The Plaque Thickens: Cholesterol and Atherosclerosis

CHAPTER 2

  

The Plaque Thickens: Cholesterol and Atherosclerosis

PART 1

What Exactly Is Cholesterol?


Cholesterol is a soft, waxy substance that’s found naturally in every cell in your body. It’s a type of lipid. Lipids include fats, oils, and waxes and won’t dissolve in water. Cholesterol is necessary for your body’s health, because it helps to make cell membranes, digest fats, and produce vitamin D and various steroid hormones. Your bloodstream transports cholesterol throughout your body bound to water-soluble particles called lipoproteins. READ MORE

All the cholesterol you need for good health can be produced by your body. Any cholesterol you ingest from the food you eat is extra, and unneeded by your body. If you have unhealthy lifestyle habits, like smoking, eating unhealthy foods, or not getting enough exercise, then cholesterol, along with numerous other substances, can build up in your arteries as arterial plaques. Plaques can have serious health consequences. LESS
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