Most people think of cholesterol in a negative way. However, cholesterol actually plays a very important role in the functioning of the body. According to the research, cholesterol is found in every cell in our body and without it our bodies would not function properly. Understanding why it is there and the purpose it serves is something everyone should be aware of.
Cholesterol is a substance required for the normal function of cells, and is present in every cell of the human body. It is also found in the bloodstream. About 75% of cholesterol is created by the body itself and the rest are through external food which we eat. The soft waxy substance is produced in the body and is essential for the production of vitamin D, bile salts and hormones.
Cholesterol cannot be dissolved in the blood and has to be carried from the cells by lipoproteins which comes in two basic types:-
- The first is the low density cholesterol (LDL) which is also known as the "bad" cholesterol. LDL carries cholesterol to every cell in the body for potential use in cell membranes or for making hormones and vitamin D. The cells take only what they need, so high levels of LDL can result in deposits of excess cholesterol in the arteries, causing restricted blood flow. Eventually, a blood clot may block a narrowed artery and result in a heart attack or stroke. A lower LDL number means better health.
- The second type is the high density cholesterol (HDL) which is known as the "good" cholesterol which picks up cholesterol from the cells and transports it back to the liver for recycling or waste removal. “Good” refers not to the kind of cholesterol, but to the fact that this transport vehicle takes cholesterol out of circulation. So a higher HDL number means better cholesterol control and protection for the heart.
Cholesterol is good for you; it performs so many vital functions in your body.