Health Category

Understanding Cholesterol - Natural Cholesterol Supplements, Herbs & Nutrients

Cholesterol is usually discussed with a negative connotation but, at normal levels, cholesterol plays a very important role in our bodies. Cholesterol is synthesized by all animals, including humans because it is necessary for keeping our cells functioning normally and for synthesizing bile, a critical compound for digestion as well as for internally synthesizing vitamin D. Plants make negligible amounts of cholesterol meaning most of the cholesterol we ingest is from animal foods. A variety of factors including a diet high in processed food can cause an abnormal increase in cholesterol which is when it becomes a problem. Since cholesterol does not dissolve in blood, it has to be transported around by special carriers. This carrier, known as 'low density lipoprotein (LDL)' is often known as the "bad" cholesterol because it can be easily manipulated to form plaque, clog arteries and cause heart disease. 'High Density Lipoprotein (HDL)' or the "good" cholesterol helps remove the LDL cholesterol from the arteries. High levels of LDL and total cholesterol and low levels of HDL are a risk factor for heart disease. Through proper nutrition and exercise, the key is to lower LDL and increase HDL cholesterol and nutritional supplements are a useful tool in achieving this.

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