Smartypantz, taking it one day at a time.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Cholesterol


Cholesterol is made by the liver and absorbed from the food you eat. The risk for developing coronary heart disease increases as your blood cholesterol increases. It is a soft, waxy substance, needed for normal body functions such as manufacturing hormones, bile acids and vitamin D.


Cholesterol is a major component of brain and nerve cells. It also plays a role in hormone production and helps control evaporation of water from the skin.


Doctors often measure two types of cholesterol:


LDL (low density lipoproteins) is responsible for depositing cholesterol in the artery walls. High levels are associated with an increased risk for coronary heart disease. This is the type that is often labeled as bad.


HDL (high density lipoproteins) carries cholesterol to the liver for excretion. Low levels of HDL are associated with increased risk of coronary heart disease. High levels have been associated with decreasing the risk for heart disease. This is the type that is often labeled as good.

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