Cholesterol: Friend or Foe?

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Cholesterol is a lipophilic compound present in every cell in your body. This substance performs multiple roles. It facilitates the formation of cells in your body. It is derived from two primary sources, namely the food you ingest and your liver. Cholesterol circulates throughout the body via the bloodstream. Your body requires a certain amount of cholesterol to synthesize hormones, produce vitamin D, as well as facilitate meal digestion. Notably, your body is capable of producing the sufficient amount of cholesterol it requires.

Functions of Cholesterol in our body

One primary function of cholesterol in our body is to help build new tissue and repair damage to existing ones. Cholesterol is vital in tissue repair and regeneration due to its contribution toward cell membranes’ generation, activation of the cell signaling pathways, as well as steroid synthesis. It is a constituent of cell membranes that ensures stability and permeability, crucial for new cell creation. It also acts as a precursor for steroid hormones. Thus, it helps in the growth of tissues during various metabolic and developmental phases.

Cholesterol also helps in the production of steroid hormones, such as estrogen. In your body, cholesterol serves as a steroid hormone precursor, which occurs through enzymatic reactions. Cholesterol is biologically converted to pregnenolone via the catalyzed product of cytochrome p450 side-chain cleavage enzyme (CYP11A 1). Several other enzymes present in steroidogenic subsequently metabolize pregnenolone to synthesize estrogen. Estrogen regulates various physiologic systems, such as reproduction, healthy cardiovascular, and maintenance of bone density. As such, cholesterol functions as a precursor molecule for the formation of estrogen and other hormones that help in various physiological processes.

Besides its crucial role in the production of estrogen, cholesterol also plays a critical part in bile production within the human liver. Bile acids’ primary building block is cholesterol, which always serves as a necessary element in liver biochemistry through the enzyme reaction chain. In the liver, cholesterol is typically converted to primary bile acids, such as chenodeoxycholic and cholic acid that pass through a classic or neutral pathway. Bile acids, which are derived from cholesterol that is secreted in the stomach, play an important role during the emulsification of fats present in your diet. For this reason, cholesterol contributes significantly to the production of bile acids, which are responsible for digestion and also fat absorption. They also help in eliminating unwanted metabolites.

Lastly, cholesterol supports vitamin D synthesis by functioning as a precursor compound that is sensitive to sunlight exposure in the skin. When UV radiation from sun rays strikes the skin, a series of chemical reactions are observed whereby cholesterol is responsible for some key roles. In particular, UV radiation turns -7 dehydrocholesterol, a type of cholesterol in your skin, into previtamin D3. In turn, previtamin D3 is converted into vitamin D3, also called cholecalciferol, through a heat-dependent process. Vitamin D3 is transported to the kidneys and liver, where it undergoes additional conversion into an active form needed mainly for calcium absorption in your body.

Too Much Cholesterol in Our Body Can Cause:

Although cholesterol is an essential component in our body, too much of it can have detrimental consequences. Whenever cholesterol levels go up, they can begin being deposited in the walls of arteries in the form of plaque, narrowing their lumens and reducing blood flow. This results in atherosclerosis, which can result in severe health complications such as:

  • Chest pain: Obstruction or limited flow of blood to the heart may make you develop chest pain and discomfort
  • Heart attack: A rupture of the plaque may result in significant blood clots, obstructing in flaw, and causing a heart attack.
  • Stroke: Plague accumulation in the brain’s supplying arteries can result in stroke.

How to Balance Cholesterol Levels

To balance cholesterol levels, you must consider several factors.

  • Diet: Eating food that does not have saturated fats, cholesterol, or trans fats can help balance cholesterol levels. Such foods can include lean proteins, whole grains, vegetables, and fruits.
  • Maintaining a good body mass: Being overweight or obese often negatively affects cholesterol levels. Therefore, you can consider engaging in physical routine activity to maintain an optimal weight and ensure cholesterol stays at the required level.
  • Quit bad habits: Some habits, such as drinking alcohol and smoking can increase cholesterol levels in your body, a risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. Thus, abstaining from alcohol and ceasing to smoke can help control cholesterol levels effectively.
  • HGH therapy and Sermorelin: HGH therapy has been effective in enhancing cholesterol values clinically. Notably, Sermorelin therapy, which involves the administration of Sermorelin acetate, aims to restore a depleted HGH supply. Sermorelin results timeline shows its significant role in keeping cholesterol levels in check and decreasing heart disease.
  • Exercise and activity: Exercising is important, as it aids in keeping cholesterol at the desired level. Regularly exercising through walking and strength training can help you keep good cholesterol levels while decreasing the risky or undesirable ones. You should, therefore, aim for about 15 minutes of moderate exercise a day. You can also exercise for 150 minutes a week.
  • Managing other health conditions: Some diseases like hypothyroidism, high blood pressure, and diabetes often impact cholesterol levels. As such, if having one or more of these conditions, you should manage them through medication, lifestyle changes, and visiting the doctor frequently to ensure your cholesterol levels are under control.

In conclusion, while cholesterol is essential for the proper functioning of your body, too much of it can be damaging to your body. It can cause severe health conditions, which can be challenging to handle. However, there is nothing inherently wrong with cholesterol. Nevertheless, you should understand its complexities to ensure that you maintain it at the desired levels. Consult your doctor today to receive individualized guidelines aimed at controlling cholesterol levels and evading complications associated with high cholesterol levels.