Cholesterol is a waxy substance that can be found in all parts of your body. It aids in the production of cell membranes, some hormones, and vitamin D. The cholesterol in your blood comes from two sources: the foods you eat and your liver. However, your liver makes all of the cholesterol your body needs.
Cholesterol and other fats are transported in your blood stream in the form of spherical particles called lipoproteins. The two most commonly known lipoproteins are low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL).
Healthy Blood Cholesterol
High blood cholesterol is a significant risk factor in heart disease. Lowering blood cholesterol through increased physical activity, weight loss, smoking cessation, and proper diet lowers that risk of high blood cholesterol . However, blood cholesterol is very specific to each individual and, for that reason, a full lipid profile is an important part of your medical history and important information for your physician to have. In general, healthy levels are as follows:
- LDL - less than 130 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl)
- HDL - greater than 40 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl)
- A total cholesterol level below 200 mg/dL is considered desirable
High Cholesterol Treatments
Medical treatments for high cholesterol may include modification of risk factors (exercise and dietary habits) or cholesterol lowering medications.