Heart disease is a leading cause of death in [dc1]the UK[/dc1][dc2]Ireland[/dc2]. Having high cholesterol is recognised as being a major contributory risk factor.
What is Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance which is essential for healthy cell membranes, especially in the brain. It also insulates our nerve fibres and is used to make sex hormones, Vitamin D and bile acids. Because it cannot dissolve in the blood, cholesterol is transported to and from the cells by carriers called lipoproteins.
The two main types of lipoproteins are low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). HDL carries cholesterol away from the cells and back to the liver, where it is broken down and excreted from the body as a waste product. Therefore, HDL actually protects against heart disease and is often referred to as "good cholesterol". LDL carries cholesterol from the liver to the cells that need it. Too much LDL can lead to a build up in the arteries and can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease. For this reason, LDL is often known as the "bad cholesterol". While both HDL and LDL are important for health, you need to have them in the right balance.
Approximately twenty per cent of cholesterol in the body comes directly from our diet. The rest is made in the liver. Therefore, good liver function plays a key role in ensuring you have balanced cholesterol levels. Also, as it is is excreted through your digestive system, poor digestion can contibute to high cholesterol.
I take a comprehensive approach to supporting clients with high cholesterol including:
- Reducing foods which have been shown to raise LDL levels.
- Increasing foods which have been shown to raise HDL levels.
- Optimising liver and digestive function.
- Supporting overall cardiovascular health.
See my previous high cholesterol client feedback.