Effects of High Cholesterol
Cholesterol can be found as a transportation molecule within the body, within certain cell walls or “membranes”, and it is essential in the synthesis of hormones and other necessary acids and Vitamins within the body.
The production or synthesis of cholesterol occurs in the body. A large amount of cholesterol is produced within the Liver. Other sites for production include: Intestines, Adrenal Gland, and some reproductive organs.
However, cholesterol can also be added to the body through dietary means especially by animal products. Animal fats are typical places to find cholesterol. Plants and vegetables do not contain cholesterol unless it has been added through cooking process or other means.
Common Sources of Cholesterol include:
Another few players in cholesterol are Trans Fat and Saturated Fat. Saturated Fats can be seen in chocolate, some oils, animal fats, and some dairy products.
Trans Fats can be seen in baked goods, fast food, snack foods, fried foods, margarine, and hydrogenated vegetable oil. Trans fats are produced by partially hydrogenating unsaturated fats. These are not found largely in nature. It has been recommended to limit or eliminate trans fats to improve your health.
Some Health Concerns of Elevated Cholesterol:
Cholesterol can always be found in the blood – but when levels becomes quite elevated then the concern arises.
Atherosclerosis is a response or result of damage to arterial blood vessels.
It is the result of hardening in the arteries and is typically caused by a build up of fatty molecules such as Cholesterol.
It is more specific then the general term of Arteriosclerosis.
3.) Coronary Artery Disease
Smoking is the #1 preventable risk factor but so is elevated cholesterol. Coronary arteries supply the muscle of the heart with oxygen.
Plaque can fill or line the arteries of the heart. Rupture or tearing of the arteries can occur causing serious consequences.
Prevention and Exercise
Prevention is necessary for several reasons. Diabetes and Hypertension are serious diseases that can be made much worse with elevated cholesterol. Diet and exercise are central to a good health in both improving cholesterol and additional symptoms associated with this disease.
As in many other areas, preventing cholesterol build up before it changes your life can be difficult but critical. HDL can be considered “the good cholesterol” and acts as a buffer to prevent a build up of unwanted cholesterol. HDL is a lipoprotein that can be improved through exercise. Other ways to improve HDL is stopping smoking, improving diet, weight loss, fish oil, flax seed and others.