Image for High cholesterol
High cholesterol

Related Terms

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Background

  • High cholesterol, or hypercholesterolemia, is a condition in which there are unhealthily high levels of cholesterol in the blood. It is also called dyslipidemia, hyperlipidemia, and lipid disorder.
  • Too much cholesterol in the blood is a major risk for heart disease, which may lead to a heart attack, heart failure (not being able to pump enough blood to the body), and death. igh cholesterol levels are also a risk factor for stroke (a lack of blood and oxygen to the brain), which causes nerve damage.
  • Cholesterol is a soft, waxy, fat-like substance found in the bloodstream and cells of the body. Cholesterol synthesis is a naturally occurring process that functions to produce membranes for all cells in the body, including those in the brain, nerves, muscles, skin, liver, intestines, and heart. Cholesterol is also converted into steroid hormones, such as androgens and estrogens (the male and female sex hormones) and the adrenal hormones (cortisol, corticosterone, and aldosterone). In the liver, cholesterol is the precursor to bile acids that aid in the digestion of food, especially fats. Cholesterol is also used in making vitamin D.
  • The body obtains cholesterol in two ways, producing the majority of it in the body and consuming the rest in the diet in the form of animal products, such as meats, poultry, fish, eggs, butter, cheese, and whole milk. Plant foods, like fruits, vegetables, and grains, do not contain cholesterol. Fat that occurs naturally contains varying amounts of saturated and unsaturated fat.
  • Further content available for subscribers only.

Types of Cholesterol

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Risk Factors and Causes

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Signs and Symptoms

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Diagnosis and Screening

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Complications

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Treatment

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Integrative Therapies

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Prevention

  • Content available for subscribers only.

Author Information

  • Content available for subscribers only.

References

Natural Standard developed the above evidence-based information based on a thorough systematic review of the available scientific articles. For comprehensive information about alternative and complementary therapies on the professional level, go to www.naturalstandard.com. Selected references are listed below.

  • Content available for subscribers only.
The information in this monograph is intended for informational purposes only, and is meant to help users better understand health concerns. Information is based on review of scientific research data, historical practice patterns, and clinical experience. This information should not be interpreted as specific medical advice. Users should consult with a qualified healthcare provider for specific questions regarding therapies, diagnosis and/or health conditions, prior to making therapeutic decisions.