Plaque is made up of cholesterol, fat, calcium, and other substances found in the blood.When plaque builds up in the arteries, the condition


What Is Cholesterol?

To understand high blood cholesterol (ko-LES-ter-ol), it helps to learn about cholesterol. Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that’s found in all cells of the body.

Your body needs some cholesterol to make hormones, vitamin D, and substances that help you digest foods. Your body makes all the cholesterol it needs. However, cholesterol also is found in some of the foods you eat.

Cholesterol travels through your bloodstream in small packages called lipoproteins (lip-o-PRO-teens). These packages are made of fat (lipid) on the inside and proteins on the outside.

Two kinds of lipoproteins carry cholesterol throughout your body: low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL). Having healthy levels of both types of lipoproteins is important.

LDL cholesterol sometimes is called “bad” cholesterol. A high LDL level leads to a buildup of cholesterol in your arteries. (Arteries are blood vessels that carry blood from your heart to your body.)

HDL cholesterol sometimes is called “good” cholesterol. This is because it carries cholesterol from other parts of your body back to your liver. Your liver removes the cholesterol from your body.

What Is High Blood Cholesterol?

High blood cholesterol is a condition in which you have too much cholesterol in your blood. By itself, the condition usually has no signs or symptoms. Thus, many people don’t know that their cholesterol levels are too high.

People who have high blood cholesterol have a greater chance of getting coronary heart disease, also called coronary artery disease. (In this article, the term “heart disease” refers to coronary heart disease.)

The higher the level of LDL cholesterol in your blood, the GREATER your chance is of getting heart disease. The higher the level of HDL cholesterol in your blood, the LOWER your chance is of getting heart disease.

Coronary heart disease is a condition in which plaque (plak) builds up inside the coronary (heart) arteries. Plaque is made up of cholesterol, fat, calcium, and other substances found in the blood. When plaque builds up in the arteries, the condition is called atherosclerosis (ATH-er-o-skler-O-sis).


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September 19, 2012Last Updated Icon

40 Replies

  • THis article is from the national heart, lung and blood institute USA.

    kindly clic on the url to get the full article.

    a picture of the blocked blood vessel is seen.

  • quite educative.How does dietary cholesterol get into blood.whether it is HD or Ld?

  • cholesterol is not a fat though it is like fats.

    cholesterol cannot travel like other water soluble things.

    that is how it is given protein covering ,the so called lipo proteins

    the cover being water mixable[hydrophelic] it can travel as other solutes.

    this cover is synthesized by the liver.

    i think this is incomplete explanation if necessary.

    i will explain later.

    good luck

  • "In order for the triglyceride to be absorbed, two processes must occur:

    Large aggregates of dietary triglyceride, which are virtually insoluble in an aqueous environment, must be broken down physically and held in suspension - a process called emulsification.

    Triglyceride molecules must be enzymatically digested to yield monoglyceride and fatty acids, both of which can efficiently diffuse or be transported into the enterocyte

    The key players in these two transformations are bile acids and pancreatic lipase, both of which are mixed with chyme and act in the lumen of the small intestine. Bile acids are also necessary to solubilize other lipids, including cholesterol. "

  • LDL subtraction tests will reveal finer details. Otherwise, can anyone explain why out of 100,000+ cardiac deaths, more than 50% had normal LDL? Or can anyone explain why though cardiac deaths "may" have reduced, why hasn't the incidence rate of cardiac events reduced in US of A, despite all the efforts? Something to do with elevated TG/HDL ratio as a result of a bad diet that's called healthy by experts?

    Lowering LDL (thinking lower is better) also leads to global amnesia or a pre-Alzhiemer state. LDL is neuroprotective

    BTW, fat in blood is triglycerides, which gets elevated by high carbs and also raises insulin in blood, the first step to Syndrome X.

    Also, there's a great "Lyon Diet Heart Study" which showed how horrible AHA diet is. So, let's get the basics right before trying to pass on the blame to something else.

    Then there's Sydney Diet heart study which showed PUFA is horrible as compared to SFA, though original researchers manipulated the data to show it otherwise.

  • Indiacratus

    are you aware? If so details

    LDL subtraction tests will reveal finer details.

