Thursday, May 10, 2012

Artery Gunk

Cholesterol. We've all heard about it but nobody, not even many doctors, know what it is.
Cholesterol, outside the body.
Chemically, cholesterol is a fatty alcohol (C27H46O). Biologically, it is the chemical that allows cells to regulate permeability, without it our cells would be dried up kernels and we'd all be dead.

Cholesterol is not soluble in blood so it has to be hauled hither and thither by a trucking fleet called lipoproteins. It's the size of the trucking fleet that is measured in a blood test. Bad cholesterol (LDL) are huge tractor-trailer rigs that haul the cholesterol from the liver to the cells. Good cholesterol (HDL) are the small panel trucks that takes the excess cholesterol back to the liver for disposal.

When there is too much cholesterol the LDL rigs just dump their loads (picture that 20 ton mayonnaise spill in Missouri last year) and the gunk accumulates in the walls of our arteries. When that happens the result is like a grease build up in your kitchen sink drain and just as disgusting.

I mention this because my blood test came back today and my LDL is low (64mg/dL), my HDL is average (46mg/dL), and my ratio of good to total cholesterol (3.0) is sweet. Yeah, I know I'm bragging.


Anonymous said...


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Katy Anders said...

Good deal.

A while back, I went searching online to find out whether it was okay for me to eat eggs.

Essentially, I was trying to figure out whether a person needs ANY cholesterol. I mean, what would happen if my cholesterol intake went down to zero.

I was, as you note here, disappointed in how little solid information about it was available....