Cholesterol is a natural substance that serves as a building block for cells and hormones. A certain amount is good for you. But, excess cholesterol can stick to the walls of vessels, making it harder for blood to move through them. Sometimes cholesterol blocks an artery. Then, the body part served by the artery cannot receive needed nutrients or oxygen. A heart attack can occur if an artery is blocked in the heart. If the blockage is in the brain, a stroke can result.
This pamphlet explains:
- how cholesterol works in the body
- who should be tested
- what you can do to lower your cholesterol level
How Cholesterol Works in the Body
Where It Comes From
Most of the cholesterol in your body is made by the liver. A small amount also comes from certain foods, such as meat, dairy products (such as butter, whole milk, and cheese), and eggs. The amount of cholesterol in your body depends partly on your diet and partly on factors passed on from your parents (heredity).
What It Does
The fat in the foods you eat is digested and sent to the liver. The liver then changes the fat into lipoproteins. Lipoproteins are made of cholesterol, other fats, and protein. Lipoproteins carry fat through your blood vessels for use or storage in other parts of the body. Without them, fat could not travel through the bloodstream. This is because blood is mainly made of water—and fat and water do not mix.
There are three kinds of lipoproteins:
- VLDL (very-low-density lipoprotein)
- LDL (low-density lipoprotein)
- HDL (high-density lipoprotein)
To view the full article, please contact the Four Corners OBGYN office at info@4c0bgyn.