7. What Do We Know About Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a substance your liver manufactures in order to make cell membranes, certain hormones, vitamin D, and bile acids. You may also obtain cholesterol from foods. Cholesterol is carried in your bloodstream in little packets called lipoproteins. High-density lipoproteins (HDL) are considered good forms of cholesterol since they transport cholesterol to your liver for elimination. Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) are considered bad forms of cholesterol because they contribute to the buildup of fatty deposits in blood vessels. The CDC reports that high cholesterol levels about double your risk of heart disease compared to individuals with lower blood cholesterol levels.
6. What Raises Bad Cholesterol Levels?
Preventing your blood cholesterol levels from reaching high levels requires knowing what factors raise your cholesterol. Medline Plus lists several factors that may increase your risk of high cholesterol. Consuming processed, high-fat foods such as red meat, dairy, fast food, and fried items can raise your cholesterol. If you spend a lot of time sitting and refrain from exercising, you may increase your risk of high cholesterol. Smoking also contributes to the risk of high cholesterol. Factors beyond your control may include heredity, age, and race.
5. How do Statin Medications Work?
Sometimes your doctor may prescribe medicine to lower your cholesterol levels. The statins are a group of medications that lower cholesterol by blocking the activity of an enzyme called HMG-CoA reductase. This enzyme plays a role in cholesterol production in the liver. Lovastatin, fluvastatin, pravastatin, rosuvastatin, and simvastatin are all names of statin medications. Your physician may prescribe one of these medications to be used alongside healthy lifestyle practices in order to decrease your risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease.