High Cholesterol

(Hypercholesterolemia)

Etiology: The chemical formula for cholesterol is C27H45O-H. A monohydric alcohol. The most abundant steroid in animal tissues, especially in bile and gallstones; used as an emulsifying agent. Hypercholesterolemia is an excessive amount of cholesterol in the blood. About 80% of total body cholesterol is manufactured in the liver, the other 20% is from dietary sources. The body produces cholesterol because it is necessary in building cell membranes and sex hormones, and it aids in digestion. Cholesterol becomes a problem when excess of low-density lipoproteins (LDLs) are present in the body. It is this excess of LDLs that can trigger the formation of placque on artery walls. High density lipoproteins (HDLs) are good because they sweep the body clean of excess cholesterol. If the body has too little HDL or too much LDL, there can be a problem. The levels of these substances are greatly influenced by diet. Vegetarians have low LDL, while exercise, vitamin C, and niacin elevate the good HDL.

It is generally healthier to have a total cholesterol reading of less than 200 (combining both HDL and LDL), and the higher the HDL fraction the better. If the HDL level is 80 and the LDL level is 120, you are considered low risk for heart disease. As the HDL level decreases, your potential for heart problems intensifies, even if the total is on the low side. An HDL level under 35 is considered risky.

Cholesterol is insoluble in water. It must be attached to a protein in order for it to be carried in the blood. This link to a protein is called a lipoprotein.

CAUSES: Overindulgence in cholesterol-containing foods is dangerous, causing elevated blood cholesterol and triglycerides. These fats produce placque-filled arteries that impede flow of blood to the brain, kidneys, genitals, extremities, and the heart. High cholesterol levels are the major cause of heart disease, fatty deposits in the arteries , and cerebrovascular and cardiac insufficiency. Also, high cholesterol is implicated in gallstones, impotence, mental impairment, and high blood pressure.

Cholesterol, a yellowish, wax-like substance closely related to fat, is obtained from eating animal products. The body produces about 1000 mg. of cholesterol per day, while the average American diet supplies another 500-900 mg. This is 2 or 3 times more than should be eaten. Only 300 mg. per day should be eaten. Even if there were no cholesterol in our diet, the liver, and to a lesser degree the body cells, would produce enough cholesterol for all the normal body functions.

Other factors that also play an important part in high blood cholesterol:
Cigarette smoking
Lack of proper exercise
Emotional Stress
Obesity
A diet high in saturated fatty acids
Heredity
Coffee drinking
Sugar - high intake of sucrose
Age and sex - higher cholesterol levels are found in males and older people.
High blood pressure

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SUGGESTIONS:

There are home diagnostics kits available with new finger-stick testing for cholesterol. Always check with the doctor when high cholesterol is suspected.

A number of drugs lower blood cholesterol, but physicians have been warned by drug companies of their serious side effects. Only as a last resort should these drugs be used. Some cholesterol lowering drugs can provoke or worsen psoriasis.

Many fast food restaurants use beef tallow (fat) in their hamburgers, fish, chicken, and French-fries producing highly toxic chemical substances in these foods.

There are claims that charcoal lowers cholesterol levels. Do not consume activated charcoal daily because it also absorbs the good nutrients. Do not take charcoal with other medication.

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