10 Mind-enriching Facts About Cholesterol

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1. Cholesterol works for your body and not against you.

  • Cholesterol is not good for the health, is a misconception.
  • Most people when they heard the word cholesterol, they only know all about its bad reputation.
  • In fact, it is one of the essential substances the body needs to function.
  • Human body is made up of cells which is its basic functional unit.
  • Each cell is covered by cell membranes.
  • Cholesterol is vital to build and maintain cell membrane’s integrity
  • Cell membranes facilitate the movement of ions and molecules to and from a cell.
  • Without cell membrane, cells cannot function normally and different cellular processes will not take place.

 2.Cholesterol literally runs in the blood.

  • Cholesterol is a waxy crystalline substance.
  • How can this property of cholesterol be possibly goes in blood circulation?
  • Through undergoing complex chemical reactions and synthesis, it binds with certain compounds (lipids / lipoproteins) which makes it one of the components of whole blood.

 3. Cholesterol is a steroid alcohol.

  • Cholesterol is a sterol.
  • Sterols are steroid alcohols which occur naturally in plants or animals.
  • Through chemical reactions with proteins, its properties are remodeled (modified sterols).

 4. Cholesterol helps in the absorption of vitamins.

  • Bile is the end product of cholesterol metabolism from the liver.
  • Bile salts (which are components of bile) aid in fat soluble vitamins absorption.
  • Fat soluble vitamins dissolves in fats and stays a little longer in the liver and fat tissues where the body only utilizes it for a particular function.
  • Vitamins A, D, E and K are fat soluble vitamins.

 5. Cholesterol comes in two types, the “good and the “bad”.

  • The “good” cholesterol is called High density lipoprotein, helps to transport and move out fat molecules away from the cell preventing unwanted accumulation.
  • The “bad” cholesterol is called Low Density lipoprotein), tends to transport fat molecules to arterial wall.
  • High level of low density lipoprotein (which is less dense and viscous) in the bloodstream increases macrophages activity that will cause fat deposit and accumulation on the arterial wall, thus hastens atherosclerosis

 6. Cholesterol is a determining factor of a healthy liver.

  • One of the major functions of liver is emulsification of lipids.
  • In most cases, high cholesterol level (triglycerides) may lead to hepatic steatosis.
  • Excessive triglycerides (lipids) accumulate and retains in the liver causing it to be fatty, thus impairing healthy liver functioning.

 7. Cholesterol generally contributes to one’s sexual functioning.

  • It has an integral part in hormone production and synthesis, like the sex hormones.
  • Overall, sex hormones define the body characteristics of male and female.
  • An imbalance of any particular sex hormones can significantly affects libido and to some extent (erectile dysfunction in men who have low testosterone level) physiologic sexual function.

 8. Cholesterol abnormalities have physical signs too.

  • Basically, to measure a patient’s cholesterol level, blood test is done.
  • Cholesterol blood test (lipid profile, is used to screen any abnormalities in lipids.
  • It is a simple blood test that determines the level of good and bad cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood.
  • High cholesterol level can have cutaneous manifestation.
  • Xanthoma is a skin condition where cholesterol-rich substances are deposited in different areas of the body secondary to high blood cholesterol level.
  • This related to various diseases such as hyperlipidemias.

 9. Cholesterol level is highly hereditary-influenced.

  • High cholesterol level can be passed through genes (familial tendencies).
  • Having one or more family members with high cholesterol puts you at high risk to develop the same.
  • Familial hypercholesterolemia is an inherited condition where significantly high low-density lipids are present from birth.

 10. Cholesterol-free food, the fact behind it.

  • In a wider sense, fast foods are cholesterol-serving establishments same as those goods in grocery stores.
  • Some foods’ packaging and labeling on grocery stores are quite tricky. In front of the label is a “cholesterol-free” labeled.
  • On the nutrition content behind it has cholesterol content in a very minimal amount.
  • Logically speaking, it’s not cholesterol free.
  • As consumers, it pays to have an understanding on cholesterol for having a cholesterol-friendly diet.

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