Cholesterol is a steroid, vital for the body. It is an important component of lipid metabolism, participates in the synthesis of hormones. The substance is a part of all cells, its quantity in the brain is about 60%. For various reasons, the concentration of cholesterol may exceed the norm. It has a negative impact on health.
Cholesterol performs the following functions:
- It is the basis of cell membranes;
- Takes part in the synthesis of steroids and other hormones;
- Affects the formation of vitamin D;
- Participates in the metabolism of fat-soluble vitamins;
- It is an auxiliary substance in the formation of bile;
- It is part of the myelin of nerve cells;
- Participates in the synthesis of serotonin;
- Provides strong immunity, normal condition of the central nervous system.
Total cholesterol includes free cholesterol, esterified (in the form of esters) and contained in lipoproteins.
The level of cholesterol depends on the following factors:
- Activity of the process of formation in the liver;
- Suction rate in the small intestine;
- Activity of metabolism through lipoproteins;
- The rate of release of cholesterol in the form of bile acids.
The norm of total cholesterol is 3.0-6.0 mmol / l. The norm of LDL for men is 2.25-4.82 mmol / l, for women – 1.92-4.51 mmol / l; HDL for men – 0,7-1,73 mmol / l, for women – 0,86-2,28 mmol / l.
Deficiency of cholesterol leads to the development of pathologies. These include:
- Chronic heart failure;
- Pulmonary tuberculosis;
- Liver cancer;
- Stroke hemorrhagic;
- Mental disorders;
In men, there may be disorders of the sexual sphere, in women – amenorrhea. Cholesterol deficiency during pregnancy leads to severe impairment of fetal development. The consequence of steroid deficiency in newborns and toddlers is rickets.
If the total cholesterol is increased, the probability of various pathologies is high. The most dangerous increase in the number of LDL. These substances are harmful to the heart, blood vessels. Cholesterol, which is part of such compounds, forms plaques in the arteries. It causes the development of multiple sclerosis.
In the future there are complications:
- Angina pectoris;
- Heart attack;
If the cholesterol in the blood is elevated, it means that there are metabolic disorders that you need to pay attention to. A similar condition is called “hyperlipidemia.”
There are several causes of lipid imbalance:
- Lack of physical activity;
- Overweight, a tendency to obesity;
- Eating large amounts of food rich in animal fats;
- Hereditary predisposition;
- Diseases (diabetes, hypertension, connective tissue diseases);
- Bad habits;
- Chronic stress;
- Certain physiological conditions (e.g., hormonal reorganization);
- Taking certain medications (corticosteroids, hormones, beta-blockers);
- Elderly age.
- Low total cholesterol in the blood is usually detected in those who eat foods that contain a limited amount of saturated fats, as well as in people taking certain medications (for example, estrogens).
- Unbalanced, low-calorie diets;
- Acute infections;
- Some diseases (pulmonary tuberculosis, heart failure).
If the cholesterol value is 6.6-7.7 mmol / l, adjust the menu:
- Limit the use of sources of “bad” cholesterol (pork, fatty dairy products, eggs, food containing margarine);
- Instead of creamy use vegetable oil;
- Eat as little as possible sweet, floury;
- Include in the diet more vegetables, fruits.
- Correct the way of life, eliminating bad habits. Excess weight must be discarded. Increase motor activity. This has a positive effect on reducing cholesterol concentration, because it stimulates blood circulation, improves blood oxygen saturation, helps to remove excess steroid. Sports training should be given at least 1 hour per day.
A full-fledged sleep is important for the health of the body. It should last at least 8 hours a day. Try to avoid stressful situations.
For drug therapy of hyperlipidemia, the following groups of drugs are used:
- Inhibitors of absorption of cholesterol;
- Sequestrants of bile acids;
- Nicotinic acid and its derivatives.
- Drugs reduce the absorption of cholesterol and lower its concentration. They improve metabolism, which contributes to the removal of excess steroid.
These drugs are also prescribed if changes in lifestyle, diet do not affect the concentration of cholesterol.
Thus, the maintenance of cholesterol is normally facilitated by adjusting the lifestyle and daily menu (the composition of the diet, the type and amount of fat). It is necessary to regularly undergo medical examinations, donate blood to cholesterol. This will allow timely detection of the development of hyperlipidemia and other pathologies.