The latest statistics show that 35% of Malaysians suffer from hypercholesterolaemia, or high cholesterol level. It is the chief risk factor for cardiovascular disease, which is the leading cause of death in Malaysia for the past 30 years. And nearly 50% of deaths in the world. Frightening?
What is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a waxy-like substance produced by our liver. Do you know cholesterol is extremely important for normal body functioning, like:
- Enables the production of hormones, vitamin D and bile acids that aids the digestion of food in our intestines.
- Combat stress for those of us leading a stressful lifestyle.
- Combats cellular damage, which increases as we age.
- Ensures that the fats or oil we eat becomes soluble or "dissolves" in the water environment of our blood. If we take a lot of saturated fats, our liver has to produce more cholesterol to dissolve these types of fats, thereby increasing the amount of cholesterol in our blood stream.
Cholesterol is carried in our blood in 3 "packagings":
1) lipoprotein cholesterol, which is used by our body as a kind of bandage to cover abrasions and tears in damaged arterial walls.
(a) LDL or low-density lipoprotein (bad cholesterol)
(b) HDL or high-density lipoprotein (good cholesterol)
2) triglycerides, which our body uses by converting it into energy. It also helps ensure adequate nutrition.
What is a Healthy Cholesterol Level?
People with heart disease: LDL level < 2.6 mmol/L (100mg/dl)
People with very high risk of heart disease: LDL level < 1.8 mmol/L (70 mg/dl)
HDL levels for men should be above 40 and for women should be above 50.
- high levels of triglycerides
- kidney diseases
- liver diseases
- underactive thyroid gland.
Statistics show there's a correlation between high cholesterol level and coronary heart disease.
You're considered to be at a high risk of heart disease if you have:
- Previous heart attack/stroke
- Artery blockages in your arms, legs or neck.
- Suffering from hypertension (high blood pressure)
- Low HDL (good) cholesterol
- Family history of early heart disease
- More than 45 years old (men) or 55 years old (women).
- improve blood circulation and prevent heart attacks or strokes
- increase blood fluidity by cleansing your blood
- decrease the possibility of blood clot formation,
- maintain the function of our pancreas
- prolong the lifespan of our beta-cells (which produces insulin) by eliminating the free radicals that attack the beta-cells
- ensure the stability of blood glucose levels,