Cholesterol is a fatty substance carried around your body by proteins. When cholesterol and proteins comnbine, they are called lipoproteins. There are two principal types of lipoproteins:
Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) is known as bad cholesterol. LDL carry cholesterol from your liver to the cells that need it. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is known as the good cholesterol. HDL carry cholesterol away from the cells and back to the liver to be broken down. Too much bad cholesterol (LDL) in your blood can cause fatty material to build up in your arteries. The risk is particularly high if you have a high level of bad cholesterol and a low level of good cholesterol.
Having high levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) and low levels of good cholesterol (HDL) increases the risk of you having a stroke or a heart attack.
What are the causes of high cholesterol
Generally a combination of the following factors rather than one specifically
- A diet that is high in saturated fat
- Lack of exercise
- A high alcohol intake
- Kidney or liver disease.