What is Cholesterol?
How cholesterol works
Each cell in our body contains cholesterol – a waxy substance that helps our bodies make hormones and digest our food. Your body makes all of the cholesterol it needs and circulates it through the blood.
LDL cholesterol = bad cholesterol
LDL cholesterol is known as “bad cholesterol” because it contributes to hard deposits that form in the walls of blood vessels.
HDL cholesterol = good cholesterol
HDL cholesterol or “good cholesterol” picks up excess cholesterol in the blood vessels and carries it away.
When there’s too much bad cholesterol in the blood, or not enough good cholesterol, cholesterol can build up inside the walls of blood vessels, making them narrower, and making it harder for blood to flow. This can raise the risk of having a heart attack or a stroke.
By practicing a few healthy habits every day, you can lower your LDL cholesterol and increase your HDL cholesterol, reducing your risk of a heart attack. Managing your cholesterol can help keep your body running smoothly.
Individual results may vary. Supplementation with plant sterols typically reduces cholesterol by 5-15% within several weeks. Adding other lifestyle changes, including a heart healthy diet, can reduce cholesterol by up to 30%. Repeat lipid testing is recommended. Speak with your physician if you have questions.