What Is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol forms part of the outer membrane that surrounds every cell. It's used to insulate nerve fibres (and so make nerve signals travel properly) and make hormones, which carry chemical signals around the body.
Without cholesterol, your body wouldn't work - it's vital to ensure the body's normal function.
Too much cholesterol in the blood, however, increases the risk of coronary heart disease and disease of the arteries.
Cholesterol And Food
One of the biggest misconceptions people have is that food's packed with cholesterol. In fact, very little cholesterol is found in foods. The main culprits are eggs, offal and shellfish.
What's important is the type of fat in the food you choose, especially saturated fat. Once inside the body, the liver turns this fat into cholesterol.
Knowing your cholesterol level isn't, on its own, enough to tell you your personal risk of heart disease. You also need to know about lipoproteins. These are special molecules that carry or transport cholesterol around the body.
There Are Three Main Types:
- Low-density lipoprotein (LDL), often known as bad cholesterol - this carries cholesterol from the liver to the cells and, if supply exceeds demand, can cause harmful build-up of cholesterol
- High-density lipoproten (HDL), or good cholesterol - this takes cholesterol away from the cells and back to the liver, where it´s either broken down or excreted
The greatest danger is when someone has high levels of LDL cholesterol and trigylcerides, and low levels of HDL cholesterol.
Cholesterol Risk Factors
Cholesterol is a risk factor for atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and stroke. The UK population has one of the highest average cholesterol concentrations in the world.
The following factors can increase your risk of having high levels of Cholesterol in your blood:
- If you have a family history of stoke or heart disease
- Eating an unhealthy diet
- If you suffer from diabetes or high blood pressure
- Lack of exercise
- Being of Afro-Caribbean or Asian descent
- Being overweight
- Cholesterol Testing
A programme launched by the Department of Health involves Pharmacists in England helping to reduce cardiovascular risk in those aged 40 to 74 years by providing Cholesterol testing. The test is a simple ‘finger prick’ test which tests a small droplet of your blood.
For further details regarding our Cholesterol Testing Service, please contact our Customer Care Team on 0151 207 2124
When Will I Get The Results Of My Cholesterol Test
The Cholesterol Test gives an instant result and the person carrying out the test will be able to inform you as soon as your test is completed. You will be offered advice if necessary on how to lower your cholesterol or in severe instances you will be referred to your GP for further investigation.