Cholesterol Myths

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Here are some common myths associated with cholesterol.

Cholesterol is inherently bad.? Actually, you couldn’t survive without cholesterol. Cholesterol is produced by the liver to ?waterproof? cell membranes, and help produce vitamin D and acids that help digest fat. It also helps produce hormones such as testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone.

Low cholesterol is always a sign of good health. Cholesterol is carried throughout your body by molecules called lipoproteins: ?low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). Low levels of LDL cholesterol are usually healthy; but people who develop cancer typically have lower LDL prior to diagnosis than those who don?t get cancer. Clinical trials found a link between low LDL and cancer.?

High LDL means you could be headed for a heart attack. Studies have shown that nearly 75 percent of people hospitalized for a heart attack have LDL (bad) cholesterol levels that fall within current recommended targets, and close to half have ?optimal? levels. Levels of protective HDL (good) cholesterol have dropped in heart attack patients over the last several years, probably due to the rise in obesity, diabetes, and insulin resistance. Only 2 percent of the patients studied had ideal levels of both LDL and HDL.

?Eggs clogs up arteries. It?s true that eggs are high in dietary cholesterol, with 200 mg found mainly in the yolk. Research shows, however, that three or more eggs a day boosts blood concentrations of both good and bad cholesterol.

The best way to tell if your cholesterol is too high is to have it checked every three years, starting at age 20, or more often if advised by your health care provider.?A Specialty Care Services?home care nursing professional can help prepare meals and assist with?exercises to help clients maintain healthy cholesterol levels.