Cholesterol is a kind of fat that you eat as a normal part of the diet. You also produce your own cholesterol in your liver.
Cholesterol is essential in your body. It is used to produce steroid hormones (testosterone, estrogen, aldosterone, cortisol, and so on), and it is important to make our body cells flexible.
So why does cholesterol get such a bad press?
High levels of cholesterol in the blood, also known as hypercholesterolemia, has been linked with all sorts of health problems, mostly due to blood vessel damage.
You may have heard about “good” cholesterol and “bad cholesterol”, but really there is only one kind of cholesterol (a bit of an oversimplification but we don’t want to go mad here). It is where the cholesterol is found that makes it good or bad, and how much of it there is.
You may also have heard of LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, dietary cholesterol, endogenous cholesterol, and so on. What I thought I might do here is try to make some sense of cholesterol and why too much of it can be bad for you. [Read more…] about High blood cholesterol – why is it bad for you?