If you have high cholesterol level
Cholesterol is a vital substance in the human body. Cholesterol and other lipids and proteins is а part of cell membranes. Cholesterol is a material for the formation important biologically active compounds in the human body: it's a precursor of bile acids in the liver. Cholesterol participates in the synthesis of steroid hormones of the endocrine organs, such as testosterone, estradiol, progesterone, cortisol, aldosterone. The product of its oxidation is converted into vitamin D in the skin under the ultraviolet rays effect.

The level of cholesterol in the blood is determined by the ratio of its intake from food and intestine absorption, synthesis (mainly in the liver), and excretion from the body. When body cholesterol, especially blood one, increases, it deposits in the walls of blood vessels, contributing to the narrowing of blood vessels lumen due to formation of atherosclerotic plaques and clogging.

If the block occurs in the vessels supplying blood to the heart, angina pectoris and/or acute myocardial infarction develops, if it occurs in the cerebral vessels — a brain stroke. Sometimes the vessels of the legs are affected — in this case, the person suffers bad pain and often loses the ability to move. One of the signs indicating a high risk of developing these diseases is an increased level of blood cholesterol.

What do the numbers mean in the blood test you get?

Every person older than 20 years should know his cholesterol level. In order to know it you should do a blood test, at least once every 5 years, to reveal the level of total cholesterol and its content in various lipoproteins-protein-lipid complexes transporting cholesterol to the bloodstream. Cholesterol being a part of very low density lipoproteins, transport mainly triglycerides (VLDL cholesterol); the most dangerous ones are atherogenic low density lipoproteins being called " bad " cholesterol (LDL cholesterol); and high-density lipoproteins (HDL cholesterol) protecting the arteries from cholesterol deposition (so-called "good" cholesterol).

What to do if your cholesterol level is high?

Cholesterol level can be diminished. Any preventive measures include non-drug intervention and pharmacological intervention. Non-drug intervention includes giving up smoking, increasing physical activity, weight loss, and a healthy anti-atherogenic diet.

Basic principles of anti-atherogenic therapy
  1. Reduction of fat consumption (no more than 30% of the caloric content of the diet), while saturated (solid, animal) fat should be no more than 1/3 of the total fat consumed, the remained 2/3 — unsaturated (liquid) fats: vegetable oils (sunflower, soybean corn, olive, rapeseed), fish oil, soft margarines (spreads made by a new technology and non-hydrogenated vegetable fats containing more than 2% of modified TRANS-forms of fatty acids).
  2. Consumption of cholesterol should not increase 300 mg per day. Limiting the consumption of foods containing a lot of animal fats and cholesterol, replacing them with vegetable fats, low-fat foods, fish, cereals, vegetables and fruits can reduce blood cholesterol levels by 10-12%.
  3. Carbohydrates Intake should be 50-60% of the total caloric content, mainly due to complex carbohydrates of cereals, vegetables, fruits containing 30-40 g of fiber, including water-soluble one. Amount of simple carbohydrates (sugar) should be no more than 30-60 g per day.
  4. Daily consumption of fruits and vegetables should be at least 500 g.

What to do if the diet did not give good results?

In 6-8 weeks of diet reduction of total cholesterol in the blood you should reach the target level - less than 5 mmol / l. and LDL cholesterol - less than 3 mmol / l. If not, the doctor may prescribe drugs reducing blood cholesterol. The effect of medical treatment prescribed by a doctor lasts for a long time and requires constant laboratory level monitoring all lipoproteins forms, transporting cholesterol, and possible undesirable cases to prevent them in time.

In conclusion, it should be noted that, according to the results of numerous international prevention programs, the correction of the cholesterol transport system disorder can prolong a healthy human life.