What causes high cholesterol in humans?

It can be manufactured by the body, but I heard that consumption of animal based products in the biggest contributor to high cholesterol in humans.

Is this hype from fanatic animal lovers, or is this scientific fact?

2 comments

  • TCM Expert Team

    Cholesterol is carried through your blood, attached to proteins. This combination of proteins and cholesterol is called a lipoprotein. You may have heard of different types of cholesterol, based on what type of cholesterol the lipoprotein carries. They are:

    Low-density lipoprotein (LDL). LDL, or "bad," cholesterol transports cholesterol particles throughout your body. LDL cholesterol builds up in the walls of your arteries, making them hard and narrow.

    Very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL). This type of lipoprotein contains the most triglycerides, a type of fat, attached to the proteins in your blood. VLDL cholesterol makes LDL cholesterol larger in size, causing your blood vessels to narrow. If you’re taking cholesterol-lowering medication but have a high VLDL level, you may need additional medication to lower your triglycerides.

    High-density lipoprotein (HDL). HDL, or "good," cholesterol picks up excess cholesterol and takes it back to your liver.

    Factors within your control — such as inactivity, obesity and an unhealthy diet — contribute to high LDL cholesterol and low HDL cholesterol. Factors beyond your control may play a role, too. For example, your genetic makeup may keep cells from removing LDL cholesterol from your blood efficiently or cause your liver to produce too much cholesterol.

    Hope this helps

  • High cholesterol either results from a genetic predisposition caused by a defect in the metabolism of cholesterol, or from increased intake of cholesterol. These are scientific facts.

    This is a nice page from the Univ of Maryland about hypercholesterolemia:
    http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/hypercholesterolemia-000084.htm