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Cholesterol, Dyslipidemia, and Lifestyle

  • By: Arthur S. Leon & Ulf G. Bronas
  • In: Encyclopedia of Lifestyle Medicine & Health
  • Edited by: James M. Rippe
  • Subject:Health Psychology / Behavioral Medicine, Public Health Education & Health Promotion, Health Psychology

Lipids contribute to many vital functions in the body. Cholesterol is a major structural component of cell membranes (along with phospholipids) and is the precursor of sterol sex hormones, cortisol, bile acids, and vitamin D (on ultraviolet exposure of the skin). Triglycerides (TG) are sources of essential fatty acids and fatty acids for oxidative metabolism, and their adipose stores are a major reserve energy source. However, abnormal blood levels of lipids and their lipoprotein carriers are major contributors to the pathophysiology of atherosclerosis and risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). Dyslipidemia is defined as elevated fasting blood levels of total cholesterol (TC); its principal lipoprotein carrier, low-density lipoprotein (LDL); and TG and as a reduced level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), alone or in combination ...

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