Cholesterol and Ischemic heart diseases

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Here I want to pose few important questions in front of you.

What is cholesterol? What is ischemic heart disease? What role cholesterol plays in the causation of this disease? How deadly this disease can be?

Basically cholesterol is derived from three words chole meaning bile, stereos meaning solid and -ol meaning alcohol. So, cholesterol is a waxy steroid of fats.

Ischemia means decreased blood supply to any organ of the body. So, ischemic heart disease results due to decreased blood supply to heart. Coronary arteries are responsible for the blood supply of the heart. Atherosclerosis causes narrowing of coronary arteries and thus leads to ischemic heart disease.

Elevated blood cholesterol is the predominant cause of atherosclerosis. So it is mandatory to tightly monitor the blood cholesterol levels and keep them in normal range of 140 to 200 mg/dL. Healthy lifestyle plays very important role in maintaining normal blood cholesterol level. Healthy lifestyle means taking balanced diet and carrying out physical activity regularly.

Diet containing omega 3 fatty acids is considered to be the best diet for cholesterol control and addition of good lipids in the body. Omega 3 fatty acids are present in abundance in the plant and marine oils. Evidence shows that incidence of ischemic heart disease and stroke has decreased in the individuals on diet containing omega 3 fatty acids.

One of the factors that prevent the occurrence of ischemic heart disease is High density lipoprotein (HDL). It is also called as good cholesterol. It prevents the deposition of unnecessary lipid on the vascular wall and thus prevents the ischemic episodes. High density lipoprotein (HDL) can be increased in our body by

u Aerobic exercises

u Weight loss

u Quit smoking

u Avoiding use of trans saturated fatty acids especially present in many vegetable oils

u A drink of alcohol per day (not more than that)

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Author: Dr Ahmad

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