Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that travels through the blood. In and of itself, cholesterol isn’t bad. It actually helps create the outer coating of our cells and aids the body in making vitamin D and certain hormones.
Your body makes the cholesterol it needs. But you also get it in your diet (for example, full-fat dairy products, fried foods and fatty meat). Too much cholesterol can be dangerous. That’s because over time cholesterol and fat can build in the inner walls of the arteries that supply blood to the heart. This can cause a narrowing of the arteries (see atherosclerosis), which is a major cause of heart disease.
If you have high cholesterol, you’re certainly not alone. The good news is that high cholesterol is often preventable and treatable. Adopting a healthy diet, getting regular exercise and, in some cases, taking medication can go a long way to help lower your cholesterol and protect your heart.
Use this condition center to learn more about high cholesterol. You can also chat online with other people like you, keep up with the latest research, and get tips to help your cholesterol in check.
Universal cholesterol screenings in Slovenia help identify children at risk for familial hypercholesterolemia.
This program provides educational and peer-support resources on managing and preventing high cholesterol.
One-third of Americans has a cluster of risk factors putting them at increased risk for heart disease and diabetes, based on a review of national surveys from the last decade.
Proposed changes to our physical and social environments encourage regular physical activity for Americans throughout the course of the day.
Study highlights the benefits of exercise and sports in middle-aged adults, as well as CPR training.
Quitting is the best approach for the health of the family, but limiting children’s exposure to smoke can help.
Finnish study assesses the effects of Vitamin D and strength training in women prone to falling.
LDL – the bad cholesterol. LDL is the cholesterol that gums up your arteries and causes the buildup of blockages. It’s also the cholesterol that is toxic to the lining of your arteries, increasing the risk of a heart attack or stroke.