Knowing your cholesterol?


Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like material creates in the blood stream. It is present in all of the body's tissues. It is produced by the liver and likewise extracted from foods of animal origin such as meat, chick, fish, eggs and dairy products. Your body use cholesterol to make crucial body substances such as cell walls, hormones and vitamin D.

Why should I care about my cholesterol?

While cholesterol is vital for life, too much of it in your blood can increase your risk for stroke and heart disease.
Cholesterol travels through your bloodstream in protein / fat (lipoprotein) particles. One type of particle, called “low-density lipoprotein” (LDL), delivers cholesterol to the body. LDLs are often called "bad" cholesterol.
An additional type of particle, called high-density lipoprotein (HDLs) supports in the removal of cholesterol from the bloodstream. HDLs are often called "good" cholesterol. A high HDL level (greater than 60) is considered to be a protective factor against heart disease.
If you have an excess amount of LDL in your bloodstream, waxy plaques can build up along your artery walls, causing arteries to narrow. Over time, arteries may become damaged with these plaques and susceptible to blood clots. This is called cardiovascular disease. A blood clot in the heart can cause a heart attack. A blood clot in the brain can cause a stroke.
What are triglycerides and why should I care about them?
Triglycerides are the scientific name for the most common form of fat, found in both the body and foods. Triglycerides attach to lipoprotein particles in the blood. Recent studies indicate that elevated triglycerides are an independent risk factor for coronary heart disease (CHD). Some triglyceride-rich lipoproteins may cause plaque build-up in the arteries.
Testing recommendations
The US Preventive Services Task Force and the American College of Physicians recommend checking cholesterol starting at age 35 for males and 45 for females. The US National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) recommends that all adults 20 years or older have a fasting lipid profile done. A lipid profile consists of total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, HDL- cholesterol and triglycerides. Experts recommend the lipid profile be repeated every 5 years if normal.
Desirable blood lipid levels:
Total cholesterol:
Less than 150 mg/dL = Desirable
200-239 mg/dL = Borderline high
240 mg/dL and above = High
LDL cholesterol:
Less than 100 mg/dL = Optimal
110-139 mg/dL = Near/above optimal
130-159 mg/dL = Borderline high
160-189 mg/dL = High
190 mg/dL and above = Very high
HDL cholesterol:
Below 40 mg/dL = Suboptimal (Low)
60 mg/dL and above = Optimal (High)
Triglycerides:
Less than 150 mg/dL = Normal
150-199 mg/dL = Borderline high
200-499 mg/dL = High
500 mg/dL and above = Very high.



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