Not many people understand what cholesterol is and its role in maintaining a healthy body. The common misconception on this fat-like substance is that it is harmful but there is more to cholesterol than most people think.
Cholesterol, a basic structural component of cells, is manufactured by the liver and comes from the food we eat. It has two types— high-density lipoproteins (HDL) or the “good cholesterol” and low-density lipoproteins (LDL) or the “bad cholesterol.”
The HDL is called good cholesterol because aside from taking the excess cholesterol back to the liver to flush it out of the body, it also has several vital functions to keep it in right condition. This type of cholesterol is used by the body glands to produce hormones and it also assists the liver in yielding bile acids for fat digestion. Most importantly, it is one fundamental element in the body’s cell membranes and structure.
The LDL, on the other hand, is the bad cholesterol because it gathers in the walls of blood vessels. The body may be put at risk because of the blockage it causes. It is the LDL that causes health problems like heart disease and high blood pressure.
An excess of bad cholesterol is capable of forming plaque inside the arteries, making these passageways narrower. This plaque may eventually rupture resulting to blood clots. Subsequently, the blood will have difficulty in flowing through the arteries, which will then impede in the proper circulation of the blood.
Once this happens, the person may experience peripheral arterial disease. It triggers painful cramps, leg numbness or weakness and sores in the lower body parts that don’t easily heal.
Stroke is another health condition caused by high levels of bad cholesterol. This happens when blood does not reach the brain properly. This causes the brain cells to slowly die due to the deprivation of oxygen.
But the most common consequence of high levels of bad cholesterol is a heart attack. When plaque builds up through the coronary arteries, a section of the heart muscle will be blocked and the blood flow will be disrupted causing cardiac arrest.
Thus, it is important that people with predisposition to heart disease, strokes or hypertension should go for regular check-ups and maintain a consistent treatment regimen.
“The cases of people with high cholesterol levels in the country are alarming. For Filipinos at age 20 and up, 47 percent was reported to be suffering from high cholesterol. What’s more worrying is the fact that people are not aware of it because it shows no symptoms until they experience its consequences later on,” said Tomas Marcelo Agana 3rd, President and CEO of Pharex.
He added, “There is a need to help people take control of their body’s cholesterol level more easily. That is why we developed its 15-day Compliance Pouch or Pharex CP15. We are bringing them Pharex CP15 because we believe that people who are suffering from chronic illnesses like hypercholesterolemia and hypertension should be able to consistently take their medication so that they will be able to have a better quality of life,” he concluded.