What is cholesterol?
It is cholesterol is a lipid steroid compoundis an important statement a building block in the membranes of all body cells. It also participates in the formation of steroid hormones, helps in the synthesis of vitamin D in the skin, and produces bile acids, which are necessary for the proper digestion of fats.
The problem arises when the value of cholesterol in the blood exceeds the physiological limit. An increased level of cholesterol in the blood can lead to the deposition of lipid particles in the vessel walls. In this way, lipid strips or so-called atherosclerotic plaques are formed. Blood vessels gradually lose their elasticity and their diameter narrows. This condition is professionally known as atherosclerosis.
The organ supplied with blood by a given artery then becomes insufficiently supplied with blood. If the vein is completely blocked, the organ dies. In practice, we most often encounter myocardial infarction or cerebrovascular accident.
According to available information, he has high or possibly elevated cholesterol It makes up 70-80% of the Czech population. The problem is that many people don’t even know they don’t have normal cholesterol because they don’t get regular checkups. On the other hand, cholesterol in itself may not only appear to be harmful. Its harmfulness depends on the type of cholesterol. [1, 2, 3, 4]
Causes of high cholesterol
There are several risk factors behind the development of high cholesterol and atherosclerosis. The most important improper diet it is rich in animal fats, simple sugars and trans fatty acids. High cholesterol can also cause:
- chronic stress – the body needs more cholesterol to create stress hormones,
- overweight and lack of physical activity,
- smoking and excessive alcohol consumption,
- other diseases – diabetes, high blood pressure, hypothyroidism, etc.
- genetic tendencies – the so-called familial hypercholesterolemia is manifested by an increase in cholesterol even in young, thin people and children. [5, 6, 7]
What should cholesterol values be?
Everyone should know their cholesterol values. However, in this case, it is not the value of total cholesterol in the blood, but the ratio of individual cholesterol types that is important. Cholesterol does not move by itself in the blood, it must always be bound to a transport protein.
As a carrier, so to speak lipoproteins. Depending on which type of lipoprotein cholesterol is bound, its properties further depend. As the name suggests, lipoproteins are composed of fats and proteins. For some particles, the fat fraction predominates, for others, the protein fraction:
- LDL cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein) – “bad cholesterol”,
- HDL cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein) – “good cholesterol”,
- TAG (triglycerides) – simple fats from food.
LDL cholesterol values
High-fat lipoprotein particles have a low density. They are involved in the transport of cholesterol from the liver to somatic cells. However, there is LDL cholesterol has atherogenic properties, therefore, if there is an excess of it in the blood, it tends to deposit on the vessel walls. Later, atherosclerotic plaques are formed here, which gradually limit the blood flow.
So, what should be the LDL cholesterol values?
- physiological range: up to 3.4 mmol/l,
- low-risk values: 3.4-4.1 mmol/l,
- high risk values: above 4.1 mmol/l.
HDL cholesterol values
In the case of HDL cholesterol, lipoproteins, which are mostly proteins, act as carriers, so they are called high-density lipoproteins. HDL cholesterol is popularly called “good cholesterol” because it can transport excess LDL cholesterol from the artery walls to the liver.
Therefore, it acts as a prevention against the formation of atherosclerotic plaques and prevents the development of other complications in the form of a heart attack or stroke. Therefore, a higher amount is desirable for HDL cholesterol. What should the HDL cholesterol values be?
- physiological values: above 1.2 mmol/l,
- risk values: below 0.9 mmol/l.
In addition to the cholesterol level, it is worth paying attention to the so-called triglycerides (TAG). These are simple fats absorbed from food that serve as a quick source of energy. An increased amount of them can be harmful, as in the case of LDL cholesterol. Therefore, experts recommend maintaining the level of TAG in the blood pod 1.7 mmol/l. Values in the range of 1.7-4 mmol/l are already considered risky.
Total cholesterol values
Although it is always necessary to distinguish which of the types of cholesterol predominates, there are also recommendations about what the total cholesterol values should be:
- physiological range: 3.9-5.2 mmol/l,
- low-risk values (increased cholesterol): 5.2-6.2 mmol/l,
- high risk values (high cholesterol): above 6.2 mmol/l.
