Many people are afraid of the word “cholesterol” itself. But should we really be so afraid of it? You would be surprised how important this substance is for our body. It turns out that thought processes and even sex are impossible without it.
Almost everyone has heard that high cholesterol level increases the risk of getting a cardiovascular disease. But in reality our body produces this substance, and certainly there is a reason for this.
Cholesterol is necessary for building cell membranes and synthesizing sex hormones such as estrogen and testosterone.
Here is the list of 10 interesting facts about cholesterol.
The liver is a factory for the production of cholesterol. The body needs cholesterol in order to function properly. The liver can produce it as long as necessary, even if you do not get cholesterol from food.
The problems begin when you eat too much saturated fats, and your body produces a lot of bad LDL cholesterol, which is deposited as plaques on the arteries’ walls, impeding blood flow. The body is not capable of processing too much cholesterol.
Cholesterol For Sexual Energy
This is not a myth. We should be thanking cholesterol because it stimulates the synthesis of sex hormones – testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone. We would not be able to live and function normally without them.
Do not forget that cholesterol, in addition to that, is a vital component of cell membranes, it also plays an important role in the digestion process.
Cholesterol for the Development of the Brain
Pregnant women have high cholesterol level, both total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. It is necessary for the proper development of the embryo. This high cholesterol level is persevered in the woman’s body after giving birth to the child.
Studies of preterm and born at term children have shown that a good level of cholesterol HDL plays a leading role in the formation and further development the of healthy child’s brain.
According to other studies, breast milk, which is rich in cholesterol helps to form a healthy heart of the child in the future. Children who were breastfed, usually have lower cholesterol level in their adulthood, so they have less risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Cholesterol for Baby Food
Baby food also includes cholesterol. The best artificial breast-milk substitutes contain different vitamins, minerals, and fats, including cholesterol.
Some studies show that the best supplements are fatty acids, which can be found in breast milk, such as DHA, for example. However, there is no official information on how many of them you should add.
Heart Diseases From Childhood
Children might have a high cholesterol level. If you think it’s only dangerous for people of middle age, then you are wrong.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends doing a cholesterol test for all children starting from 9 years. Hard to believe, but experts say that people can have predispositions for heart disease in childhood, 40 years before a massive heart attack.
How could you help in this situation? A healthy diet, maintaining a normal weight, exercises – all that is necessary for children who have the dysfunctional family history of early (under 40 years) heart attacks. This will help not only to maintain non-hazardous levels of cholesterol, but to get rid of high blood pressure, and the need to take medication.
According to statistics, a lot of people have quite a high cholesterol level, approaching the upper limit of normal. There are four risk groups of patients:
- with cardiovascular system diseases;
- where the level of bad LDL cholesterol is 190 mg/DL and above;
- people aged 40 to 75 years with type 2 diabetes;
- people aged 40 to 75 with a high risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
A Prediction In the Eyes
You can see cholesterol in your eyes. White patches around the cornea are the sign of the accumulated cholesterol, but this does not necessarily mean heart problems.
But the visible fatty plaque on the eyelid, known as xanthelasma, can predict a future heart disease.
A research in Denmark, in which almost thirteen thousand adults took part, showed a strict correlation between these plaques on the eyelids and the development of heart diseases or even a heart attack within the next five years.
Looks Like Cholesterol
Cholesterol looks like fat. When cholesterol is deposited on artery walls, it can acquire a yellow color with a white tint, more like fat.
Cholesterol For Skin Protection
Cholesterol is able to protect your skin. If you add some cholesterol to your moisturizing creams, they will acquire the protection properties against ultraviolet radiation. But other fats do not have this ability.
Doctors recommend doing the cholesterol check-up every five years starting at age 20. Not so many people are concerned about the cholesterol level in their blood, though such a simple procedure as a cholesterol test could prevent various heart-related diseases in the future.