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Cholesterol: how to keep it under control

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Keeping cholesterol under control is vital to avoid the onset of certain diseases. Precisely for this reason, let’s see together how to prevent the increase in “bad cholesterol”.

The cholesterol it is largely produced by our body. Roberto Uliano, nutritionist in Naples explains:

“It is a fatty and waxy substance, insoluble in water and is an essential component of cell membranes, some hormones, vitamin D, essential for development and growth because it regulates the absorption of calcium and phosphates, and bile salts necessary for the digestion of dietary fats “.

It is summarized from liver, but a variable portion, which depends on the type of diet, is instead absorbed by the food. Under normal conditions, the liver reduces or increases its cholesterol production depending on the amount of cholesterol that enters with food.

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Of course present in the blood, transported by large molecules called “lipoproteins”, cholesterol can circulate in the vessels and reach the fat deposits to be accumulated or reach the liver to be eliminated. The most important lipoproteins belong to two basic groups: and HDL and LDL. And HDL proteins commonly called “Good cholesterol” and the LDL called “bad cholesterol” they tend to deposit it on artery walls thus favoring the formation of plaques over time (the first sign of atherosclerosis).

Who is most exposed?

With values ​​at guard levels and an acceptable amount of good cholesterol (never less than 50/55 mg per dl of blood in women and 40/45 in men) don’t worry. The situation changes when one or more risk factors are added to a high level of cholesterol in the blood, such as familiarity (when the father, mother, uncle or another close relative has hypercholesterolemia or suffers from cardiovascular diseases) , obesity, the diabetes, hypertension, one lifestyle excessively sedentary associated with incorrect nutrition.

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The blood test

If you experience the presence of these factors they can predispose you to the risk of disease of the arteriesin general, the specialist prescribes periodic blood checks. The first check-up should be performed around the age of twenty to have a reference value, but if you belong to a family with cases of hypercholesterolomy, the check must be done from the first years of life. Today and considered normal a level of total cholesterol below 200 mg for each deciliter of blood, to the upper limits when it is between 200-239 mg/dl, at risk and in this case the controls must be intensified and the lifestyle corrected according to medical advice.

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The four rules always valid

First fight the Sedentary life: aerobic physical activity (running, cycling, cross-country skiing, swimming), practiced to one medium-high intensity, he’s able to increase good cholesterol.

Second: no smoking: carbon monoxide, contained in tobacco, increases the ability of cholesterol to penetrate the arterial wall and reduces HDL and good cholesterol.

Third: keep it under control stress. Researchers at University College London have noticed that the less a person is able to defend themselves from stress, the more it raises their cholesterol levels. In fact, it seems that the norepinephrine which increases during stress reduces the liver’s ability to metabolize the cholesterol present in our body.

Finally, eat as much as possible friendly foods of our Welfare, see fruits, vegetables, legumes, garlic that promote greater blood fluidity.

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