You have likely heard about cholesterol but do you know exactly what it is and what it does? Healthline describes cholesterol as a waxy fat-like substance that moves through the body in your blood. Cholesterol is essential for the formation of hormones, cells, and vitamin D.
Your body naturally produces cholesterol but you can also get it from eating certain foods. While cholesterol is essential for everyone, having too much can cause serious health problems such as heart disease. This is why monitoring your cholesterol levels is important. In this article, we take a look at the different types of cholesterol, the normal cholesterol levels by age, and how to test your cholesterol.
Why Do We Need Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is important for everyone. Your body needs it to perform essential duties, such as making hormones, producing vitamin D, and building cells. It is also made and used by the liver to make bile, which helps your body digest food.
Cleveland Clinic explains that your liver makes enough cholesterol to meet your body’s needs. While cholesterol is essential, having too much can cause problems. High levels of cholesterol can lead to a condition called hypercholesterolemia and having levels too low can lead to a condition called hypocholesterolemia. Cholesterol levels that are too low are uncommon but it can happen.