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Cholesterol and Health
|by Dr. Frank S. K. Barar|
In addition, it is absorbed from a fat-rich diet (animal fats & oils, milk, & egg yolk). In the body cholesterol localizes in the cell membranes and is responsible for maintaining its structural integrity. If cholesterol metabolism is defective, the cell membrane ceases to function properly and ruptures easily. The steroid hormones in the body are also derived from cholesterol which provides the basic chemical skeleton.
Lipids exist in the blood as cholesterol and triglycerides, and smaller amounts as phospholipids, fatty acids and fatty acid esters. Free fatty acids (FFA) are bound to plasma albumin, while the other lipids form complexes with proteins (albumin & globulins).
Raised LDL cholesterol levels predispose the individual to disorders like coronary artery disease, hypertension, stroke, and gallstones. Whereas, a low level of HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) is also associated with the above mentioned disorders, i.e. HDL has a protective role to play. Lately, a new Harvard University study, based on 100,000 subjects found that HDL (so called good cholesterol) did not effectively lower the risk of a heart attack.
Drugs available to treat hyperlipidaemia include cholestyramine, clofibrate, gemfibrozil, lovastatin, atorvastatin, and simvastatin. However, diet and exercise are the best initial measures to prevent complications of hyperlipidaemia. Diet low in saturated fat with vitamins maintains cholesterol levels within limits. Foods rich in polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) are preferred. Gugulipid, an Indian indigenous drug, safflower oil, and fish oils also have a protective role to play.
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Comments on this Article
Dr. Frank S.K. Barar
10/03/2012 03:21 AM
10/02/2012 01:23 AM
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