Cholesterol - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Cholesterol

Cholesterol is an important fatlike substance (lipid) that is made in the liver and is necessary for the body to function. It also is found in foods made from animal products (meat and dairy products).

Cells need cholesterol to function. However, excess cholesterol in the blood builds up in blood vessels and may lead to hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis), heart disease, and stroke. People who have diabetes are at higher risk of developing atherosclerosis.

There are two main forms of cholesterol:

  • Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is called "bad cholesterol." Most efforts to lower cholesterol are aimed at reducing levels of LDL.
  • High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is called "good cholesterol." It can help remove excess cholesterol from the blood vessels.
The cholesterol level can be checked with a blood test. If it is too high, lifestyle changes (such as diet changes and exercise) may help lower it. Some people may need medication to lower their cholesterol levels and reduce their risk of heart disease.