The moment people hear the word “Cholesterol,” thoughts of various debilitating diseases – that are most likely fatal – cross our minds. What most people are unaware of is the fact that we could not exist without it. Cholesterol has two kinds: the good (LDL) and the bad (HDL).
In a nutshell, cholesterol is a kind of essential fat or lipid that provides an outer coating for our cells, it also allows and promotes the creation of hormones (estrogen and testosterone) and Vitamin D. It also plays a key role in digestion where it is considered an essential element in bile production that aids in our digestion. Cholesterol in itself is an oil-based material that could not easily mix with our blood that is water-based; This is why our own bodies have allowed it to bind with a protein to allow it to flow freely into our bloodstream. This is now what we refer to as lipoproteins.
LDL or low-density lipoprotein is the also know as the bad cholesterol. They do not want to be bad, but that's just how they are. They carry the much-needed lipids and fat to the various parts of the body to make sure that we are like well-oiled machines. However, when LDL cholesterol levels exceeded the ideal values and outnumber HDL, that is when all the scary conditions have the chance of developing. Without enough HDL to manage LDL, these bad blobs tend to find them clinging to arteries and blood vessel walls in the form of plaque that leads to damage and an increased risk of coronary diseases . This is one of the reasons people automatically think of cholesterol as a bad thing.
HDL or high-density lipoprotein is the good cholesterol. Without delving into the scientific and technical aspects, we can think of HDL as a guardian, cleaner, and the balancing force. It is responsible for spotting wandering LDL and removing them from places where they should not be at and dropping them off to the liver where reprocessing and reusing the LDL cholesterol can take place. HDL also scrubs the inner walls of our blood vessels to keep it clean, healthy, and reduce the risk of heart diseases as a result of damages in the endothelium. It is best to have higher levels of HDL cholesterol and lower levels of LDL cholesterol.
Cholesterol is an essential component
To answer the question if cholesterol is good or bad, the answer is both. Much like any other thing of importance in our lives, we need the perfect balance of both the good and bad to ensure good health and overall wellness. If cholesterol levels rise too high than you might get it trouble. There are many factors why cholesterol levels may rise – most of these factors are under your control, meaning with proper lifestyle you can keep your cholesterol well under critical levels.