In RawBeautySource articles, we have often mentioned the terms ‘good’ and ‘bad cholesterol. Often, people are surprised when they hear ‘good cholesterol’ because the cholesterol itself has really bad fame.
In this article, we will bring some more light on this topic. We will share more information about what cholesterol is, what are the differences between its two types, and what are the benefits and the damages that cholesterol causes to our health.
What is cholesterol?
The cholesterol is a type of vital lipid, which can be found in every cell of your body. Its function is to stimulate the production of male and female hormones, corticosteroids, vitamin D, and bile acids. The body can create cholesterol naturally or can receive it from certain foods.
As the cholesterol is required by each body cell, it constantly circulates from the liver to the tissues and back. The cholesterol (like all lipids) cannot be diluted in water and cannot move with the blood flow by itself. As a result, it is transported with the help of other particles, which are called lipoproteins. Those lipoproteins can be divided into two groups, in accordance with their density: High-Density Lipoproteins (HDL- good cholesterol) and Low- Density Lipoproteins (LDL-bad cholesterol).
Why is HDL good?
HDL is not literally cholesterol, but a lipoprotein with high density that is transporting cholesterol from the tissues to the liver. When the cholesterol reaches the liver, there are two options:
- It is thrown out of the body (that is why HDL is called good cholesterol)
- It is converted to lipoproteins, which to transport the new cholesterol to the tissues
Moreover, good cholesterol has other healthy properties:
- It prevents the creation of blood clots and inflammation in the blood vessels.
- It reduces the buildup in the arteries by preventing the oxidation of LDL (bad cholesterol). This way, it helps with balancing the blood pressure and reducing the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
Why is LDL bad?
Just like HDL, LDL is not real cholesterol. It is lipoprotein with a low density which transports cholesterol from the liver to the tissues. The more LDL is in the bloodstream, the tighter the arteries are (due to buildup on the walls of their arteries). That happens because LDL oxidases easily and creates plaque, which is stored in the walls of the blood- vessels. This usually causes high blood pressure and an increased risk of heart attacks and strokes.
People cannot have only good or only bad cholesterol. In the body, everything is balanced, so that the LDL neutralized the HDL. That is the reason why people shouldn’t aim to only decrease their bad cholesterol levels, or increase their HDL. Instead, we have to aim to achieve a balance between the two types of cholesterol and maintain this balance in the long run.
So if your LDL levels are high, don’t panic! First, check your HDL!
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor, and I do not aim to give any medical advice. The information presented in this article is based on research and aims to give information about the topic.