What is cholesterol?
Many associate cholesterol with extraordinarilyharmful to health. In fact, only its increased concentration in the blood is dangerous. What is cholesterol? This is a fat-like substance produced by the liver, which is necessary for the normal vital activity of cells.
On the types of cholesterol, its benefits and harm, read below.
What is cholesterol, types of cholesterol
A substance called cholesterol refers to lipids. As a rule, by blood, he "travels" not alone, but in a company with lipoproteins. Depending on the proportional content of proteins and fats, they come in several forms.
- Low-density lipoproteins (LDL). Cholesterol with a high level of LDL is considered "bad", as it is able to oxidize, penetrate into the walls of arteries, causing their inflammation and damage.
- High density lipoproteins (HDL). Cholesterol containing HDL is called "good". It does not settle with plaques on the walls of blood vessels, reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
- Triglycerides. They participate in the production of energy for the vital functions of cells, and their excess is deposited in adipose tissue. Therefore, with a high content of triglycerides a person gaining excess weight.
Benefits and Harms of Cholesterol
Circulating by blood, cholesterol performs a number of functions useful for the body:
- participates in the development of male and female sex hormones;
- Used by cells of internal organs, brain, muscle tissue as a building material;
- supplies antioxidants to body tissues;
- takes part in the production of bile, necessary for the assimilation of fats.
The benefits of cholesterol can only becase, when it comes to "good" cholesterol and if its level does not exceed the norm. Which indicators are considered the norm? In men and women, these figures (mmol / l) are slightly different:
- total cholesterol level: in men - 3,5-6, in women - 3-5,5;
- LDL: for men - 2,2-4,8, for women - 1,95-4,5;
- HDL: in men - 0,7-1,75, in women - 0,85-2,28;
- triglycerides: in men - 0,62-3,7, in women - 0,5-2,6.
It should be noted that with age these indicators increase. After 20 years, it is recommended to check the cholesterol level every 5 years.
Incorrect cholesterol ratioleads to the development of cardiovascular diseases. Because of the large amount of LDL in the blood on the walls of the arteries, compaction (cholesterol plaques) is formed, which results in occlusion of the arteries and atherosclerosis. In connection with the deficiency of oxygen in the blood, stenocardia can occur. Sudden formation of a blood clot from a cholesterol plaque can completely block the coronary artery and cause a heart attack.
How to lower blood cholesterol level
For this, traditional methods of treatment, traditional medicine are used, and it is also recommended to adhere to a special diet with increased cholesterol and a healthy lifestyle.
When the level of cholesterol is a danger to life, prescribe medications:
- Statins (Mevakor, Leskol). The drug blocks the production of enzymes involved in the production of cholesterol, increases the number of useful lipoproteins and reduces the level of triglycerides.
- Fibric acids (Atromed C, Trikor, Lopid). They promote the oxidation of fatty acids, thus reducing the level of LDL and triglycerides.
- Preparations that combine with bile acid (Kolestid, Questran). When the drugs interact with bile, cholesterol production in the liver slows down.
Increased, but not critical, cholesterol levels can be normalized with food supplements:
- vitamins E, B3, B6, B12;
- fatty acids Omega-3;
- green tea;
- soy protein.
The cholesteric diet means the use of products that can reduce the level of "bad" cholesterol, as well as the exclusion of harmful foods from the diet.
Pork, fatty beef and poultry, sausages,smoked products, high-fat dairy products, eggs, in particular yolk, products made from wheat flour are products that should be rare guests on our table.
What foods reduce cholesterol? This list includes oat flakes, cereals, legumes, soybeans, nuts, apples, grapes, pomegranate, and greens.