Cholesterol is a substance which is a combination of lipid (fat) and steroid. It is produced by the liver. Cholesterol is associated with many vital functions in the body, as it builds the cell membranes. Practically is located in the cells of the whole body: brain, nerve cells, muscle, skin, liver, heart. There are two types of cholesterol: HDL and LDL cholesterol.
What causes high cholesterol?
HDL and LDL cholesterol? What are good and bad cholesterol?
Cholesterol is insoluble in water, respectively, in the blood. Therefore, to be transported to the cells is required vehicle. This function is performed by proteins. These proteins and cholesterol create lipoprotein complexes. Lipoprotein complexes are two main types:
- Low-density lipoprotein also known as LDL cholesterol or bad cholesterol.
LDL carries cholesterol from the liver to the cells. If the content in the blood is greater, greater amount reaching the cells. Unused surplus of bad cholesterol accumulates in the walls of arteries. Leukocytes (white blood cells) absorb excess LDL cholesterol, to prevent its accumulation in the blood vessel walls, but also make it in its oxidized form, which is toxic. Over time, the accumulation of bad cholesterol increased to form a seal in the wall of the blood vessel. This is called plaque that narrows and can even completely block the blood vessel, blocking blood flow to a certain Battery screen, which can lead to ischemic heart disease, the most serious of which are myocardial infarction and cerebral isnult (stroke). That is why LDL cholesterol is also known as bad cholesterol.
- High density lipoproteins, also called HDL cholesterol or good cholesterol. Contrary to LDL, HDL transports cholesterol from cells to the liver where it is metabolized. Furthermore, the good cholesterol has an important function in maintaining the normal structure of the endothelium of blood vessels. That is why HDL cholesterol is also known as good cholesterol.
What causes high cholesterol levels?
What causes high cholesterol is a very important question to many people with cholesterol problems.
Our liver produces more cholesterol when we eat more solid fats (saturated fats). Such animal fats are contained in meat, eggs, milk, dairy products. This is one of the best known answer to question “What causes high cholesterol levels?” Plant foods – fruits, vegetables, legumes and nuts do not contain cholesterol.
Another reason for high cholesterol is a genetic disease called familial hyperlipidemia. They are transmitted in the family and most of the children also have high cholesterol. They have abnormal cholesterol metabolism and it is high even without consuming large quantities of these foods.
People with diabetes have high levels of triglycerides (fats) in the blood, due to impaired metabolism. High triglycerides also cause high cholesterol levels.
Other causes of high cholesterol levels are associated with smoking, high blood pressure, lack of physical activity.