary artery disease and angina. Nitrates are used to relieve angina.Most people require regular tests for knowing blood cholesterol levels that comprise checking oftriglycerides, high density lipoproteins (HDL), low density lipoproteins (LDL) and total cholesterollevels. Methods for increasing the levels of good cholesterol or lowering blood cholesterol levels includecholesterol reducing drugs like statins, fibrates, niacin and bile acid resins. These drugs are notable to reverse calcification and if coronary arteries are blocked then heart attack may occur. The
two chief types of cholesterols are high density lipoproteins (HDL) and low density lipoproteins(LDL). For the sake of simplicity HDL is considered as good cholesterol while LDL is known as thebad cholesterol. We can conclude that the bad cholesterol is responsible for forming plaques inthe arteries and thus, increases the risk of heart attack. The good cholesterol on the other hand,reverses cholesterol transport by taking it out of the plaque and sending it back to blood circulationfor excretion via liver. TypesThree major types of lipoproteins are found in the serum of a fasting individual namely, low densitylipoproteins (LDL), high density lipoproteins (HDL) and very low density lipoproteins (VLDL). 1. Low density lipoproteins (LDL) or bad cholesterol and its management LDL or bad cholesterol comprises 60-70% of the total serum cholesterol. It is the majoratherogenic lipoprotein used in the cholesterol lowering therapy as its higher levels are dangerous.It deposits cholesterol on the walls of arteries resulting in the formation of a hard substance knownas cholesterol plaque. This plaque is responsible for the hardening of arterial walls so theybecome narrow and the process is identified as atherosclerosis. Liver not only manufactures andsecretes LDL cholesterol in the blood stream but also removes it from the blood. A large numberof active receptors are present on the surface of liver that actively bind to the LDL cholesterolmolecules and remove it from blood. A deficiency of LDL receptors is associated with the higherlevel of these molecules in the blood. A number of advantages are known when the levels of bad cholesterol undergo reduction forexample, declination in the formation of new plaques on the walls of the arteries, removal ofexisting plaques from the arterial walls, narrowed arteries attain their normal shape, avoidance ofrupturing of plaques which facilitates formation of blood clots and finally the risk of heart attack isreduced. A number of studies have indicated that the risk of heart attack diminishes by 25% forevery 10% drop in the LDL cholesterol level and it is the key factor ensuring that total bloodcholesterol level has reached a safer zone. A study carried out with 4,000 individuals hasconfirmed that the levels of bad cholesterol and risk of heart attack were reduced to about 25%and 42%by using the drug statin. It is profitable that the daily calorie intake of fat must be reduceddown to 30% and consumption different kinds of foods rich in carbohydrates, proteins must beincreased as the body will convert them into triglycerides which are later stored as fat. Foods rich in saturated fats increase levels of LDL cholesterol in blood stream. Fats may beclassified as saturated and unsaturated fats. Saturated fats are easily available in the meat, dairyproducts and some vegetable oils especially those derived from coconut, palm and cocoa.Therapeutic lifestyle changes adopted for lowering the levels of bad cholesterol include regularexercise, loss of excess body weight and following a diet with low concentration of saturated fatsand cholesterol. When lifestyle changes fail to give desired results then medications are taken intoconsideration. Statins are the most effective drugs giving best results for lowering the levels of badcholesterol and also reducing the risk of heart diseases. Other drugs that can be used includefibrates like gemfibrozin, resins such as cholestyramine, ezetimibe and Zetia. The NationalInstitute of Health, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology havepublished some guidelines that can help the medical experts while dealing with cases of highcholesterol. 
2. High density lipoproteins (LDL) or good cholesterol and its advantages HDL cholesterol or the good cholesterol as it prevents atherosclerosis by extracting cholesterolfrom the arterial walls and disposing them through liver. High levels of LDL cholesterol and lowlevels of HDL cholesterol are associated with the risk of heart diseases. So the levels must bemaintained in order to enjoy a happy and healthy life. HDL cholesterol accounts for 20-30% of thetotal serum cholesterol. Since it reduces the risk of atherosclerosis its level must be checked fromtime to time. Both heredity and diet have a significant effect on a person's HDL, LDL and totalcholesterol levels. Families with low HDL levels are at an elevated risk of heart attack and viceversa. Lifestyle and other factors also influence HDL levels. HDL levels are low in individuals whosmoke, are overweight, inactive and suffer from Type II diabetes mellitus. HDL levels are higher inindividuals who are lean, exercise regularly and do not smoke. Estrogens also increase HDLlevels so women have high HDL cholesterol levels as compared to men. Lowering of the LDL cholesterol level is however easier than elevating the levels of HDLcholesterol. Reducing LDL and raising HDL levels have a beneficial effect on an individual'shealth. Earlier the researchers were much focused on the ways of reducing the levels of badcholesterol but with advancement in research it became clear that it is better to raise the levels ofgood cholesterol as it will automatically reduce bad cholesterol levels. The levels may be raised byweight loss, regular exercise and intake of niacin. Some studies have suggested that drugs likestatin when coupled with niacin give better results and women with high levels of HDL havereduced risk of heart attack. The average HDL level for women must be in between 50-55 mg/dLand for men 40-50 mg/dL. The total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol ratio can be of help inestimating the risk of atherosclerosis. An average ratio must be in between 4-5. Studies have indicated that even a small increase in the level of HDL cholesterol can reduce therisk of heart attack. For every 1 mg/dL rise in the HDL cholesterol level the risk of coronary heartdisease reduces by 2-4%. However, therapeutic lifestyle changes can help in increasing the HDLlevels. When these changes fail to give positive results then medication is taken into account.Regular aerobic exercise, loss of excessive body weight and cessation of smoking are helpful inraising HDL levels. Regular alcohol consumption for example, taking one drink per day can alsohelp in this regard but as alcohol consumption is coupled with many adverse health effects thiscriterion is not taken into consideration. Effective drugs include gemfibrozil, estrogen and lowerdoses of statin. A newer medicine, fenofibrate has also given better results and is used in reducingserum triglycerides. 3. Triglycerides or very low density lipoproteins (VLDL) or ugly cholesterol and its effects The ugly cholesterol is a triglyceride rich lipoprotein that accounts for 10-15% of the total serumcholesterol. This cholesterol is produced by liver and some remnants of VLDL seem to promoteatherosclerosis similar to that of LDL. Triglyceride is a form of fat transported to the tissue throughblood. Body's majority of fatty tissue is composed of triglycerides. Serum triglycerides can bederived from two sources. The first source is the food that we consume for example, if weconsume a diet rich in fats then intestine packs some of them while rest is transported to the liver.The second source is the liver itself. When fats are received by the liver, it takes fatty acidsreleased by the fat cells and ties them in triglyceride bundles that are later utilized as fuel. There isa controversy about the fact that whether high levels of triglycerides alone are responsible forcoronary heart disease or not.

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