Cholesterol

Types, complications, advices—everything you need to know about this essential component of a healthy body.

The body needs cholesterol to function. But it’s important to maintain a healthy balance between HDL cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein), which carries cholesterol to the liver to be eliminated, and LDL (low-density lipoprotein), which accumulates in the arteries and increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Reducing cholesterol by 1% lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease by 2%.

Symptoms

There are no symptoms associated with a high level of cholesterol. Often there are no apparent signs before complications arise. A blood test is the only way to detect hypercholesterolemia.

Complications

  • Atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
  • Chest pain
  • Heart attack
  • Stroke
  • Aortic aneurysm
  • Thrombosis
  • Aortic dissection
  • Peripheral arterial disease (PAD), resulting in leg pain
  • High blood pressure and kidney disease

Types

  • LDL cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein) is referred to as “bad” cholesterol because when consumed in excess it collects on the walls of your blood vessels, where it can cause blockages.
  • HDL cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein) is known as “good” cholesterol.

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Cholesterol

The body needs cholesterol to function. But it’s important to maintain a healthy balance between HDL cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein), which carries cholesterol to the liver to be eliminated, and LDL (low-density lipoprotein), which accumulates in the arteries and increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.
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