Cholesterol 101: Where is Cholesterol Found?

Cholesterol 101: Where is Cholesterol Found?

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that one out of three Americans adults have high low-density lipoprotein 1.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that one out of three Americans adults have high low-density lipoprotein 1. Is cholesterol bad in itself? No. But when there is an imbalance of "bad" cholesterol and “good" cholesterol, that’s when problems will start to arise.


What is cholesterol?

You might have heard of it, but you might not know exactly what it is. Cholesterol is a waxy fat that floats around in your bloodstream. It’s naturally made within your body, but it also exists in animal-based foods. The function of cholesterol in our system is to form cell membranes and provide for the body by making bile to digest food. It also helps produce certain hormone and vitamin D. The liver takes care of these functions by producing enough cholesterol for the body.


What increases “bad” cholesterol?

There are many factors that can increase risk of bad cholesterol and heart diseases. These include:

  • Weight: People who have a body mass index (BMI) of 30 or will have increased risk of high cholesterol. Weight loss is often associated with decreasing risk of heart diseases and maintaining a healthy weight can help with cholesterol health.
  • Exercise: HDL (or “good” cholesterol) levels can be boosted with exercise and physical activity.
  • Smoking: Cigarette smoking damages the walls of your blood vessels, creating an environment where fatty deposits can easily accumulate. Smoking may also lower levels of HDL.
  • Age: Your body chemistry changes along with age. As you get older, the liver becomes less efficient at removing LDL cholesterol.
  • Diabetes: High blood sugar, high levels of very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) and lower HL cholesterol go hand in hand. High blood sugar also damages the lining of arteries.
  • Diet: Eating foods containing unsaturated fats such as baked cookies and crackers, saturated fats found in bacon and cheese.
  • FH: Familial hypercholesterolemia is when a genetic mutation causes the walls of the arteries to narrow and thin from a young age. Your family history and genes may greatly affect your cholesterol.


    Why does cholesterol matter?

    When low-density level cholesterol (LDL) levels increase, these fatty deposits start to form plaque and clog up the lines of your arteries and start creating blockages. When the blood vessels that carry oxygen away from your heart to other areas of the body get stuck, problems occur.

    High cholesterol has no symptoms, but can put you at risk of heart attacks, stroke, angina, and other heart diseases. Just how we can most effectively lower LDL has remained controversial. Statin drugs can help but come with a lot of complications. According to a study by Harvard Medical School, they cause muscle aches and increase risk of diabetes. Doctors often point at a change in diet and lifestyle when trying to change cholesterol levels, but that’s not always easy to get started and keep to. Let’s explore the different options we can take in lowering cholesterol, from diets, pharmaceutical drugs, to supplements.


    Statins: How do they work?

    Statins works by lowering a substance that is used by the body to produce cholesterol. It also used to reduce risk factors for cardiovascular diseases. Doctors often prescribe these medications to patients at high risk of heart attacks, angina or coronary heart disease. It works by blocking a substance your liver needs to make cholesterol, making it possible for your liver to remove cholesterol from your blood.

    You might have heard of them or even tried them. Statins include atorvastatin (Lipitor), fluvastatin (Lescol XL), lovastatin (Altoprev), pitavastatin (Livalo), pravastatin (Pravachol), rosuvastatin (Crestor, Ezallor) and simvastatin (Zocor, FloLipid). While effective at what it is meant to do, many people are allergic or have reported bad reactions to them.


    What are the side effects I might experience from statins?

    Muscle pain from statins might feel like a sore, weakness in your muscles. Some people feel mild effects, whereas others feel inhibited from doing their daily work. Only rarely do people suffer life-threatening muscle damage (rhabdomyolysis) from statins. Although rare, rhabdomyolysis can cause liver damage, kidney failure, and death. It can occur when statins are taken in combination with other drugs or taken in high doses.

    Another reported side effect is liver damage. An increase in the level of enzymes often signal liver inflammation. In most cases, this is not too much of a problem.

    There is a small risk that blood glucose levels may increase with statin use. Although the risk is small, this may lead to developing type 2 diabetes. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has issued this warning that on statin labels.


