We all know about cholesterol that it is harmful if it is “bad” or high. However, there is also a “good” cholesterol. So what is this organic molecule, why does our body need it, what is its usefulness or harm?
Few people really know what cholesterol is. What is quite interesting: few people really know what it is, but most of us think that it is something very harmful and even dangerous. Many of us think that it can ruin our health if we eat a lot of greasy food.
Therefore, it turns out that cholesterol can be of two kinds: “good” and “bad” (high), the latter is the cause of atherosclerosis, because when it accumulates, it settles on the walls of the vessels and forms plaques. That is why sometimes we need to lower it.
This complex of knowledge about such an organic molecule will be enough for such typical people as you and me. We mean for those, who are not quite interested in science.
Therefore, just the facts for people who can think.
– Cholesterol as an organic molecule is primarily a building material; it is a part of all cell membranes. It is necessary for the synthesis of all sex hormones, bile acids and other.
– The body itself produces 80% of cholesterol and the rest comes with food. Therefore, the role of nutrition is only 20% in this process.
– Cholesterol itself cannot travel through the body – it does not dissolve in the blood. Therefore, it is transported by such a special transport as lipoproteins. There are several species of them, which differ in density. Scientists have found that patients with atherosclerosis have increased level of low-density lipoproteins. Meanwhile, healthy people have the one of high density. That is why scientists decided to call kinds of cholesterol “bad” and “good» that is quite logical. Therefore, to combat atherosclerosis means to raise the level of some lipoproteins and reduce others. Thus, as animal fats take part in the formation of “bad” or high cholesterol, they are harmful, and vegetable substances are, respectively, useful as they form “good” cholesterol. In fact, the body needs all of them and everything plays its special role.
Cholesterol interesting facts
“Harmful” lipoproteins carry cholesterol to organs and cells, as a building material, and “useful” ones transport it back to the liver, where it enters the bile. Nevertheless, why the first ones lose the organic molecule in the process and it sticks to the walls of the vessels is a mystery for a scientific world.
– A priori, nothing should stick to the smooth slippery inner wall of the vessel. In the body, something sticks to something, only if there is damage. Such wise, if you remember that cholesterol is a building material, then we can assume that the body use it as a pit repair of the damaged vessel wall. There is only a question left: why are there micro damages in the vessels? We can only assume that these are some autoimmune processes.
– We should always remember that not only this organic molecule creates an atherosclerotic plaque, but also calcium, which makes the vessels fragile and not capable of narrowing-expansion. The level of calcium has connection with the functioning of the thyroid gland that does not function properly in case of atherosclerosis.
– People with normal level of cholesterol can have atherosclerosis. It can happen because of genetic predisposition.
Nevertheless, medical experts recommend leading a healthy lifestyle in order to exclude the occurrence of such a dangerous disease as atherosclerosis.