Cholesterol is the most common and essential waxy steroid of fat found in the blood plasma of humans. It will be produced in the liver or intestines. It plays a important role in the formation of bile acids, vitamin D, and hormones like progesterone, estrogens, androgens, mineral corticoids, glucocorticoids. The normal functioning and permeability of cell membranes is due to normal levels of cholesterol. Cholesterol levels in blood originate from liver production and dietary intake. The liver produces approximately 70% of cholesterol and other 30% comes from dietary intake.
The two types of cholesterol are LDL (low density lipoprotein) and HDL (high density lipoprotein). Elevated levels of LDL or bad cholesterol are associates with the risk of coronary heart disease.
Elevated levels of LDL cholesterol forms a hard and thick substance called cholesterol plaque along the inside artery walls, thus narrowing the artery and preventing the blood flow and increase in blood pressure. This process of thickening and narrowing is called atherosclerosis. HDL or good cholesterol helps in extracting and disposing cholesterol from artery walls through liver metabolism and thus help in preventing atherosclerosis.
The factors which cause high blood cholesterol levels are diet, exercise, body weight, age and gender, hereditary, and underlying medical conditions.
Dietary intake of large quantities of foods such as red meat and high fat dairy products, fried foods, baked goods and pastries amount in increase level of cholesterol. By cutting down the intake of these foods and replacing those with fruits and vegetables can reduce cholesterol levels.
Sedentary lifestyles have become a part of our day-to-day living and thus people tend to exercise less. Due to lack of exercise, habits such as smoking and drinking and poor dietary intake, obesity has become a major problem in all cities. Cholesterol levels thus increase in individual with less activity and poor dietary intake which have resulted in increased risk for coronary heart disease. Habits such as smoking can lower the levels of HDL or good cholesterol thus increasing LDL or bad cholesterol. Smoking interferes with the ability of HDL to extract and dispose fatty deposits from walls of artery and thus narrowing the blood vessels, thus increasing the blood cholesterol and also high blood pressure.
By doing regular exercise and by healthy eating habits is necessary in controlling high blood cholesterol which in turn into high blood pressure. High blood cholesterol may be due to hereditary factors, it may run in the families. Particular medical conditions like high blood pressure and diabetes increase the risk factor developing high cholesterol in a person. When a person is suffers high blood pressure an extra force on artery walls damages the arteries thus raises the accumulation of fat deposits in the body. The high blood sugar levels will damage the lining of arteries thus increases LDL while reducing HDL cholesterol. All these factors sum up to increase in blood cholesterol which will result’s into increase of blood pressure.
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