“Only 25% of blood cholesterol is actually ingested as dietary cholesterol. The other 75% is produced in the liver and, once linked with carrier proteins known as lipoproteins, flows throughout the body in the bloodstream along with dietary cholesterol. Too much cholesterol, however, has a tendency to build up in the arteries as plaque, slowing or blocking blood flow. The buildup of plaque can occur throughout the body’s arteries, but it’s most evident when it occurs in the coronary arteries, not allowing enough blood to get to the heart. This can lead to heart disease, the greatest long-term risk of high cholesterol.
Not all cholesterol, however, is bad. Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) are known as “bad cholesterol” and carry cholesterol from the liver to the rest of the body, though too much LDL can build up as plaque in the coronary arteries. High-density lipoproteins (HDL), also known as “good cholesterol,” are the other variable in the equation, carrying cholesterol back to the liver for elimination from the body. When we hear that we have high cholesterol, it generally means that we need to lower our LDL level and to increase our HDL level, though each person is different and should always follow the guidance of his or her doctor. The following cholesterol levels are considered healthy for most adults”
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