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what are the effects on cholesterol

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Usually we tend to link smoking with the onset of cancer or lung disease, but to be honest, the damage that smoking causes to our health is much more and cholesterol can also be affected.

Sigarette (Pixabay)

Smoking is really bad vizio and for some people, quitting is really hard. Think about the effects negative that this addiction can have on the body, perhaps it can help even the avid smoker to fight the desire to light the next cigarette.

In fact, smoking is not only the main cause of lung disease, but it can increase the risk of stroke, heart disease and other heart-related problems.

The risk increases because cigarette smoke contains chemicals that can damage blood vessels and at the same time increase the cholesterol. This is why smoking can affect cholesterol levels. Let’s try to understand better how.

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Relationship between smoking and cholesterol: the damage is considerable

smoking cholesterol damage
Man who doesn’t smoke vs man who smokes (Pixabay)

Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is naturally produced by the liver to perform various functions: creating cells, digesting food, and producing hormones. In addition to that produced by our body, we can accumulate excess cholesterol with the intake of certain foods that contain it. Genes can also influence cholesterol levels.

Keep in mind that cholesterol “travels” in the blood thanks to two types of lipoproteins. the low density lipoprotein (LDL), also called “bad cholesterol”, and high density lipoprotein (HDL), also called “good cholesterol”. The former carry cholesterol from the liver to the cells of the body. The latter eliminate the former by transporting them from the tissues to the liver. DLDs (which according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH) should be at a level of 100 mg / dL) are called bad cholesterol because they can lead to narrowing of the arteries as a result of the accumulation of a substance called plaque. This phenomenon can lead to heart attack, peripheral arterial disease or stroke.

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HDL, on the other hand, they can remove LDL by transporting it to the liver where it will be excreted from the body. A healthy HDL level is above 40 mg / dL for men and 50 mg / dL for women. In total, the sum of LDL and HDL should be less than 200 mg/dL. But let’s try to understand how smoking can to influence cholesterol levels. A Research has identified a compound called acrolein in cigarette smoke. This substance prevents HDL in the blood from carrying LDL from the arteries to the liver. As a result, not only does smoking increase bad cholesterol, it also impairs the ability of good cholesterol to reverse the damage caused by LDL. Smoking is also able to lower the level of good cholesterol and increase triglyceride levels.

Unfortunately, according to some studies, the negative effects on cholesterol are found not only in adult smokers but also in young people. It should not be forgotten that passive smoking is also harmful to our health, increasing the onset of certain risks, in particular for blood vessels and the heart.

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Now that we have ascertained how much this bad habit can cost us in terms of health, it can be useful to resort to some therapies to stop, which today are many and really effective.

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