What Causes High LDL Cholesterol | Want to Nip That LDL Problem In the Bud?
What causes high LDL cholesterol? Some might say it’s your diet, lifestyle, or genes. So, what is the truth?
Read on to discover the truth on the real causes of excessive LDL cholesterol…
Cholesterol Production in the Body
Cholesterol is produced in your liver and small intestinal lining. As much as 75% of it is produced in the liver.
There are two main types of cholesterol: LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and HDL (high-density lipoprotein). In order to remain healthy, the body should be able to effectively excrete LDL through the liver and keep a high level of HDL in the bloodstream.
A significant portion of cholesterol in your bloodstream could be contributed by cholesterol-forming foods (which may or may not have bad cholesterol in them) that you eat. Conservative estimates are around 25%, but some recent studies show that it could be significantly higher.
Since fats don’t mix well with our blood, the liver produces bile salts, which dissolves these fats into small globules and transform them into simple molecules using the lipase produced by your pancreas. These then are absorbed in your digestive tract, and then are either utilized by the body for energy or are stored as fats.
Purpose of Cholesterol and Fats
It is not the quantity of fat that you take in that you should be concerned about. You should be more concerned on the type of fat that is contained in your food. Good and healthy fats, like what is found in almonds and coconuts, are healthy and needed by our bodies.
Fats and cholesterol are used by the body for energy and production of male and female sex hormones. They are also important to help your body cells with their daily processes; and they are also involved in Vitamin D and bile salt production.
What Causes High LDL Cholesterol?
People can develop high cholesterol because of family history or genetic defects, but surprisingly it's not typically the major risk factor many believe it to be. Diabetics and people with thyroid problems are also highly inclined to heart diseases and other circulatory diseases.
Being overweight along with poor lifestyle habits are predisposing factors to having a cholesterol problem.
But in the majority of cases, it's a poor diet that contributes the most to excess blood cholesterol levels.
Some of the worst offending foods for your cholesterol are:
- Any and all trans fats
- Fried foods
- Foods high in simple carbs
- Processed meats
Do You Need Medical Intervention for High Cholesterol?
If your blood test results show an increased in your total serum cholesterol or LDL, your doctor will usually recommend anti-cholesterol drugs, like simvastatin. You are also highly encouraged to change your lifestyle and eating habits. Other laboratory tests could also be done to determine other underlying diseases.
I’m not saying that you shouldn’t follow your doctor's advice. But, the problem is that most medicinal drugs almost always have mild to serious side effects attached to them. Drugs are foreign substances to our bodies.
For example, statin drugs can cause muscle destruction and muscle weakness, which may just seem like a nuisance at first. But it's a warning sign of possible life-threatening kidney damage if not given early intervention.
Are Natural Herbal Supplements a Healthier Option?
Combined with healthy low-cholesterol diet and regular exercise, it is also a great decision to take natural herbal supplements to combat bad cholesterol. There are lots of products in the market that are quick and effective. Plus, you don’t have to worry about major side effects like you do with the prescription drugs.
Remember that not all herbal products will do. Be sure that the product you buy comes from a reputable and trusted company. Look for ingredients that are proven to work in double-blind studies.
Also remember that high total serum cholesterol is "okay" if compensated with a high HDL level and relatively lower triglyceride level. To get a better understanding about blood cholesterol, increase your understanding and awareness on what causes high cholesterol and take pro-active measure as much as possible.