Cholesterol is a steroid metabolite found in the cell membranes and transported in the blood plasma of all animals. Small quantities are required for the normal functioning of the cells and the body. However, most people due to the modern lifestyle and diet tend to have an excess of cholesterol which usually poses a problem.
Why is High Cholesterol a Problem?
High levels of LDL-C (“bad” cholesterol) are a risk factor for the formation of atheromas (basically cholesterol plaques). These atheromas form on the inner lining of the blood vessels in the heart and brain and result in heart disease and strokes.
On the other hand, HDL-C (“good” cholesterol) is able to remove LDL-C from the system, and has been shown to be protective against the formation of atheromas and hence heart disease and strokes. As high levels of LDL-C are completely silent, it is hence important to perform annual health screenings to check the cholesterol levels.
Treatment of High Cholesterol
This is usually using a combination of lifestyle, dietary modifications as well as medications. Modern day cholesterol medications like statins are safe for usage and associated with very low risks of serious side effects.