Cholesterol is a crucial part of how our bodies function.
It is a waxy substance that circulates through the bloodstream and is used to create cells, hormones, and vitamin D. It also plays a vital role in how cells work. Due to the nature of its waxy texture, cholesterol does not dissolve in the blood. It bonds to 'packages' known as lipoproteins that transport cholesterol through the bloodstream.
Too much cholesterol in the blood can lead to heart and blood circulation diseases, which is why it is important to follow a healthy diet and exercise regularly to keep your heart happy.
- There are two main types of cholesterol:
- LDL (low-density lipoprotein) often known as 'bad' cholesterol can accumulate on the walls of the blood vessels and cause blockage resulting in increased risk of heart diseases.
- HDL (high-density lipoprotein) known as 'good' cholesterol removes LDL from the blood vessels and carry it through blood stream into the liver. The liver then breaks it down and removes it from the body.
- When your body has too much LDL cholesterol, it builds up on the walls of your blood vessels. The build-up is called “plaque.”
- As plaque builds up over time, the insides of the vessels narrow, clogging the path for blood flow to and from your heart and other organs. When blood flow to the heart is blocked, it can cause a heart attack.