    Also, there's a great "Lyon Diet Heart Study"

  • ha ha mr .Rao sahib,

    in the past i have seen may such drama.

    when i click on some of the sites mentioned ,

    the diametrically opposite view

    unfolds. or else it is a roadside .com.

    as early as two years ago i told someone


    if you want me to read your presentation-

    you must give me the particular paragraph in the article sited.

    do not fling an entire research article to my face.

    and also present your argument as a geometrical theorem as in high school.

    that is the standard practice in in science.that is the protocol in any argument.

    he did not care . complete wastage of my time.i dropped out.

    it is like the story of the boy who shouted --

    tiger, tiger.

    once or twice the villagers rushed to help him.

    the boy was on a tree laughing.

    then when the real tiger came ---

    i need not tell


    you can imagine.

    this institute is probably the highest in the world on this subject..

    their recommendation are followed in all continents.

    if some one can present a

    recommendation against it by the world health organization or similar,i can ,not only accept, but even appeal to our forum.

    that i have always done. if the WHO or NHS UK is against american knowledge i present both.

    for example

    the ada :7, and nhs uk european union 10 percent saturated fats.limit

    there are innumerable studies. even a cursory view by me depends on from whom the reference comes.

    i believe people should study from the right book.

    not just any book.

    otherwise you may never leave the university library [where i acquired all my medical knowledge before the advent of internet.].you are extremely plain, honest and straight forward.

    thanks for response

    good luck.

  • thanks for your clarification. i also felt the same but wanted your reaction.

  • Mr indiacratus

    On the issue"a great "Lyon Diet Heart Study" I find that the

    limitations of the Lyon Diet Heart Study have been identified in an AHA Science Advisory.

    For example, since dietary evaluation in the control group was done only at the conclusion of the study in an effort to avoid influencing dietary habits, changes in the control group's dietary patterns could not be monitored. Moreover, comparisons between the two groups at baseline and during the study could not be analyzed. Another limitation was that dietary data for the final analysis were reported for only 30% of subjects in the control group and less than 50% of subjects in the experimental group. Thus, complete evaluation of the effect of diet on the outcomes measured could not be determined. Other key issues to be addressed in future studies include definition and consideration of geographic and nonmeasured cultural and social differences in potential target populations, and an assessment of any changes in comorbid risk factors during the study.

  • Obviously AHA is always right when caught on wrong foot. They were right when they remained silent when ATKINS group asked them to form an "independent" group including members from their team when AHA went on overdrive criticizing Atkins diet. AHA never answers why LIPIDS show improvement when SFA increases and carbs are cut down to 20% of energy needs.

    Perhaps AHA ignored the ratio AA/EPA in Lyon study because AHA diet proved to be real horrible.

    Common sense makes it clear -- it's all about billion dollars.

    For others it is DRAMA :) :)

  • dear rao, that was to be expected.

  • Indiacratus

    On the issue raised "LDL subtraction tests" I find that it is only a method to assess LDL

    This blood test checks the levels of cholesterol in your body. A lipid panel will show the levels of your total cholesterol, your LDL ("bad") cholesterol, and your HDL ("good") cholesterol. In general, the higher your total and LDL cholesterol levels, the higher your risk for coronary heart disease. But some heart attacks happen in people who don't have a high LDL level.

    Some researchers believe that measuring your non-HDL cholesterol levels gives a better assessment of the risk for heart disease than measuring only LDL. This is especially true if you have high triglycerides. Your non-HDL cholesterol level is found by subtracting your HDL cholesterol from your total cholesterol.

    A lipid disorder describes a condition in which you have high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and fats called triglycerides.

    People with high LDL cholesterol and high triglycerides are at an increased risk of developing heart disease.

    I do not understand whether the method has any relevance to the topic blogged by you .

  • Not all LDL is bad. Large fluffy LDL is not as harmful as the finer ones. So the method has relevance.

  • @ultraduo

    It is much more better suggesting low carb diet than vague "balanced diet". :)

  • Shrisamarth --

    Question is "balanced" for whom? Patient or the drug industry? Even USDA failed with its Food Pyramid after "misleading" for decades. We aren't misleading as we are talking based on "Personal experience" and not some Harvard literature. We also learned things fom far more knowledgeable people like Dr Attia, Dr Volek, Dr Bernstein et al. Only immature people can write them off. The list of such experts is HUGE and all of them teach in universities or practice in the land of AMA/AHA/ADA freely.

    They don't preach by doing copy-paste :)

  • dear rao,

    some people are like children

    when a costly bag or dress is given ,

    they dont care.

    but when some color paper is given they go around the entire house and show it to everybody---

    i have got this paper. !!

    let them show their mettle when patients ask a random question.

    the answer is always

    eat lchf

    whether it is a pregnant woman, knee pain or falling nail, glucose imbalance ,insulin or anything. like the roadside white powder medicine mans announcement.

    good luck

  • No we don't recommend LCHF to everyone because we talk to diabetics only. So your statement made no sense as it stems not form any factual evidence.

    Yes, let a diabetic ask random questions on what we do and what we achieve. We know more than the doctor and you for sure as far as LCHF, impact on cholesterol etc goes. We don't mix NK with DKA. And, we don;t say ketones will be produced when a person is going into HYPO :)

    Vague "balanced diet" is the real white powder sold to anyone and everyone - normal, diabetic, cancer, cvd, chd. Our diet reduces the "Colored Pills" and yet gets better numbers.

