He is considered an enemy, most people fear him and call him bad. This is, of course, about cholesterol. But is he terrible? What should be the level of cholesterol in the blood, what is its norm in men, why is it not enough or is it too much? What causes a shortage and high content of substances and how to deal with it?
If a friend was suddenly: why does cholesterol begin to harm the body?
In fact, this component is important for health. And he becomes an enemy only when his concentration exceeds the established limits. Cholesterol is a substance that is contained in the cell membranes and is the “base” material for them. It performs many responsible missions: it regulates the metabolism, promotes the production of sex hormones, participates in the work of the kidneys, spleen, bone marrow, and influences the formation of vitamin D.
"But this is the cause of strokes and heart attacks!" - you will say, and you will be absolutely right. The fact is that cholesterol is a part of special elements - lipoproteins. They may have low and high density. The second (HDL) are considered "good", they are necessary for the functioning of the body. But the first - LDL - extremely harmful. It is they who settle on the walls of the arteries and form atherosclerotic plaques.
If the level of "low" cholesterol rises, then it is necessary to sound the alarm, as it will begin to be deposited in the vessels, gradually narrowing their lumen to critical values.
Most often, the "bad" cholesterol rises in men aged 40 to 55 years. But as early as 35-40 years old, they should monitor its level, because atherosclerosis is an asymptomatic problem. Guessing that this dangerous disease is progressing in the body is impossible without a special examination.
How to determine how much in the body of the "enemy"?
The content of the substance is established exclusively with the help of biochemical analysis of blood. His take on an empty stomach. Evaluation of the result is carried out by three indicators:
- useful (HDL);
- bad (LDL).
The blood cholesterol norm in men is in a certain range. If the figures go beyond it, then we can assume the presence of diseases.
Blood cholesterol: the norm in men of different ages
Averages for men are:
- the average rate of total cholesterol in men’s blood is 3.6–5.2 mmol / l. Everything above is pathology. Concentration up to 7.8 mmol / l - moderate hypercholesterolemia. Above this value, is regarded as severe, requiring drug therapy;
- normal level of LDL - from 2.25 to 4.82 mmol / l (recall: this is a substance that harms the body);
- HDL normally should be in the range from 0.7 to 1.7 mmol / l.
The number of years lived plays a decisive role in assessing the result of the analysis, since after 30 the norm of blood cholesterol in men changes somewhat. The table, which can be seen below, will help to understand which indicators do not give cause for concern, and under which urgent measures are necessary.
For diagnostics developed another indicator. It demonstrates how harmful and useful species of a substance are related. It is called atherogenic coefficient (CAT) and is calculated using the following formula: the difference between total cholesterol and HDL should be divided into twice the amount of HDL. The result of the division will indicate whether there is a danger of plaque formation. CAT scores are as follows:
- 2.8 - the norm for men aged 20 to 30 years;
- from 3 to 3.5 - most often observed in persons whose age has exceeded 30 years (indicates signs of atherosclerosis);
- from 4 and above - is evidence of coronary heart disease.
Level Up: What to do?
High cholesterol is a very bad sign, so it is urgently necessary to return it to normal or at least slightly lower it. This can be done through such activities:
- diet. It is to exclude cholesterol rich foods and coffee from the menu. Pomegranate, grapefruit and carrot juice, fruits (especially citruses) help to reduce its content. Butter is better to replace sunflower or olive. Meat can be eaten, but only low-fat. Garlic, oat bran and beans also effectively free the body from cholesterol. Proper selection of products will reduce the level of the substance by 14%;
- rejection of addictions (smoking, alcohol);
- drug therapy. The prescription list for high cholesterol includes statins — Pravastin, Atorvastatin, Rosuvastitin, Vasilip; fibrates, drugs with nicotinic acid, Aspirin, vitamins (B-complex), diuretic;
- folk recipes. A decoction of yarrow (30 g), horsetail (15 g), hawthorn, mistletoe and periwinkle leaves. 1 tbsp. l collection is poured 250 ml of boiling water, infused for half an hour. Take sips for 1-2 months. You can also use this recipe: mix 20 g of Hypericum and 4 g of arnica flowers. Prepare the infusion as in the previous case.
Do I need to fight low cholesterol?
No less dangerous is low cholesterol in the blood of men. Less than the norm can be with serious problems with the liver. It must be remembered that with food a person receives no more than 20% of this substance (and it is “bad”), the rest, which is “good” cholesterol (80%), is produced by this organ.
The consequences of the deficiency of this element can be a stroke, decreased immunity, depression, Alzheimer's disease. It will lead to a decrease in sexual activity and infertility, a lack of vitamin D (which is fraught with bone fragility).
Increase the concentration to acceptable levels will help such products: pork, beef, fatty sea fish, butter, egg yolk.
It is impossible to determine “by eye” how much cholesterol you have. Even if you feel well, it does not mean that an unwelcome guest has not “settled” in your body. To be convinced of the return, pass inspection. Remember that the risk of atherosclerosis due to blockage of blood vessels in the stronger sex in middle age is very high.