High Cholesterol

How Does Cholesterol Affect The Heart?

Cholesterol is an indispensable fat produced by the liver. As a matter of fact, it produces almost 900 to 1000 milligrams a day. It is required by the body for synthesizing vitamin D and certain hormones of your body and is used for the reconstruction of cell membranes. In an excess amount, cholesterol is a threat to the health of your heart.

Excess of cholesterol levels in your blood result in it being deposited in the form of plaque in the arteries. This condition known as atherosclerosis results in constriction in the arteries and increases the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke. The level of cholesterol rises above normal primarily because of a diet high in dietary cholesterol and saturated fat, combined with a lack of exercise.

There are mainly two types of cholesterol trucks or carriers in the body. The HDL (high-density lipoprotein) and the LDL (low density lipoproteins). The LDL cholesterol carries out essential functions in the body. When there is an excess amount of this cholesterol, it tends to be deposited on arterial walls. That is why it is called bad cholesterol.

HDL on the other hand carries LDL cholesterol back to the liver for disposal. That is why it is called good cholesterol. When we say that a person has high cholesterol, we are usually referring to the level of LDL cholesterol and not HDL cholesterol.

Health effects of cholesterol on the heart are as follows:

* Cholesterol deposits result in arterial constriction and increased blood pressure.

* The high cholesterol level in the arteries gives rise to coronary artery disease. The rise beyond the normal cholesterol levels in your body limits the blood supply to your heart and the heart requires more force for contraction and expansion. The heart muscles are weakened and you may get a heart attack.

It is important to take steps to control excess of cholesterol in order to prevent coronary heart disease.