What is cholesterol?

Everyone has heard of the term ‘cholesterol’. It is an indispensable substance in our body. It is necessary for the construction of body cells, the production of hormones and it plays an important role in digestion. Cholesterol is found in animal and plant products that we eat, but our body makes most of it itself. This mainly happens in the liver.
Too much cholesterol in the blood is bad for your health. The excess can accumulate on the inside of the walls of the blood vessels. These blood vessels can therefore become clogged , which can cause cardiovascular disease. However, a slightly elevated cholesterol level is not dangerous and therefore has no consequences.
One in three adults in the Netherlands has an elevated cholesterol level. Many of them are not aware of this because you do not notice it immediately.

Different types of

There are two types of cholesterol, one of which is referred to as elevated cholesterol. There is a good and a bad kind. Then it concerns the transport packages in which the cholesterol is transported through the blood. The good kind removes excess cholesterol from the blood and vessel walls, this is called HDL cholesterol. The bad kind can build up on the inside of blood vessel walls, this is called LDL cholesterol.


One of the causes of high cholesterol is eating food that contains a lot of saturated fats or cholesterol. It may also be hereditary that you have high cholesterol levels. High cholesterol may occur in some people with other diseases such as liver, kidney, diabetes and an insufficiently active thyroid gland.


If you suffer from high cholesterol, you will not notice it immediately. But if you know that it is so, you should follow a healthy diet, exercise more and lose weight. These are the first steps to lower cholesterol and prevent heart disease. Quitting smoking is also an important step towards this. If all this does not work (well enough), medication will be necessary. There are different types of cholesterol-lowering agents; statins, bile acid sequestrants, fibrades and nicotinic acids.

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