- Every September 19, World Cholesterol Day is commemorated.
- French physician François Poulletier de la Salle was the first to identify this substance in 1769 in gallbladder stones.
- When there are high levels in the blood, hypercholesterolemia is generated.
There are words that are repeated frequently although sometimes their meaning is not known with certainty. A clear example is the cholesterol and although it is frequently mentioned, most patients do not really know what it works for. In fact, although it is thought to be harmful, within the classification there is a type that is beneficial to health.
To begin with, according to Mayo Clinicis defined as a lipid found in the eukaryotic plasma membrane, in body tissues and in the blood plasma of vertebrates. Although high levels of this substance in the blood have harmful consequences for health, it is essential for this membrane.
Who “discovered” cholesterol?
On the other hand, it is considered Dr François Poulletier de la Salle as “the father of cholesterol”. The French doctor first identified this substance in solid form in the gallbladder stones in 1769.
As already mentioned, cholesterol is a substance present in all cells. It helps the human body in multiple ways and is produced mainly by the liver, although it can also enter the body through food.
Now, one of the biggest risks is developing high levels of cholesterol in the blood. If that happens, the hypercholesterolemia and impacts health in different ways.
There are two types of cholesterol: LDL, commonly known as “bad”, and HDL, also called “good”.
LDL (the cholesterol that travels on low-density lipoproteins)
It is responsible for transporting cholesterol to the tissues. It is called “bad” because when its values are high it manages to penetrate the arteries causing complications.
HDL (the cholesterol that travels via high-density lipoproteins)
It is called “good” because it is the one that extracts excess cholesterol from the arteries and tissues of the body and then returns it safely to the liver, from where it is expelled through the bile.
Both types are necessary for the body; however, total cholesterol should be below 200 mg/dl and LDL below 130 mg/dl. The reason is because high levels (hypercholesterolemia) favor the appearance of risk factors associated with future cardiovascular complications, such as high blood pressure.
How can it be achieved?
- Avoiding trans fats (fried foods, refrigerated dough, vegetable shortening, coffee cream, among others).
- Limiting the consumption of saturated fats (cheese, sausage, foods prepared with lard, vegetable oil or butter, etc.).
- Eating a diet rich in good fats (avocado, nuts, seeds, olive oil, among others).
- With recurring exercise, a minimum of 30 minutes a day is recommended.
- Avoiding smoking, since prolonged exposure to smoke, actively or passively, can reduce HDL levels.
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