Cholesterol doesn’t dissolve in water, so it can’t travel through your blood on its own. To help transport cholesterol, your liver produces lipoproteins.
Lipoproteins are particles made from fat and protein. They carry cholesterol and triglycerides (another type of lipid) through your bloodstream. The two major forms of lipoprotein are low-density lipoprotein (LDL, the bad cholesterol) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the good cholesterol.
Usually extra LDL is brought to the liver and is flushed out of the body via the excretory system. However if the cholesterol intake is higher than what our blood vessels can carry to the liver, it gets collected and stays on the walls of our vessels.If your blood contains too much LDL cholesterol (cholesterol carried by low-density lipoprotein), it’s known as high cholesterol. When left untreated, high cholesterol can lead to many health problems, including heart attack or stroke.
High cholesterol typically causes no symptoms. That’s why it’s important to get your cholesterol levels checked on a regular basis.
Total cholesterol levels less than 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) are considered desirable for adults. A reading between 200 and 239 mg/dL is considered borderline high and a reading of 240 mg/dL and above is considered high. Age and sex Total cholesterol.
|Age and sex||Total cholesterol|
|People aged 19 years and younger||Less than 170 mg/dL|
|Men aged 20 years and older||125 mg/dL to 200 mg/dL|
|Women aged 20 years and older||125 mg/dL to 200 mg/dL|
Cholesterol circulates in the blood. As the amount of cholesterol in your blood increases, so does the risk to your health. High cholesterol contributes to a higher risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as heart disease and stroke. Cholesterol can join with other substances to form a thick, hard deposit on the inside of the arteries. This can narrow the arteries and make them less flexible – a condition known as atherosclerosis. If a blood clot forms and blocks one of these narrowed arteries, a heart attack or stroke can result. If you have other risk factors such as smoking, high blood pressure or diabetes, your risk increases even more.