Cholesterol values by age
Of course, ideal cholesterol values also vary by age. For adults, slightly higher values are considered the norm. Cholesterol assessment for children up to 15 years of age looks like this:
- LDL cholesterol: normal below 2.6 mmol/l (high risk above 3.1 mmol/l),
- HDL cholesterol: normal above 1 mmol/l (high risk below 0.9 mmol/l),
- total cholesterol: the norm is below 4.4 mmol/l (high risk above 5.5 mmol/l). [8, 9, 10, 11, 12]
Are there symptoms of high cholesterol?
The danger and insidiousness of high cholesterol is that it usually does not bother the patient no serious health problems. However, measuring blood cholesterol is a standard part of preventive medical examinations. Through this examination, most people will be found to have bad cholesterol values.
High or high cholesterol itself usually has no symptoms. It does not harm and does not limit a person externally. It’s a bigger problem atherosclerosis, develops as a result of excessive deposition of LDL cholesterol in the vessel walls. The symptoms of an artery blockage vary depending on which organ the artery supplies blood to.
Atherosclerosis can cause dangerous complications:
How to reduce blood cholesterol? First of all, the doctor should consult with the patient about the diet plan and recommend appropriate regimen measures. It is often not necessary to immediately prescribe cholesterol-lowering drugs. For many people, radicalism is enough change your lifestyle.
Do you have high cholesterol?
What to eat with high cholesterol?
A low-cholesterol diet is based on limiting total fat intake. All the worst is the combination of saturated fats and sugars, for example, you can find in industrially produced wafers, bars, desserts and chocolates. When it comes to cooking, you should definitely avoid frying. This stew is best for stir-frying or stir-frying steam. You should also exclude fatty and fried foods, semi-finished products, sausages and alcohol from the menu.
On the contrary, it is desirable to include a sufficient amount of:
- fresh fruits and vegetables,
- whole grain bread,
- white meat and fish,
- healthy fats (quality cold-pressed oils, ghee),
- nuts and seeds.
Cholesterol-lowering foods include fermented red rice, green tea, or soy foods. lecithin.
If changing the diet does not seem to be effective, the doctor prescribes the patient statins (label for cholesterol medication). Statins act directly on the liver, where they prevent cholesterol synthesis. They are highly effective, but after implantation, the patient must use them for life. Therefore, it is recommended that you first try to reduce cholesterol by adjusting your diet. [16, 17, 18, 19, 20]
Reduces cholesterol naturally
How to reduce cholesterol naturally? Along with lifestyle changes, trying herbs is also recommended. Among those who are eligible herbs for cholesterol belongs to:
- chicory root,
- dandelion root,
- medical tuberculosis,
- ground anchor,
- milk thistle,
- yellow gentian,
- creeping thrush,
- medically violated
An effective potion can be prepared from a mixture of several dried herbs mentioned above tea for cholesterol. Contains herbs phytosterolswhich regulates the absorption of cholesterol from the intestines into the blood. [21, 22, 23]
High cholesterol and its prevention
A healthy lifestyle is the best way to ensure proper cholesterol levels. Experts recommend:
- limit daily fat intake to 30%,
- limit salting of food,
- prefer quality fat sources,
- avoid sweets and processed foods,
- follow a drinking regime,
- move regularly
- lose weight if overweight or obese,
- do not smoke,
- consume alcohol only rarely,
- relieve stress. [24, 25, 26]
Sources: researchgate.net, sciencedirect.com, akademik.oup.com, nhs.uk, hopkinsmedicine.org, ahajournals.org, cpzp.cz, ikem.cz, fno.cz, internimedicina.cz, vscht.cz
What are the causes of high cholesterol?
In most patients, an unhealthy diet full of animal fats, fast sugars and trans fatty acids is behind the elevated blood cholesterol levels. The development of high cholesterol and possible atherosclerosis can also be supported by lack of exercise, smoking, chronic stress, related diseases (eg diabetes) and hereditary factors.
What are the risk values of cholesterol?
With cholesterol, it is most important to monitor an LDL cholesterol level of no more than 3.4 mmol/l in adults (4.1 mmol/l is a higher risk). Total cholesterol should not exceed 5.2 mmol/l. High cholesterol is defined as values above 6.2 mmol/l.
How does high cholesterol manifest itself?
High cholesterol itself is painless and has no clinical symptoms. Health problems usually manifest themselves externally only when atherosclerosis develops in the body.