Cholesterol is an important building block in the body.
A quarter of the cholesterol is absorbed through food. The larger proportion of fats (lipids) is formed by the human organism itself. The liver in particular is involved in the production of cholesterol as a building block for hormones, bile acid and cell walls. In addition to total cholesterol, a distinction is made between the forms HDL and LDL, which consist of cholesterol, protein and fat molecules. They are called lipoproteins. An increase in cholesterol levels leads to calcification of the blood vessels (arteriosclerosis), which may result in a heart attack, stroke, circulatory disorders of the legs and brain. To determine the risk of arteriosclerosis, blood cholesterol levels are tested. These values can be subject to daily and seasonal fluctuations. A balanced diet low in cholesterol with plenty of omega-3 fatty acids (olive oil, fish), plenty of fresh vegetables, enough exercise, a reduction in body weight, avoiding nicotine and alcohol can prevent cardiovascular disease by lowering cholesterol levels.
Compared to total cholesterol, the determination of HDL and LDL is more meaningful.HDL cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein cholesterol) transports excess cholesterol from the blood vessels back to the liver. Here it is converted into bile acid and excreted via the bile. This return is vital for the body. The function of HDL is thought to have a protective effect on the blood vessels and keeps cholesterol metabolism in balance. Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL) is colloquially known as "bad cholesterol." It is responsible for transporting essential cholesterol from the liver to the various body tissues. If there is too much LDL in the blood, so-called plaques can be deposited on the walls of the blood vessels, which contain inflammatory cells as well as fats. If there are tears in the plaque surface, the area is immediately closed off by the blood platelets (thrombocytes). A heart attack occurs when there is complete occlusion of the coronary arteries. Increased cholesterol levels can occur with diabetes, obesity, specific liver diseases, and hypothyroidism. In rare cases, the cause is congenital disorders of lipid metabolism. If there is severe liver damage, malnutrition or hyperthyroidism, the cholesterol level is lowered.
The cholesterol test:
200 mg/dl should not exceed the total cholesterol in the blood. HDL is considered to be above 40 mg/dl. If the value is below this normal range, an increased risk of arteriosclerosis must be assumed. Up to 160 mg/dl is considered normal for LDL. A cholesterol test can be performed easily, without a doctor's appointment and at any time at home. Blood from the fingertip is required for the test. The sampling site must be disinfected beforehand. A lancet is used for the puncture. The blood should come out of the puncture site on its own so as not to falsify the measurement results. Disposable test strips are used for measurement. Studies have shown that the simple blood test proves to be correct 99 percent of the time. Measuring devices usually require rechargeable batteries or batteries. They are handy and can be used on the move.