  • It is much more better than irrelevant copy pasting. :)

  • mr mydbgone,

    this is highly misleading.

    no one asks you to eat high carb.

    the world nutritionists prescribe a balanced diet in which the carbs and protein, and fats everything is limited with respect to the requirements of the body.

    the NIN hyderabad says we eat 70 to 80 percent carbs, thus p plus f works out 10 each.

    a redistribution will be beneficial.

    high carb high carb high carb...this is all just rhetoric.. no one advises high carb?

    who knows your american family was not eating above recommendations.over eating.

    the body has to throw out whatever excess you eat

    or store it.

    so limited food is the answer.

    balanced and calorie limited food is the right answer.

    good luck

  • Oh but doesn't healthy (or so called balanced) diet mean 60% CARBS? That's High Carb technically and not rhetoric :)

    Hypo-caloric diets have failed. There are enough studies to prove that because even calorie counting is failed science.

    If there's anything mis-leading when LCHF works is telling diabetics to eat HIGH CARBS -- when CARBS are biggest enemy of a diabetic. If one reduces drugs, attains better sugar, LIPIDS on LCHF, there can be nothing more healthy and balanced than that. Let medical reports and total drugs consumption prove what is healthy and balanced.

    First you have to explain why HIGH CARB DIETS lead to OVEREATING. Just asking questions and not answering any counter question is not debate. We don't count calories on LCHF and yet never starve. We lose weight despite eating to satiety.

    LCHF is way to go. Everything spoken against LCHF is all rhetoric. This low fat emphasis has ruined human health:

  • Yup!

    HIGH CARBS are the REAL enemy. In layman terms, don't eat CARBS beyond what your liver can store.

    Oh LCHF -- I started taking about this for the first time on this forum in Jan 2013. Someone called it "Speculative Blogging" without understanding the science behind it. Some even abused and insulted me. But I kept marching ahead -- started a LCHF only forum for Indian diabetics and number keeps growing and all are those who FAILED with so called BALANCED ADA/AMA/AHA Diet :)

  • I may be able to comment only after your blog is completed . My study of cholesterol never gets completed as , so many question keep proping up and I am unable to find answers.

    Unfortunately I was down with heat stroke,but recovering.

  • dear patliputra,

    so sad to hear that you had problem with heat wave. hope everything is ok now.

    that is article from the national institute.i have given only part, to see that i do not fill the reply space.

    you need only click on the url , weblink,at the topmost. ie, beginning.

    also there is a continuation article for which you click "next" at the bottom.

    wishing you early recovery.

    good luck.

  • Where are the studies that underpin this indiacratus, as you are apt to remind us?

    As you say, cholesterol is found in all the body's cells, because it is essential to life.

    When it appears in plaques, is that because it is part of the repair system, trying to fix lesions from high glucose and high-insulin levels?

    It depends how big the ldl particles are; vldl particles are formed from triglycerides and are associated with atheroscerosis. Fructose is the major cause of these.

  • mr concerned ,

    it is article from the US national institute.

    it is in their laboratories and they are the people who discover these scientific issues.why should a further substantiation necessary.

    you need only click on the url , weblink,at the topmost. ie, beginning.

    also there is a continuation article for which you click "next" at the bottom.

    good luck

  • Okay I'll put it another way; why does the cholesterol go from the blood stream into the endothelial lining, against the concentration gradient? There's twice as much cholesterol in the plaque as there is in the blood stream.

    Could it be that the body is trying to repair itself? It's like blaming fire-fighters for making fires.

    We KNOW that excess insulin/IGF-1 causes growth of endothelial linings; hyperinsulinaemia increases blood pressure, and is a greater risk to mortality than hyperglycaemia - Reference the ACCORD study.

  • mr. concerned,

    thanks for the reply.

    do you think indiacratus cannot construct an explanation with so much of atomic physics and chemistry and mathematics.

    in his head?

    a solute under pressure can cross a concentration gradient . reverse osmosis!!!blood flows under is more than the great Torricelli.

    i will put it in another way.

    one thousand people with high cholesterol 10 percent have plaques.

    one thousand people random popuation

    only 2 percent have plaques.

    what will you say?

    they have statistics, computers.

    it is in the Harvard university the very computer you are typing was born.ridiculous to talk american harvard university nonsense!!

    good luck.

  • good night

  • bon nuit

  • Concerned -

    Harvard doesn't teach all these things? Just asking.

  • Yet these "top most" universities cannot answer why every disease is going up ever since CARBS started increasing and Fat started decreasing. Perhaps they know, but they don't want to accept their fault. A layman diabetic on low carb high fat knows more than them I guess when it comes to diet and health.