    Diet: What should I pay attention to?

    Your doctor may have suggested a balanced diet and exercise as the cornerstones of good health. Paying attention to your food intake and monitoring your dietary cholesterol intake can improve your heart health.

    Not All Fats Are Created Equal

    Certain fats are linked to increased LDL levels. Saturated fats often found in animal products such as meat, dairy products, cheese and butter—are linked to LDL cholesterol levels. These saturated fats are solid or wax-like at room temperature. Trans fats are when liquid fats are processed to become solid. Trans fats are often used in fast foods and fried foods, and often help extend the shelf life of processed foods. Transitioning to a low-fat diet can be as easy as trading in the cream in your coffee for low-fat milk or soy milk.

    While limiting saturated fat and trans-fat, an increase in foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids and healthy fats can be beneficial to your heart health. They do not affect LDL cholesterol but can reduce blood pressure. Instead of fatty meats or red meat, try incorporating fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, or into your meals at least twice a week. Recent studies show that small amounts of healthy fats from foods such as avocados and tree nuts are also beneficial for heart health.

    What should I eat for a healthy heart?

    This information might be overwhelming.  From cutting out tasty foods to taking medications–it might seem like lowering high cholesterol comes at a high cost. If this doesn’t sound appetizing for you, you can start by making these changes for a low-cholesterol diet:

    • Soluble fiber: There are two types of fiber—soluble, which dissolves as a gel in water, and insoluble, which lowers cholesterol absorption. For example, foods such as kidney beans, whole grains, lentils, brown rice, or oatmeal provide health benefits that keep you full for longer and flush out excess cholesterol.
    • Vegetable oil: Try replacing vegetable oil with butter when cooking your lean meat. Tip: Extra-virgin olive oil is less processed and is easy to incorporate to your heart-healthy diet. Packed with rich antioxidants and containing forms of plant sterols, it can aid in lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol while not affecting the “good” (HDL) cholesterol.
    • Fruits and vegetables: Increasing intake of fruits and vegetables will help you feel more satiated while increasing your fiber intake. Apples, citrus fruits, and high fiber vegetables are low in calories and can help maintain a healthy weight.


      Supplements: Are they right for me?

      Not everybody has can make healthy lifestyle changes, commit to regular exercise and stick to a strict healthy diet. Luckily, there are supplements that can aid with lowering cholesterol. 

      Red Yeast Rice: With roots dating back to ancient China, red yeast rice has been used for medicinal purposes for a long time in history. Red yeast rice comes from white rice that has been fermented with yeast. Research shows that this natural ingredient contains a compound that lowers LDL cholesterol levels effectively.

      • CoQ10: The human body makes CoQ10 naturally for cellular energy. It functions as a powerful antioxidant to help fight free radicals that damage cells. However, as your body ages, it produces less and less CoQ10 which is often correlated with heart problems.
      • Grape Seed Extract: Made from removing, drying, and processing the seeds of grapes, this supplement contains high antioxidant content. Asides from aiding in heart health, it has also can also reduce blood pressure, increase blood flow, and support the brain.

      Adding these supplements into your daily routine can have great effects for your heart and overall health. Naturachol Supplements is a great way to get all these benefits without the hassle of taking multiple vitamins throughout the day and making huge changes to your lifestyle.

      Most importantly, it achieves similar effects as statin drugs in lowering cholesterol, but without the side effects. It is non-GMO, preservative-free, and vegan friendly. NaturaChol fits your life, not change it.


      Money-back guarantee: We hope you will love Naturachol as much as we do. If for any reason you are not completely satisfied, click here for returns.

      *There is no guarantee of specific results, and the results may vary from person to person. The statements on this website has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Dr. Tarique Perera is not responsible for side-effects of any kind incurred as a result of consuming Naturachol. The average reduction in total cholesterol achieved was 20% in the following clinical study: The Combination of Red Yeast Rice Extract, Oatmeal and Olive Oil Reduces Serum Cholesterol. Journal of Human Nutrition 4(1):130-135 (2021).