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Atherosclerosis


The process of atherosclerosis, or fatty plaque deposition in blood vessels, starts in our preteen years (๐Ÿ˜ฑ). And it allll boils down to cholesterol. So let's describe it. We actually need cholesterol; it's used by all our cells in their membranes! Our bodies have thus devised ways to transport cholesterol within our vessels, by binding it to transporters called lipoproteins. The 2 main cholesterol transporters are LDL (low density lipoprotein) aka the "bad cholesterol number" ๐Ÿ‘Ž๐Ÿ˜ฌ, and HDL (high density lipoprotein) which we call the "good cholesterol number" ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ˜„. . Why is LDL bad and HDL good?? Well, to reach cells throughout the body, cholesterol must move through blood vessel walls. It enters the vessel wall as part of LDL... and exits as a part of HDL. Cholesterol trapping in the vessel wall reflects the balance between transport in and transport out, between LDL and HDL. When too much cholesterol enters the wall, it turns rancid, getting oxidized and causing the inflammatory cascade leading to permanent fatty plaque deposition. We know these fatty plaques to be the culprits behind heart attacks and strokes, causing blood clots, starving the heart or brain of oxygen needed to survive. . We can lower our LDL levels through a diet low in saturated fat and high in fiber (fiber actually binds cholesterol in our guts, preventing its absorption) ๐Ÿ๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿ. Best way to raise HDL? Exercise! - especially through aerobic cardio โ˜€๏ธ๐ŸŒŠ๐Ÿ„. Oh, and the endorphin release is a nice bonus!

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