Cholesterol is a waxy compound produced by our body in the liver. What we consume also contributes to our cholesterol level. Yet, too much cholesterol in your blood might result in health problems. High cholesterol level might also cause damages to the organs that lead to life-threatening conditions. Inside the body, there are three main compounds which form the entire cholesterol level—the LDL or bad cholesterol, the HDL or good cholesterol, and the triglycerides.
- The HDL or the good cholesterol has a role of gathering cholesterol and moves it from the arteries. By the HDL, these cholesterol will eventually be used for synthesizing hormones, delivered to the liver, or disposed completely from the body.
- The LDL or bad cholesterol and triglycerides, however, are able to cause artery damages. Arteries are blood vessels carrying blood supply from your heart to the rest of the body parts. Too much bad cholesterol in the blood can cause build ups in the arteries, blocking blood supplies carried by the blood vessels. In long-term period, arteries clogs may result in a process known as atherosclerosis.
Does cholesterol cause atherosclerosis?
Cholesterol in sufficient amount is necessary for the body. This is one of the important substances to be used in performing body functions. Without cholesterol presence, it is impossible for the body to synthesize some hormones and vitamin, which can cause deformity and deficiency. However, excessive amount of cholesterol in the bloodstream may trigger the process called atherosclerosis—the hardening and narrowing of the arteries.
Atherosclerosis occurs when there are some plaques in the arteries, which inhibit blood supply from the heart to the rest of the body. Plaque occurring with the arteries commonly consist of excessed cholesterol, fatty substances or excessed fat, cellular waste, and calcium. Excessive LDL may damage the arteries, and although these arteries have been damaged, the LDL keeps penetrating the artery walls. As a result, cholesterol build ups occur. Your body does not leave these build ups alone and try to clean them up. The immune system release some white blood cells to chew it up. However, eventually these white blood cells and its debris become the part of this build up material. Eventually, the build ups get larger and thicker, causing a material called plaque.
The occurrence of plaque in the artery walls causing these arteries to be hardened. This can be illustrated as a similar process with the plaque growing on your tooth structure. Although it is known that as you are aging, your arteries will naturally harden and be less elastic, excessive bad cholesterol level may accelerate this atherosclerosis process. Since the effect of narrowed and hardened arteries are related to cardiovascular diseases and heart attack, it is important to watch your cholesterol level and intakes, so that unnecessary build ups can be avoided. Provide at least 30 minutes per day to do cardio exercises for controlling your cholesterol level in considerable amount to prevent the arteries from hardening faster than they should be.