Hey everyone 🙂 First of all, I’d just like to apologise for not writing anything for a while. Life has just been so hectic with exams and other things these last couple of months, but I should be updating a lot more frequently now.
I though I would write a piece about high cholesterol seeing as I covered it in my last post about coronary heart disease and I have recently revised the topic for my AS Biology exam.
High cholesterol is, not surprisingly, the presence of high levels of cholesterol in the blood. It is not a disease in itself but can lead to many diseases e.g. diabetes. The government recommends that total cholesterol levels for healthy adults should be 5mmol/L or less, with levels of LDL being 3mmol/L or less.
Cholesterol is essential for the body to function normally – it is found in the skin and cell membranes and is used to make bile and some hormones. There are two types of cholesterol:
~ High-density lipoprotein (HDL)
~ Low-density lipoprotein (LDL)
HDLs tend to carry cholesterol from the body tissues back to the liver (where it is made). The cholesterol is used up in the liver to make bile or is broken down. Thus, high levels of HDLs are associated with reducing blood cholesterol levels. HDLs reduce fatty depositions in the artery Walls and may even help to remove them. Since HDLs are unsaturated fats, these fats are thought to be more beneficial to a person’s health than saturated fats.
LDLs are made by saturated fats and they tend to carry cholesterol from the liver to the tissues. If too much saturated fat is consumed, the concentration of LDLs in the blood will rise. A high blood concentration of LDLs causes deposition in the artery walls.
As you can see, diet is a major cause of high cholesterol. You can lower your cholesterol by reducing your saturated fat intake as they will increase the levels of LDLs in your blood. Lack of exercise can also increase concentrations of LDLs and decrease concentration of HDLs.
I hope I’ve covered most of the facts about high cholesterol and I apologise if this is super long..