Cholesterol By: Alena Krantz & Lauren LaRoche

Cholesterol is naturally produced in the liver and is absorbed from food that passes through the intestines. Cholesterol is found in cell membranes to build up thickness to make a sort of barrier. It is also found in the brain because cholesterol allows neurons to make synapses (connections) which improve, and are vital to learning and memory. Cholesterol also helps with digestion because it can be found in bile acids which breaks up food and is thus vital to digestion. Cholesterol also is required to make vitamin D in the skin from the action of sunlight. Lastly, Cholesterol can be changed into steroid hormones.

Because of LDL's large size and insolubility it is responsible for transporting cholesterol to the cells.

HDL is responsible for removing excess cholesterol from the blood stream.

Doctors will monitor the concentrations of LDL and HDL because if there is too much, cholesterol will build up on artery walls which can cause heart attck or stroke.

The concentrations of LDL and HDL are associated with the risk of heart disease and associated disorders because high levels of LDL can lead to atherosclerosis which increase the risk of a heart attack because of the formation of plaque. HDL helps clear the cholesterol/plaque in the bloodstream. LDL tries to increase the risk of heart disease and HDL tries to decrease that risk.

Other molecules in a patients blood monitored like LDL and HDL are triglycerides. Triglycerides are used for energy in the body. High levels of triglycerides with a lipoprotein can cause a negative impact to your body.

The results of cholesterol test show whether you have low density lipoprotein (LDL), high density lipoprotein (HDL), or normal cholesterol, meaning if you have high, low, or normal cholesterol, also showing if you have heart disease or at risk of heart disease. If you have low or high cholesterol, they do other blood test to see if thats all you have. Patients interpret cholesterol test value by seeing how high or low the value is, so if the value is really high, then might have heart disease or something worse.

If patients wanted to change their LDL and HDL blood levels, they could be on a healthy diet, exercise regularly, maintain weight, and stop smoking/alcohol/and anything else that could harm your body.

The intake of saturated fat, unsaturated fat, and trans fat can affect your cholesterol levels and overall health. If you have high cholesterol its better to lower your Saturated fats because it can raise your blood cholesterol (like LDL.) Unsaturated fats help stable your blood cholesterol because they contain polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats that are healthier for you. Trans fat (or fatty acids) increase the LDL (which builds up plaque) and decrease your HDL (which fights back LDL.)


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