Cholesterol is a type of fat from a group of molecules which named as steroids. It has a soft waxy texture like a melted candle. We can find cholesterol in some foods, in all of the cells of our body and in the blood.
Cholesterol is produced by our body. 75% – 85% of our cholesterol is produced naturally by the body while the remaining 15% – 25% comes from our food. It is produced mostly in the liver, as well as by every single cells in the body and was formed by a complicated biochemical reactions.
The liver produces around 1,000 milligrams cholesterol every day. The modern lifestyle with all kind of fast food restaurants and ready to consume products give around another 360 milligrams of cholesterol a day in men and between 220 up to 260 milligrams in women daily.
The cholesterol level is measured by the amount of cholesterol circulating in the blood. Cholesterol’s waxy texture can’t easily dissolve in the blood, similar as candle can’t mix with water. In order to carrying cholesterols in the bloodstream, there are some molecules made from proteins when transporting cholesterols form a substance called lipoproteins. The amount of proteins contained in these molecules give the density of these lipoproteins.
The High Density Lipoproteins or HDL is the “good” cholesterol as it contains a higher percentage of protein to cholesterol and enable the protein to transporting the cholesterol to the liver. Imagine that a vehicle should be bigger to carry its cargo. While the LDL, Low Density Lipoproteins or “bad” cholesterol contains a lower percentage of protein compared to cholesterol, so the cargo is bigger than the vehicle and it needs the help of other transportation which comes from the HDL. It’s HDL ability to transporting all cholesterols to the liver and after processing it, the liver dispose the excess of cholesterol out from our body.
Cholesterol is a vital element in protecting our cell membranes. It forms, maintains and protects the cells in temperature changes. Cholesterol forms the sex hormones (cortisol, estradiol, progesterone, testosterone) and steroid hormones (estrogens and testosteron). It produces bile salts in order to controlling our body fluids and digest food. It is needed to produce Vitamin D when the skin is exposed to sunlight.
Our body produced enough cholesterol needed to maintain a good health and we actually don’t need too much extra cholesterol from our diet. Watch the food we consume so it won’t raised the cholesterol level. High cholesterol levels isn’t good for our health and heart.