Natural Cholesterol: Its Functions and Associated Risks
Cholesterol is produced naturally in the body. It is produced by the liver, the intestines and all cells of the body. Natural cholesterol is indeed essential in many biological processes. The body has means of maintaining normal level of natural cholesterol. However, the level of Natural cholesterol could be altered by environmental factors including diet and smoking habit. When this happens, people would have to live with risks for cardiovascular diseases and stroke.
Natural cholesterol performs specific functions in the human body. Cholesterol is an essential component of the cell membranes of animals. Cholesterol interlocks the lipid component of the cell membrane and provides its stability. Cholesterol is also used in manufacturing steroid hormones such as testosterone and it is used by the liver in producing bile acids. The body is efficient in producing natural cholesterol, but it tends to accumulate in the body because of the body is not as efficient in degrading natural cholesterol.
Altered Levels of Natural Cholesterol Poses Health Risks
The levels of natural cholesterol could be altered by the diet and other factors. Aside from the naturally produced cholesterol, the body cholesterol is affected by the intake of cholesterol from food. Foods from animal sources such as eggs, meat and dairy products increase the level of blood cholesterol. The balance of natural cholesterol in the body could be altered by the cholesterol from food. Animal foods are converted to LDL cholesterol in the body. Since LDL cholesterol is the culprit in the development of atherosclerosis then an increase dietary intake of cholesterol is likely to result in atherosclerosis.
Natural cholesterol is consists of the LDL or the bad cholesterol and HDL or the good cholesterol. But it is the LDL cholesterol is responsible for the increased risk for heart diseases and strokes. This is attributed to the development of atherosclerotic plaque, which narrows the arterial walls. Over time, the deposited The LDL cholesterol levels lead to the diseased state of the vital organs including the heart. In fact, coronary artery disease results from the insufficient amount of blood flowing to the coronary artery. The plaque prevents blood from flowing to the organs where it is needed.
Lowering Natural Cholesterol Levels for Better Cardiac Health
The cholesterol in the body is not anymore purely natural cholesterol. It is already in a combination of dietary cholesterol. Since the health risks posed by high cholesterol have been recognized, it is important that people aims to lower their cholesterol level. There are natural ways to lower cholesterol. One does not necessarily have to take medications to lower cholesterol since it can be brought down to healthy levels through natural means. That is, through dietary and lifestyle changes as well as taking cholesterol supplements. By lowering natural cholesterol, one evades the health consequences particularly heart diseases.