Presented By: Sue Jordan, R.N., Founder and Director of liveitwell™
What is cholesterol? Cholesterol is a waxy fat-like substance that your liver produces naturally. It’s vital for the formation of cell membranes, vitamin D and certain hormones.
Two forms of cholesterol:
|Total Cholesterol||Less than 200||High cholesterol levels are associated with an increased risk of heart disease and stroke.|
|HDL Cholesterol||Men: Greater than 40
Women: Greater than 50
|The “healthy” cholesterol
High HDL levels tend to protect against heart disease and stroke.
|LDL Cholesterol||Below 100||The “lousy” cholesterol
High LDL levels are associated with an increased risk of heart disease and stroke. High levels contribute to plaque build up.
What is the role of the liver with cholesterol? The liver produces the cholesterol and triglycerides. The HDL helps to return the LDL back to the liver, which in turn lowers the LDL. It is important to keep the liver clean as possible.
What is family hypercholesterolemia vs high cholesterol? Family hypercholesterolemia is largely due to the passing on of genes from parents to children that would tend to increase the levels of cholesterol in the blood. Having a genetic risk, doesn’t guarantee you’ll have increased cholesterol, just means you are at an increased risk.
Obesity and large waist circumference: Some people are genetically predisposed toward obesity or a large waist circumference. Both can increase your risk for high cholesterol. Lifestyle factors also play a role in these 2 risk factors. A large waist circumference 40” or more for men and 35” or more for females, increases the risk of elevated cholesterol and other cardiovascular complications.
Elevated Blood Sugar: Can increase your LDL. High levels of sugar in your blood, can damage the lining of your arteries, which can increase the risk of fatty deposits building up in your arteries. Some people are genetically pre-disposed, but, lifestyle choices can contribute to high sugar.
Lifestyle factors: Some risk factors for high cholesterol can be completely controlled by lifestyle choices. These include: diet, exercise and smoking.
Treatment and Prevention: