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膽固醇是在1784年在膽石首次被發現的。其命名為希臘文中的chole- (膽汁)加上stereos (固體)，再加上其化學結構中有羥基，故再接上"-ol"在結尾上。膽固醇在人體內扮演著重要角色，可說是一種與生命現象息息相關的重要化合物。
You need to know about Cholesterol
1. Cholesterol is “just” another fancy organic molecule in our body but with an interesting distinction: we eat it, we make it, we store it, and we excrete it – all in different amounts.
2. The pool of cholesterol in our body is essential for life. No cholesterol = no life.
3. Cholesterol exists in 2 forms – unesterified or “free” (UC) and esterified (CE) – and the form determines if we can absorb it or not, or store it or not (among other things).
4. Much of the cholesterol we eat is in the form of CE. It is not absorbed and is excreted by our gut (i.e., leaves our body in stool). The reason this occurs is that CE not only has to be de-esterified, but it competes for absorption with the vastly larger amounts of UC supplied by the biliary route.
5. Re-absorption of the cholesterol we synthesize in our body (i.e., endogenous produced cholesterol) is the dominant source of the cholesterol in our body. That is, most of the cholesterol in our body was made by our body.
6. The process of regulating cholesterol is very complex and multifaceted with multiple layers of control. I’ve only touched on the absorption side, but the synthesis side is also complex and highly regulated. You will discover that synthesis and absorption are very interrelated.
7. Eating cholesterol has very little impact on the cholesterol levels in your body. This is a fact, not my opinion. Anyone who tells you different is, at best, ignorant of this topic. At worst, they are a deliberate charlatan. Years ago the Canadian Guidelines removed the limitation of dietary cholesterol. The rest of the world, especially the United States, needs to catch up. (Peter Attia, M.D.)
Cholesterol and Risk Factors
There are numerous risk factors for cholesterol. Some of these are directly linked to diet, whereas others could have links to genetics, general lifestyle or illnesses. Varying risk factors include:
● Gender — statistics show that men are at an increased risk of developing the condition. Although women have a lower risk factor due to the protective effects of the hormone oestrogen, early menopause can increase the risk in some cases.
● A sedentary lifestyle with not enough or minimal exercise can cause high levels of cholesterol. This is most common in people with a desk job or full-time drivers who are unlikely to get a large amount of exercise.
● Smoking can cause unnecessary blockage in your artieries and increases your risk of developing high levels of cholesterol.
● Being overweight and/or obese will mean you are more prone to suffering from high levels of cholesterol.
● An unhealthy diet with too much salt or sugar (or both) can also affect levels.
● Other chronic illnesses such as diabetes, high blood pressure or kidney disease.