Tempo de Leitura: 2 minutos

What is it?

Cholesterol is a compound derived from lipids and precursor of steroid hormones, transported in the blood plasma, its obtaining can come from the production by the body itself in the liver or from the diet. This can be subdivided into fractions that determines the different functions they will perform in the body, i.e., they are classified into low density lipoproteins (LDL), high-density lipoproteins (HDL) and very low density lipoprotein (VLDL).

What’s cholesterol for?

It is essential for the body since it is a component of the structure of cell membranes increasing their stiffness and controlling the permeability of the cell, it is a precursor of bile salts, hormones and vitamin D. However, its excess intake and production can cause dyslipidemia and hypercholesterolemia that occurs when its fractions are shown to be with high levels in the blood.

How does cholesterol work?

Total cholesterol levels and their fractions (LDL, HDL, VLDL and triglycerides) can be measured by biochemical examinations. In this context, the American Heart Association determines the following diagnostic cholesterol levels for heart disease risk association:

  • <200 Desirable level: lower risk of heart disease
  • 200-239 High risk threshold
  • >240 Non-desirable level: high risk

When do you need to supplement?

Maintaining cholesterol levels within the recommended level is paramount for disease prevention, especially cardiovascular ones. Therefore, an adequate and healthy diet associated with the practice of physical exercises routinely play an important role in maintaining its levels. Moreover, contrary to popular sense, it is the restriction on the consumption of refined carbohydrates that induces reduction in their levels, not that of fats.


Reading Suggestion:
Discover the Pathological Implications of Cholesterol

Guijarro, C., & Cosín-Sales, J. (2021). LDL cholesterol and atherosclerosis: The evidence. LDL cholesterol and athesiasclerosis: evidence. Clinica e investigacion en arteriosclerosis : publicacion oficial de la Sociedad Espanola de Arteriosclerosis

, 33 Suppl 1

, 25–32.

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