What is the Role of Cholesterol?
- Cholesterol is an essential building block for the normal metabolism of the body.
- Cholesterol is a lipid (fat). The liver produces 90% of the body’s cholesterol (usually during sleep). This is primarily a genetic factor; only 10% comes from food.
- Problem: Lipids cannot circulate alone in the blood stream (fat and water do not mix).
They require a transport system.
- Solution: ‘Water-soluble’ proteins called lipoproteins transport cholesterol in the blood.
Think of ‘dump trucks’ designed to carry specific types of cholesterol. The amount of
These lipoprotein ‘dump trucks’ determines how much cholesterol can be transported.
- There are three main types of lipoproteins that transport cholesterol:
-HDL–high-density lipoprotein. Referred to as “good” cholesterol, because it removes cholesterol from arterial plaque and transports it back to the liver to be metabolized.
-LDL–low-density lipoprotein. Referred to as “bad” cholesterol, because it deposits cholesterol into the inflamed plaque of the artery wall.
-VLDL-very low-density lipoprotein. This lipoprotein is directly related to the level of triglycerides.
-Total Cholesterol is the sum of all three types of lipoproteins. Measuring these and the triglyceride level produces a lipid profile. The Ratio is the total cholesterol divided by the HDL level (the lower, the better).
- Women are frequently told by their physicians that their cholesterol levels and “ratio” are either normal, or if abnormal, their ‘good’ cholesterol is ‘OK’. The problem with this message is the fact that 50% of women who suffer their first heart attack or stroke have ‘normal’ cholesterol levels, according to the American Heart Association criteria.
Contact Dr. Gordon Gunn today at (714) 912-2211 to schedule an appointment.
Dr. Gordon Gunn also proudly serves Buena Park, La Mirada, Yorba Linda, Diamond Bar, Walnut, and surrounding areas.