For years, Cholesterol has been thought of as the be all and end all to determining the status of one’s health.
Recent changes to the way in which overall health is medically evaluated, has since crushed this notion.
What is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is simply defined as the waxy substance that floats in the blood stream.
It is the building block of all cell membrane in the body, the backbone of all hormones, including highly important hormones that directly contribute to proper health, and help in diet and exercise, such as testosterone and vitamin D.
Cholesterol is also an anti-acid that supports the body’s day to day functions.
All in the Numbers
The liver produces 75% of the cholesterol that circulates the body, the other 25% come from food. At normal levels cholesterol helps the cells in the body to do their jobs.
Cholesterol numbers have been looked at and studied by physicians for decades, all done to determine how healthy a single patient was. The truth is, these numbers are just that … numbers.
As much as 10% of a person’s cholesterol can be dropped just by diet alone.
The body carries with it, good and bad cholesterol, meaning that some high levels of cholesterol in the body are actually a good thing. The majority of cholesterol in the blood is transported by low density lipoproteins or LDL.
This is typically referred to as the bad cholesterol because it combines with other substances to clog arteries. An LDL score below 100 has been deemed normal by doctors in the field.
The remaining cholesterol in the body is carried by high density lipoproteins, or HDL. This is referred to as good cholesterol because it helps to remove build up inside the arteries.
Stress increases cholesterol. When the body is under stress, hormones become depleted and depleted cholesterol compensates to support the production of lost hormones.
The body converts excess calories, sugar and alcohol into triglycerides. These triglycerides measure the fat in the blood and regulate how well the body handles sugar intake and liver function. Vitamin D levels also factor in when discussing overall cholesterol.
In actuality, vitamin D is a hormone made inside the body. Having a good amount of it drastically affects one’s health.
Heart risk is not directly correlated to high cholesterol. New advances in medicine are proving this to be true more and more. The invention of Statins in recent years has caused less concern over the real reason for cholesterol and its lasting effects.
Statins are a class of drugs used to lower cholesterol levels by inhibitingthe enzymes that are key components in the production of cholesterol in the liver. Statins have become a $29 billion industry in the last year alone.
Knowing all of the Facts
Too much emphasis has been placed on overall cholesterol, over the past few decades. The fact is, it is possible to have high LDL markers and be deemed healthy.
So many other factors go into the risk of heart disease, and overall good health. Cholesterol has been pinpointed as the go to test in order to ensure a person is healthy. Properly regulating LDL and HDL, is the best way to keep yourself in the normal range.
If you are concerned about your own cholesterol, some easy steps to take to ensure that your levels are within the range of normal is to eat more fiber, good fats, smart protein and omega 3’s.