Cholesterol is a yellow colored lipid molecule produced in the liver and present in blood which is responsible for several vital biochemical processes of the body like defence mechanism processes , fat transportation and protecting body ‘s muscles and blood vessels. Cholesterol is essential for the body to function properly. See: Role of Blood cholesterol.
Cholesterol moves in the blood in the form of protein packages called ‘lipoproteins’.
TYPES OF CHOLESTEROL
Two types of cholesterols are found in the body. They are HDL and LDL.
High density lipoproteins or HDL, are generally harmless and are helpful for the body.
Low density lipoproteins or LDL are harmful cholesterols or “bad cholesterol”. LDL are accountable for clogging of arteries which stops blood flow to many organs of the body. LDL is also responsible for majority heart attacks.
NORMAL CHOLESTEROL LEVEL
Cholesterol is measured in milligrams per 100 millimetres of blood. The normal level of cholesterol varies between 150-200 mg per 100 ml. Any increase in cholesterol level leads to hypercholesterolemia or high cholesterol.
SYMPTOMS OF HIGH BLOOD CHOLESTEROL
There are no definite symptoms of high blood cholesterol. Some symptoms that may or may not be indicative of high blood cholesterol include:
- Yellowish patches around the eyes
- Cholesterol deposits around cornea
- Mini stroke
CAUSES OF HIGH BLOOD CHOLESTEROL
Nutrition: Thirty percent of the cholesterol comes from the food that we eat. Taking rich foods and fried foods, excessive consumption of milk and its products like clarified butter, cheese and cream and eating white flour, sugar, cakes, biscuits and ice cream cause increase in cholesterol levels.
Inactive lifestyle: Persons leading a sedentary lifestyle , who do not exercise and spend their time mainly sitting at one place or lying down , have high levels of LDL and lower levels of HDL.
Obesity: People who are overweight or obese have high levels of LDL and low levels of HDL, than persons with normal weight.
Hereditary: Other causes of high cholesterol in blood are smoking, alcohol and irregular eating habits.