We are almost in a new weekend, usually these are days in which we can give ourselves permission to rest a little more than usual, go out to clear the mind and even sometimes commit some excesses in our diet. Yes, this is what commonly happens. There are those who wait for the weekends to eat fast food, and in this aspect we always talk about the harm that fats do to our body.
This is precisely what I want to talk about, fats or lipids, which obviously have a great classification, however in this particular post I will talk very specifically about what cholesterol is and the function it has in our body, which is not necessary nor only bad, as it is usually thought.
If you want to know more about the important function that Cholesterol has in our body, I invite you to keep reading, because what I am about to tell you will surely interest you.
As I usually do, let's start by defining what cholesterol is, and in a simple way I can say that cholesterol is a fatty substance present in the blood and in the cells of the body.
It has several functions, both metabolic and structural, since it is used as an elemental raw material for the production of certain hormones as well as an elemental part of the cell membrane of each of our cells.
We can clarify it in a general way in two types, the one colloquially known as "good" cholesterol (HDL) and the "bad" cholesterol (LDL).
The metabolism of cholesterol has a close relationship with that of carbohydrates, it is well known that excess glucose can end up becoming fat, it is something that is generally known, and it is a great truth. For this reason, as in everything, the important thing is to maintain a balance in what is ingested, to avoid entering into a very harmful imbalance.
Cholesterol metabolism is a complex process that involves several organs and tissues of the body. The following are the major organs and tissues involved in cholesterol metabolism:
Liver: is the main cholesterol-producing organ and is also responsible for its regulation and metabolism. The liver produces cholesterol and also collects it from food and other body tissues.
Intestine: The intestine is the main place where cholesterol is absorbed from the food we eat. Cholesterol absorption in the intestine is regulated by several factors, including the type and amount of fats in the diet.
Pancreas: Insulin, produced by the pancreas, plays an important role in regulating cholesterol metabolism. Insulin stimulates the absorption of cholesterol into cells and its utilization for hormone production and other bodily functions.
Adipose tissue: Adipose tissue is a major cholesterol reservoir and can release cholesterol into the blood when needed.
Cholesterol circulates in the blood bound to special proteins called lipoproteins, which help it to be transported through the bloodstream and utilized by the body's cells. The balance between cholesterol production and utilization is important for health, and too much cholesterol in the blood can be detrimental to health and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Especially when it comes to LDL.
HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol is commonly known as "good cholesterol" because it helps remove excess cholesterol from the arteries and transports it back to the liver for disposal or reuse. A high level of HDL cholesterol is considered protective against cardiovascular disease.
On the other hand, LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein) cholesterol is known as "bad cholesterol" because it can build up on artery walls and form plaque, which can restrict blood flow and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. An elevated LDL cholesterol level is detrimental to health and should be treated.
This is the most important classification at the medical level, but it is necessary to recognize the importance that cholesterol has for the body, and we can assume it from all the functions that it plays in our body, and they are the following:
Hormone production: Cholesterol is an important precursor for the production of steroid hormones, such as testosterone, estrogen and progesterone, among others.
Formation of cell membranes: Cholesterol is an important component of cell membranes and contributes to their stability and function.
Fat digestion: Cholesterol is necessary for the digestion and absorption of fats in the intestine.
Bile production: Cholesterol is used by the liver to produce bile, a substance that helps digest fats in the intestine.
Transport of nutrients: Cholesterol is an important component of lipoproteins, which transport nutrients, including cholesterol, through the blood.
So, from the question that serves as the title of this post: Is cholesterol real and only bad?, I could say that cholesterol is not only bad. Cholesterol is a necessary substance for the human body and has important functions in the body, such as hormone production and digestion.
However, when there is an excess of cholesterol in the blood, it can build up on the walls of the arteries and form plaques, which can lead to cardiovascular disease and other health problems. It is important to be aware of both "good" cholesterol (HDL) and "bad" cholesterol (LDL) and try to maintain a healthy balance of both types.
In short, cholesterol is an important and necessary component for the normal functioning of the body, but its consumption must be regulated, so as not to cause an imbalance in the body that could cause a major problem to our health.
As you can see, cholesterol has many functions in the body, including the production of hormones and being part of the cell membrane of every cell in our body. I would like to know if you knew the importance of cholesterol in our body or just considered it a harmful substance, you can leave your opinion in the comments and so we all benefit.