AustinPUG Health

AustinPUG Health

You see commercials everywhere about medications to lower high cholesterol, but if you’ve never had personal exposure to it through family, or even yourself, you may not know what it is, so I’ll explain it.

Cholesterol is a substance in the body that is waxy in nature and found in every cell throughout your body.  Your body naturally produces the cholesterol it needs to function, but many of the foods we eat come with cholesterol as well.  This can throw off the natural balance in our bodies causing high cholesterol.

Cholesterol What is Cholesterol?


A genetic predisposition to high cholesterol, however, can even cause your body to produce excess amounts of ‘bad’ cholesterol, which I’ll describe in a moment.  I’m dealing with hereditary high cholesterol firsthand.  It’s a part of my day-to-day life and part of the reason I wanted to share what I’m learning with others through this newsletter.

There are three components of a cholesterol reading.  First are lipoproteins.  These are small packages that carry cholesterol throughout your body’s bloodstream.  There are two types of these:  high-density lipoproteins (HDL), which is ‘good’ cholesterol, and low-density lipoproteins (LDL), which is ‘bad’ cholesterol.  The third component of your cholesterol reading is your triglycerides, which are another form of fatty acids that provide energy your tissues use to function.

All three of these components are healthy and necessary in the correct and balanced levels.  When the HDL becomes too low and the LDL and triglycerides become too high, that’s when problems develop.  Problems also happen if the ratio of HDL to LDL is not proportionate.  The ideal ratio is 3.5:1 to 4:1 total cholesterol to LDL.

As I mentioned before, the body naturally produces some cholesterol, known as endogenous cholesterol.  Other sources, known as dietary sources, come primarily from dairy products and meats.  Foods high in saturated fats also come with cholesterol.

For the first 8 hours after you eat, your liver processes the cholesterol from your meal into forms your body can use.  If there is not enough from your food, your liver will produce more to make up the difference.  These cholesterol and triglycerides are then released into the body in the form of lipoproteins, as explained above, and processed by your body wherever they’re needed.

Categories: Health concerns

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