Understanding Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a fatty-like substance that travels around in your blood and cell membranes. It is required to help protect the integrity of your cells and their fluidity, as well as the myelin sheath that covers them. The liver also converts cholesterol to product bile, which is essential to absorb and digest fat molecules and fat-soluble vitamins such as Vitamins A, D, E & K. Cholesterol is also required to make certain types of hormones such as Estrogen & Testosterone. Cholesterol and fats use particles called "lipoprotein particles" as their method of transportation around the body. 
 
There are two main types of "Lipoprotein." 
  1. Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL)- often referred to as "bad" cholesterol- carries cholesterol from the liver to the cells
  2. High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL)- often referred to as "good" cholesterol-returns excess cholesterol to the liver where it is disposed of. 
LDL is often referred to as the "bad" cholesterol because it facilitates the fatty particles entering the bloodstream. In contrast, HDL removes them from the blood. The entire process is expected and required for life. The process becomes flawed and leads to illness and disease when there is more LDL going in than HDL going out. And the sticky substance starts to clump (forms a material called plaque) and begins to close in on arteries making blood vessels more constricted. As arteries and blood vessels become more constricted, blood flow becomes compromised, reducing blood flow and oxygen to the heart, brain and other organs.

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