  • @ultraduo

    जिनको हसना है उनको हसने दो. :D We know that lipid subfraction testing is officially accepted . Those who want to follow old, outdated guidelines and theory for cholesterol let them do that. :)

  • srisamarth:

    It needs reading with an open mind along with practical experience to understand things. None of the SFA critics have ever answered one question --

    Why Does LIPIDS IMPROVE on LCHF, so much so that many have gone off STATINS. Some don't even want to understand it because it shakes their long-held belief.

    If degrees are a cerificate for being non corrupt, then I am sure you must have heard the great scam of 7000 crores by CEO Ramalingam Raju (Satyam which was bought over by MBT after the scam broke out). So, just because bodies have people with flashy degrees doesn't make them saints. I use my brain more than trust their directions :)

    The experts outside of ADA/AMA/AHA are far bigger in number and far more reliable as their suggestions work for benefit of patient.

  • shrisamarth -

    As Frederic Bastiat once said,

    “We must admit that our opponents in this argument have a marked advantage over us. They need only a few words to set forth a half-truth; whereas, in order to show that it is a half-truth, we have to resort to long and arid dissertations.”

    And you know the best part?

    We don't ever tell anyone to ignore the half-turth. We just talk based on medical reports on ground. Some only like to talk (not debate) within their group -- looking for a pat on the back from each other. I have read one of them repeatedly say don't follow LCHF, don't follow LCHF. But diabetics are switching aren't they?

    They just can't debate in a sane fashion. Within a very short time they start insulting. So they can keep laughing at the drama which is attracting far more crowd by way of diabetics switching to LCHF diet.

    One can learn new things only upto a given age. I don't get upset by their antics. Another positive of LCHF -- Cool Mind and no jealousy, that's why we don't say don't listen to XYZ or their "cut and paste" knowledge on LCHF. Readers have their own mind so they can judge :)

  • the cholesterol theory is like this:

    saturated fats ,[excess , above 7 percent , not allowed]

    will raise circulating cholesterol.proved [individually]

    that is a risk for atherosclerosis.

    now -so far we have a smaller orifice in the artery by way of plaque.

    you may see picture. .

    this is not a cause for heart attack.[ it was known even in 20th or even 19th century]

    but if a dis lodged clot begins to move towards this region it clearly has to block the artery further ahead,

    by geometry,by necessity.[as the artery has to branch and reduce the natural orifice, now further reduced by plaque].


    coronary thrombosis and death.[ if it happens in the coronary artery.]if in the brain it is called a stroke.

    the former we call heart attach [or cvd.]

    ignore the propaganda

    goes on copy pasting from ones own files.

    safa-- no one proved -- cvd ,.

    better learn the mechanism so far proved

    by the great men of physiology and medicine .

    good luck.

  • 7% SFA theory is all bogus, I repeat BOGUS. They are just trying to cover the real culprit -- CARBS. Most regular visitor out here knows who is the "king of copy paste". If SFA theory was right, millions of diabetics on LCHF diet would not have existed. That's why they ignore the "propaganda" that SFA is bad and enjoy great health on better LIPIDS without STATINS.

    Yes there are huge number of studies to prove that SFA doesn't cause CVD/CHD. Why don't you try and "understand" few of those studies.

    3 million of UK population has been on Atkins diet. Debate without copy pasting and you will know how difficult it gets and barely 1% believe in that 7% SFA theory :)

  • Even the whole cholesterol theory is a BIG SCAM started to sell STATINS. The foundation of this is feeding cholesterol to rabbits and then scaring.

    Drug industry's success lies in scaring people of GHOST Problems and they provide absolutely no EVIDENCE:

    I, like many diabetics on LCHF diet, have been eating 3 times the so called safe cholesterol consumption in form of eggs with yolk. My LIPIDS have only improved. This is in addition to 2 - 3 TBSP VCO per day.

  • There are many diabetics who have gone OFF Statins by following LCHF diet.

    That's why mainstream CURSES LCHF and provides no PROOF! Their literature is full of Just rhetoric again SFA :)

  • Perception of CONSUMERS (not ADA/AMA/AHA) on FAT is changing (for good) even in the USA. So called experts have no business in telling us what is healthy (High Carb LOW FAT surely isn't as it has betrayed human health across the globe):

    So, change will come from PUBLIC as so called EXPERTS will only peddle HIGH CARB LOW FAT FAILED Diet as they are duty bound to peddle a diet that has created all the problems in 5 decades. If we start IGNORING their ADVISE, they may wake up some day.

  • LCHF is bad for the Drug companies' top- and bottom-line on balance sheet. So they invest few billions in RIGGED research against LCHF and ghost writers then write articles against LCHF across a network of websites.