Cholesterol is one of the most popular elements contained in the blood of the human body, to which a lot of literature is devoted. However, not everyone who hears this substance understands its role in the process of the body.
Good and bad cholesterol
Cholesterol is a substance known to chemists and biologists as lipoprotein. It can be low and high density. Good cholesterol has a high density due to the fact that the bulk of the molecule falls on the protein component. Such cholesterol participates in the formation of the cell membrane, strengthens their walls and is freely delivered to target organs where building material of animal origin is needed. Good cholesterol easily moves with the blood flow through the body and does not create problems.
Low-density cholesterol is called bad. It consists mainly of adipose tissue. This makes it difficult to transport molecules through veins, vessels and arteries, due to sticking to the walls of the circulatory system. As a result, cholesterol plaques form, interfering with normal blood flow. Because of this, organs and tissues that do not receive sufficient nutrition suffer. This includes oxygen starvation, and a lack of other essential elements. Slowing blood flow causes the heart to beat faster to compensate for the lack of organ nutrition. This leads to rapid wear not only of the valves, but also of the entire heart muscle.
Why it is important to know the cholesterol level
Cholesterol, on the one hand, is a dangerous agent in the bloodstream, and on the other hand, it is an indispensable participant in metabolic processes. If its content is within the normal range, it does not threaten human life, and you can be sure that vitamin D is transported through the circulatory system in a timely manner, cell membranes receive proper nutrition, and the walls of blood vessels are not threatened by narrowing of the lumen.
In addition, cholesterol affects the work of hormone-producing organs. This means that in adolescence, cholesterol can slow down the production of sex hormones and slow down the entire puberty period.
Therefore, you need to know your cholesterol level not only in the pre-retirement age, but also in youth, especially if puberty does not occur in a timely manner. And elderly people are required to regularly check the condition of the blood, measuring not only cholesterol, but also sugar. An increase in cholesterol levels in elderly people increases the risk of destruction of vascular walls, which leads to thrombosis.
Platelets, noticing the rupture of the wall, tend to clog the damaged area to prevent bleeding. With high cholesterol, blood cells stick to each other, forming a plaque that can eventually come off and move with the blood flow throughout the circulatory system. If there is a narrow lumen on her way, the plaque will block the blood flow, which will lead to a fatal outcome.
Norms of indicators
For each age, doctors define their own limits of the norm of cholesterol in the blood. Moreover, there are limits for men and women:
- Up to 30 years in women, this indicator can vary from 3.16 mmol/l to 5.75 mmol /l; and in men of the same age, the maximum is slightly higher – up to 6.32 mmol /l.
- At the age of 30 to 40 years, values in women are considered normal from 3.37 mmol/l to 6.27 mmol/l. For men aged 30-40, these indicators are slightly higher: from 3.57 mmol/l to 6.99 mmol/l.
- Women aged 40+ are allowed to have from 3.81 mmol/l to 6.86 mmol/l. And for men – in the range from 3.91 mmol/l to 7.15 mmol/l.
- After the age of 50, women should keep cholesterol levels in the range of 4.20-7.77 mmol/l, and men – 4.09-7.15 mmol /l.
- Pensioners over 60 years old are allowed to have from 4.45 mmol / l to 7.85 mmol / l, and pensioners of the same age – from 4.12 mmol / l to 7.10.
- Women over 71 years old should try to keep cholesterol levels from 4.48 mmol / l to 7.25 mmol / l, and men of the same age 3.73-6.86 mmol/l.
Too low cholesterol, as well as high, is dangerous for human life and health.
How to keep cholesterol levels normal
Improper nutrition is a scourge of modern society. Successful employees of corporations and private small firms do not have time to have a full lunch. Fast food is increasingly preferred. Fresh vegetables and fruits fade into the background, taking out sandwiches and carbonated drinks. Construction does not lag behind the needs of modern man – not every apartment in a new building has its own kitchen, because self-cooking is going out of fashion. People in the pursuit of earnings simply do not have time to cook their own food.
This is the main reason why cholesterol is becoming one of the main problems of mankind. To keep the blood composition indicators normal, you need to include the following products in your daily diet:
- chicken meat;
- low-fat dairy products;
- oatmeal in the form of porridge or cookies.
The cooking method also matters. If possible, it is necessary to abandon fried dishes, and give preference to stewed, boiled and steamed food.
At the same time, it is necessary to abandon:
- semolina porridge;
- fried eggs;
Drug-induced cholesterol reduction
Medicine has developed a separate type of medications that allow you to keep cholesterol levels normal. These are statins. They not only fight bad cholesterol, but also prevent the occurrence of atherosclerotic plaques. One patient is prescribed statins courses, after which you can lead a normal lifestyle, after adjusting the diet. And others have to drink such drugs all their lives to protect themselves from serious complications.
It is important to remember that self–administration of drugs of this group is unacceptable, because they affect the filtration system, in particular, the liver. Only after consulting with a cardiologist can you find out your individual dose of statins.