Cholesterol GlossaryAlpha-Linolenic Acid: An Omega-3 essential fatty acid associated with cardiovascular risk reduction.
Anti-Oxidants: Those substances such as vitamin C, vitamin E, and beta carotene, that neutralize the effects of free radicals in our bodies.
Atherosclerosis: Excess cholesterol gathers on the lining of the arteries and is called plaque. As it accumulates, it can cause a narrowing or a blockage in the artery.
Cholesterol: Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance found in every cell of the body. It is used to help digest fats, strengthen cell membranes and make hormones.
Fibrates: A class of drugs that reduce the triglyceride level and raise the HDL ("good") cholesterol level. They are usually used in conjunction with a statin drug.
Gamma-Linolenic Acid: An Omega-6 essential fatty acid found in several herbs and berries.
HDL: High-Density Lipoprotein. Good cholesterol. HDL cholesterol makes up a smaller portion of the cholesterol carriers. HDL removes cholesterol from the blood by carrying it to the liver where it is metabolized.
Hydrogenation: A chemical reaction that converts unsaturated fatty acids to saturated ones. The process is not usually carried to completion and the result is partially hydrogenated vegetable oil. Hydrogenation results in liquid vegetable oils converting to solid or semi-solid fats, such as margarine.
LDL: Low-Density Lipoprotein. Bad cholesterol. LDL carries most of the cholesterol found in the blood. It is also the material that contributes most to the build up of plaque on artery walls.
Linolenic acid: A liquid polyunsaturated essential fatty acid that occurs in some plant oils, especially flaxseed. See alpha-linolenic acid and gamma-linolenic acid.
Monounsaturated fat: Dietary fats that may help in reducing cholesterol levels. They are found in many foods like nuts.
Niacin: A mineral (Vitamin B3) which decreases the levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) in the blood stream. We don't take in much through our diets, so supplementing should help our cholesterol levels.
Omega-3: An essential fatty acid found in certain fish, as well as flax seeds, walnuts and other vegetable sources.
Pantethine: A compound in your body created from vitamin B-5. Your body produces Pantethine through enzyme metabolism, but supplementation of Pantethine has been shown to improve your cholesterol levels significantly .
Policosinol: Policosanol is a natural product derived from beeswax and sugar cane wax. Research shows it to be effective at reducing cholesterol levels and some people may use Policosanol as an alternative to the statin-type cholesterol lowering drugs.
PolyUnsaturated Fats: Polyunsaturated fats are liquid at room temperature. Polyunsaturated fat is found in vegetable oils like soybean, sunflower and corn, as well as in oily fish. Polyunsaturated fats are healthier than saturated fats, but being fats they are high in calories and should not be eaten in large quantities.
Saturated fats: Saturated fats are solid or almost solid at room temperature. Animal fats, like those in meat, poultry and dairy products are saturated. Processed and fast foods also contain saturated fats. Saturated fats increase the body's cholesterol levels and the risk of heart disease.
Statin: A class of drugs that reduce the LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels. They are usually prescribed only after dietary changes have failed to reduce the LDL levels.
Lower-Your-Cholesterol.net is not dispensing medical advice. Questions about your own cholesterol levels should be addressed to your physician.
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