10 Fast Facts About Cholesterol

Your body has a built-in cholesterol factory. It’s called your liver. The human body needs cholesterol to function properly, but your liver can make all the cholesterol you need, even if you consume no dietary cholesterol at all. Problems start when you eat too much saturated fat and your body makes too much of the LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol, which can then turn into the plaque that lines (and eventually clogs) your arteries and can lead to a heart attack.

Cholesterol fuels your sex drive

That’s no myth — you have cholesterol to thank for making the sex hormones testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone. You wouldn’t want to live without it! In fact, you couldn’t live without it, as cholesterol is also a vital component of cell membranes — think of it as one of your body’s building blocks — and it also plays a role in digestion by helping your liver make the acids needed to digest fat.

Pregnant women have naturally high cholesterol levels.

During pregnancy, a woman’s total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol reach high levels. This is an important part of making a baby, so it’s not a concern unless cholesterol remains high after giving birth.

Pregnant women have naturally high cholesterol levels.

Infant formula has added cholesterol. To better mimic breast milk, baby formula includes a variety of vitamins, minerals, and, yes, fats, some of which contain cholesterol. Studies have found that breastfed babies may have lower cholesterol levels as adults, reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Children can have high cholesterol. If you thought high cholesterol could only be a problem for middle-aged adults, you’re wrong. Even children’s cholesterol can reach unhealthy levels. What is hard to believe is that people have heart disease risk factors in childhood — 40 years before they have a heart attack

Along with a healthy diet, proper weight, and exercise, children who have a family history of early fatal heart attacks may benefit from cholesterol and blood pressure medication to appropriately manage high cholesterol and other risk factors.

You can see cholesterol in your eyes. White rims around the cornea of the eyes are a sign of cholesterol build up, though they don’t necessarily indicate a heart problem. However, visible fatty lumps of cholesterol under the skin on the eyelids may predict future heart issues, according to a study published in the British journal BMJ. Researchers looked at 12,745 adults in Denmark and found a strong link between these lumps and heart disease or a heart attack five years later.

Cholesterol may protect your skin. Early skin treatment research indicates that cholesterol added as an ingredient in moisturizers could help protect skin from UV damage.

One of your friends needs a cholesterol check. The National Cholesterol Education Program recommends cholesterol screenings every five years after age 20. About one in four people have never had a cholesterol check. Chances are one of your friends, or you, needs to schedule one.

Please look through a wealth of articles on the Skymartbw Blog that addresses a number of natural ways to promote healthy living.

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