Cholesterol Essay

1003 words - 5 pages

Cholesterol can be linked to many diseases, but what most people don’t know is that cholesterol is actually essential for all animal life to exist. Without it, all animals, including humans, would cease to exist. Without a sufficient amount of cholesterol in the formation of an animal, birth defects occur because the fetus did not have enough cholesterol to function normally. There is actually “healthy” cholesterol and “bad” cholesterol. The “healthy” cholesterol is the approximate 1,000 mg the body needs to function, whether it be produced by the body itself or consumed through the diet. The “bad” cholesterol is all the excess that is ingested through the diet that our body cannot use nor ...view middle of the document...

This can eventually block an artery and lead to a heart attack which can be fatal. Stroke is when a blood vessel that carries oxygen or nutrients becomes blocked with cholesterol (plaque), depriving the brain, and starts to kill that part of the brain. Peripheral vascular disease is when fatty deposits build up in blood vessels and affect blood circulation, mainly to the extremities. Type 2 diabetes increases the likelihood of narrowing arteries and high blood pressure is when the arteries become so narrow and harden due to plaque, the heart pumps faster and harder to get all the needed blood, oxygen, and nutrients throughout the body. High cholesterol doesn’t show symptoms until it is too late, so the only way to know cholesterol levels is through blood tests. The only symptom of high cholesterol that could possibly make someone aware of cholesterol levels are gallstones, or clumps of cholesterol that hardens and get stuck in the gallbladder.
Cholesterol can be made in two ways; in the body and in our diet. In our body, proteins that sense cholesterol in cells will sense low levels and will signal the genes to produce more. Almost all the cells in the human body produce the cholesterol they need, but the liver is an expert at this. The liver cells produce so much excess cholesterol, it distributes all of its excess to cells that produce cholesterol slower. In our diet, things that are made from animals, like butter, cheese, milk, or anything made with these, contain cholesterol because it comes from an animal that needed cholesterol to live. Fruits, vegetables, and grains do not contain any cholesterol since they are not made from and living things that need cholesterol to survive.
High cholesterol levels may not necessarily come from a high-fat diet or an excited liver. It can also be genetic. There could be a few problematic genes that produce too much cholesterol, but a well-balanced diet, exercise, and a healthy life can take care of high levels of...

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