Contrary to popular belief, the body needs a certain amount of cholesterol to function optimally. It is only when the body produces an excessive amount of cholesterol that you compromise your wellness. Only then, do doctors deem it as high cholesterol. It is also important to note that the amount in our body is comprised of two types of lipoproteins, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL), which both perform very different roles in the body.
YOUR BODY’S NEED FOR “GOOD” CHOLESTEROL
To further put this into context, low-density lipoprotein is susceptible to free radical damage and can cause heart disease. High-density lipoprotein, on the other hand, protects against heart disease by helping to remove cholesterol from blood vessel walls and transporting it back to the liver.
High-density lipoprotein also prevents clogged arteries, strokes, heart attacks, and end-stage renal disease (kidney failure). If your amount is high, this generally means that your body is producing an excessive amount of low-density lipoprotein and not enough high-density lipoprotein. Although prescription medication like statins can help lower cholesterol that is too high, there are several ways to go about lowering it naturally.
KEY DIFFERENCES BETWEEN HDL AND LDL
To better understand how low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL) work in the body, we should first take a look at the role of the liver. One of the primary functions of the liver is to produce cholesterol, a process that requires combining cholesterol and fat in very-low-density lipoproteins (VLDL) and transporting it to various organs and cells.
During this time, the liver also releases HDL (high-density lipoprotein) to help carry unused cholesterol back to the liver. Also known as reverse cholesterol transport, this process helps prevent clogged arteries and other forms of heart disease. In short, LDL helps the body function properly while HDL, on the other hand, works to combat the ill-effects of excessive amounts of LDL.