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Harmful effects of high cholesterol on different body systems

Cholesterol is a waxy chemical compound required by the body to build up cell membranes, production of hormones including estrogen and testosterone.

Liver is the main organ in human body that produces cholesterol to meet the body requirements.i.e. 80% of the cholesterol body requirements are being fulfilled from here and remaining comes from the dietary sources including poultry, meat, fish, eggs and dairy products.

Naturally, the plants don’t have any cholesterol in them. Liver has the ability to regulate its use inside the human body.

After the food intake, its cholesterol is initially absorbed from the small intestine, which is then metabolized and stored in the liver, from where it is being supplied depending on the requirements.

Cholesterol travels in the body with its carriers attached called “lipoproteins”.

The amount of cholesterol attached to their carriers divides it into two forms: Low density Lipoproteins (LDL) and High Density Lipoproteins (HDL).

LDL is the bad type having the ability to get attached to the walls of arteries forming waxy and fatty deposits of “plaque”, which is the actual cause of numerous maladies in the body while the HDL (good cholesterol) moves the excess amount to the liver from where it is being removed.

Following are the effects of High level of bad cholesterol (LDL) on different systems of human body.

  1. Cardiovascular and circulatory systems:

The presence of high level of LDL cholesterol in the body results in its accumulation in the arteries, which reduce their diameter and also make them less flexible causing a condition called atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries).

This condition causes the heart to work more for the pumping of blood through them. With the same prevailing conditions overtime leads to the cause of Coronary Heart disease.

The chest pain ‘Angina’ mostly occurs owing to the disruption of smooth flow of oxygen rich blood to the heart muscles due to the stored plaque in them.

This angina pain is the actual warning sign for any individual who are the verge of having the life threatening heart disease.

Any small part from this stored plaque can break off forming a clot, which can stop the blood flow to the heart causing Heart attack or block the supply of blood to brain (Heart Stroke).

Not only this, this dangerous plaque storage can halt the blood flow to ones arms, legs or feet leading to a disease known as Peripheral Arterial Disease (PAD).

All these illnesses which are directly linked to Hypercholesterolemia, pose a great threat to the life of any human being.

  1. Nervous system:

Cholesterol is a very crucial and integral part of the human brain, which is involved in not only the development of nerve cells but also provide protection to them, which ensure the efficient functioning of the human brain.

Contrary to its criticality for nervous system, excessive intake of this component could be very damaging to the brain.

It could result in stroke.i.e. the blockage of the blood flow to the brain by the cholesterol particles resulting in the loss of memory, body movements and other issues.

Apart from the stroke, its elevated levels in human body causes loss of memory and mental issues, owing to the formation of sticky protein deposits of beta-amyloid plaques which damages the brain in people suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.

  1. Digestive system:

Cholesterol is also very important for the normal functioning of the human digestive system, as it aids in the production of bile, a secretion that helps in the breakdown of food materials being ingested and the effective absorption of the nutrients released from it.

On the contrary, excessive amount of the cholesterol in bile, results in the formation of crystals leading to hard stones in the Gallbladder. Presence of these stones is very painful for humans and it hinders its normal functioning as well.

Persistent high cholesterol levels can cause more severe complications.

These are the brief details of the harmful effects of high level of cholesterol on different body systems. To keep you in a healthy shape, cholesterol level should be in the normal limits, in order to avoid such detrimental effects on the organs of the human body.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this article are solely of the author and do not represent ARY policies or opinion.