According to a Health24 review, cholesterol is a fatty substance which is essential to the human body. It forms part of the lining (membrane) of every cell; it is the basic substance used for the production of hormones; it's needed for the production of bile for digestion – and numerous other bodily processes.
The main causes of high cholesterol are:
- Genetics (controllable with modern medication)
- Diet (controllable)
- Underlying medical conditions (thyroid and kidney disorders – partly controllable)
- Overweight (controllable)
- Inactive lifestyle (controllable)
- Age and sex (uncontrollable) (Sex is biologically controlled, whereas gender is “sex” assigned to nouns or behaviour.)
- Smoking (controllable)
When should you be worried? South Africans are particularly vulnerable to developing high cholesterol, especially taking our high obesity rate into account.
Health24 has two tools that might be useful:
Could I have high cholesterol?
Is your diet cholesterol-healthy?