What is Cholesterol – Different Types of Cholesterol

Before knowing about the types of cholesterol let us take a look at what is cholesterol and what are the functions of cholesterol.

What is cholesterol?

Fat or lipid produced by liver, required for the normal functioning of your body system is known as cholesterol. Cholesterol basically exits in outer layer of your every body cell and performs number of functions in your body.

What is cholesterol

What are the functions of cholesterol?

The various functions of cholesterol are mentioned below:

  • It plays a significant role in determining which molecules can pass into cell and which cannot.
  • It helps in building and maintaining cell membrane and prevents crystallization of hydrocarbons in membrane.
  • It is important for the production of hormones like aldosterone, cortisol, corticosterone and others which are released by adrenal glands.
  • It also plays a pivotal role in production androgens and estrogens which are sex hormones.
  • It is helpful in converting sunshine into vitamin D which is important for your body.
  • It is essential in production of bile.
  • It insulates nerve fibers
  • It is indeed important for metabolism of water soluble vitamins such as A, E, D and K.

The high level of cholesterol in body can pose number of ailments, infections and diseases in our body. The various causes that lead to high levels of cholesterol in body are obesity, smoking, sedentary lifestyle and alcohol etc. There are supplements such as Policosanol which are used for lowering the cholesterol levels effectively.

What are types of cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a natural occurring substance needed by body for its normal functioning.  There are three different types of cholesterol present in body which circulates in your bloodstream and they are mentioned below!

  • High-density lipoprotein or HDL: HDL is one amongst others which carries carrier protein and transports cholesterol to distant parts of body such as liver. The liver processes HDL to get rid of cholesterol from body. It is due to this function of HDL, it is often regarded as ‘good cholesterol’.  Remember that a higher level of this good cholestrol magically reduces the risk of development of cardiovascular ailments in body.
  • Low-density lipoprotein or LDL: It is often considered as ‘bad cholesterol’ and puts a person on a greater risk of stroke, cardiac arrest and heart disease. LDL makes up the majority of cholesterol in blood and deposits in the arterial walls and damaging them very badly.
  • Very low density lipoprotein or VLDL: This lipoprotein contains maximum number of triglycerides and is considered as ‘bad fat’ besides with LDL. High level of VLDL in body increases a person’s risk of developing heart ailments and strokes. VLDL is not commonly known as there is no straight way to measure it just like HDL and LDL are measured. It is more often than not measured in terms of percentage of triglyceride levels.