Cholesterol Giana bowers Audience: College students
What is Cholesterol? Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance made in the liver and other cells and found in certain foods, such as food from animals, like dairy products, eggs, and meat "cholesterol" comes from the Greek word chole, meaning "bile", and the Greek word stereos, meaning "solid, stiff" Cholesterol is a waxy steroid that is transported in the blood plasma of all animals
Types of Cholesterol Cholesterol travels through blood attached to a protein called a lipoprotein Lipoproteins are classified as high density, low density,or very low density Low density lipoproteins (LDL): LDL, also called "bad" cholesterol, can cause buildup of plaque on the walls of arteries. The more LDL there is in the blood, the greater the risk of heart disease
Continued… High density lipoproteins (HDL): HDL, also called "good" cholesterol, helps the body get rid of bad cholesterol in the blood. The higher the level of HDL cholesterol, the better. If your levels of HDL are low, your risk of heart disease increases. Very low density lipoproteins (VLDL): VLDL is similar to LDL cholesterol in that it contains mostly fat and not much protein.
Factors that Affect Cholesterol Diet – saturated fat and cholesterol in food increase cholesterol levels Weight – being overweight can also increase your cholesterol. Age and Gender – cholesterol levels rise with age. Before menopause, women tend to have lower total cholesterol levels than men of the same age. After menopause, however, women’s LDL levels can fall.
Continued…. Diabetes – Poorly controlled diabetes increases cholesterol levels. Heredity – Your genes partly determine how much cholesterol your body makes. High Cholesterol can run in families. Other Causes – Certain medications and medical conditions can cause high cholesterol.
Functions of Cholesterol It builds and maintains cell membranes Essential for determining which molecules can pass into the cell and which cannot Involved in the production of sex hormones Essential for the production of hormones released by the adrenal glands. Aids in the production of bile Converts sunshine to vitamin D important for the metabolism of fat soluble vitamins,vitamins A, D, E, and K Insulates Fibers
Cholesterol Levels The amount of cholesterol in human blood can vary from 3.6 mmol/liter to 7.8 mmol/liter The National Health Service says that any reading over 6 mmol/liter is high, and will significantly raise the risk of arterial disease Below is a list of cholesterol levels and how most doctors would categorize them in mg/dl (milligrams/deciliter) and 5mmol/liter (millimoles/liter). Desirable - Less than 200 mg/dL
Continued… Borderline high - 200 to 239 mg/dL High - 240 mg/dL and above Optimum level: less than 5mmol/liter Mildly high cholesterol level: between 5 to 6.4mmol/liter Moderately high cholesterol level: between 6.5 to 7.8mmol/liter Very high cholesterol level: above 7.8mmol/liter
Dangers of High Cholesterol Atherosclerosis - narrowing of the arteries Higher coronary heart disease risk - an abnormality of the arteries that supply blood and oxygen to the heart Heart attack - occurs when the supply of blood and oxygen to an area of heart muscle is blocked, usually by a clot in a coronary artery
Continued… Angina - chest pain or discomfort that occurs when your heart muscle does not get enough blood Other cardiovascular conditions - diseases of the heart and blood vessels Stroke and mini-stroke - occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery or vein, interrupting the flow to an area of the brain
Diagnosing High Cholesterol Everyone over the age of 20 should get their cholesterol levels measured at least once every five years High Cholesterol itself does not cause any symptoms; so many people are unaware that their cholesterol levels are too high To assess your cholesterol level, your doctor will usually perform a simple blood test called a lipoprotein profile. The lipoprotein profile evaluates the following:
Continued… LDL (low density lipoprotein cholesterol, also called "bad" cholesterol) HDL (high density lipoprotein cholesterol, also called "good" cholesterol) Triglycerides (also called very low density lipoprotein) Total cholesterol level In addition to the blood test, your doctor will perform a full physical exam, discussing your medical history, checking your heart rate, listening to your heartbeat, and taking your blood pressure.
Treatment & Care There's a lot of variability in how high cholesterol treatments work in a given person. For most people, the first high cholesterol treatment to try is three lifestyle changes: Eating healthy Maintaining (or losing) weight Exercising more
Continued… If lifestyle changes haven't been enough as a high cholesterol treatment, your doctor will likely turn to medications. In most cases, the first drug you will try is a statin Types of Medications – Crestor, Lescol, Lipitor, & Zocor Function – Work by blocking the effects of an enzyme that helps make cholesterol Effects – Lower bad LDL cholesterol by an impressive 20-55%. Statins are a complement to dietary changes, not a replacement for them
Prevention You can help prevent high cholesterol by: Eating a diet low in saturated fat, trans fat, and cholesterol Getting plenty of exercise Managing your weight Not Smoking Because cholesterol levels tend to increase with age, paying attention to diet and exercise is even more important as you get older
Foods that Lower Cholesterol Different foods lower cholesterol in various ways: Oats- An easy first step to improving your cholesterol is having a bowl of oatmeal or cold oat-based cereal like Cheerios for breakfast. It gives you 1 to 2 grams of soluble fiber Barley and other whole grains - Like oats and oat bran, barley and other whole grains can help lower the risk of heart disease, mainly via the soluble fiber they deliver Beans - Beans are especially rich in soluble fiber. They also take awhile for the body to digest, meaning you feel full for longer after a meal
Continued… Eggplant and okra: These two low-calorie vegetables are good sources of soluble fiber Nuts: A bushel of studies shows that eating almonds, walnuts, peanuts, and other nuts is good for the heart. Eating 2 ounces of nuts a day can slightly lower LDL, on the order of 5% Vegetable oils: Using liquid vegetable oils such as canola, sunflower, safflower, and others in place of butter, lard, or shortening when cooking or at the table helps lower LDL Apples, grapes, strawberries, citrus fruits: These fruits are rich in pectin, a type of soluble fiber that lowers LDL
Continued… Sterols and stanols - extracted from plants gum up the body's ability to absorb cholesterol from food. Getting 2 grams of plant sterols or stanols a day can lower LDL cholesterol by about 10% Soy - Eating soybeans and foods made from them, like tofu and soy milk, was once touted as a powerful way to lower cholesterol Fatty fish - Eating fish two or three times a week can lower LDL in two ways: by replacing meat, which has LDL-boosting saturated fats, and by delivering LDL-lowering omega-3 fats. Omega-3s reduce triglycerides in the bloodstream Fiber supplements - Supplements offer the least appealing way to get soluble fiber
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