Cholesterol refers to organic compounds, lipids that enter the body with food, as well as synthesized liver. One of the types of natural fatty alcohols, cholesterol is needed to ensure the normal life of a person.
Excess cholesterol in the blood - the primary link in the process of atherosclerotic, or cholesterol, plaques in the blood vessels. Normally, the level of total cholesterol found in the blood as an element of lipoprotein is in the range of 3.6-5.2 mmol / l, and with age due to physiological processes the upper limit of the norm increases depending on the age and the sex of the patient. With more indicators exceeding the upper limit, the risk of atherosclerosis increases, significantly increasing when the index reaches 6.2 mmol / l and more.
Circulating in the blood, cholesterol, with its excess, has the property of sticking together and accumulating in the arteries. Clumps or plaques obstruct the movement of blood, creating obstacles to blood flow and narrowing the lumen of the vessels, which causes oxygen starvation and insufficient blood supply to tissues and organs. With the disintegration of some of the plaques contribute to the formation of a thrombus, which provokes thromboembolism, heart attacks, strokes and can lead to death.
Types of cholesterol
Cholesterol in the blood is contained as a combination of lipid and protein, lipoprotein. Depending on the type of complex compound in cholesterol, high molecular weight lipoproteins ("good" cholesterol) and low molecular weight ("bad") are distinguished in the total, determined by blood analysis. The ratio of good and bad lipoproteins is called the coefficient of atherogenicity, calculating it by the formula: the difference between total and high-molecular cholesterol is divided by the index of low-molecular lipoprotein. The optimal ratio is 3 or less. With a score of 5, there is a high risk or development of atherosclerosis.
Lowering blood cholesterol levels
The practice of lowering cholesterol with medicines showed that when taking one of the most effective substances - statins - the level of total cholesterol decreases, and "good" (by 30%) and "bad" (by 50%), which negatively affects the body. In pharmacological practice, two groups of drugs are used for therapy - fibrates and statins. Fibrates are considered effective in combination with statins.
Drug administration is prescribed for a strictly defined group of patients: with a heart attack, stroke, acute coronary syndrome or a heart surgery in history, and with a hereditary risk of developing diseases