Samantha ran 10k and Laura 5k to raise a substantial amount of money for the King of Hearts Club. They both did exceptionally well on the day and we are very proud of them.
The April Newsletter is now available – to download a copy click here: King of Hearts April 2017
The March Newsletter is now available – to download a copy click here: King of Hearts March 2017
It`s hard to avoid reading about cholesterol these days. It`s mentioned regularly in the papers, and appears on most food labels. But what exactly is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a fatty substance that is found in all animals. It is also present in small amounts in some plants.
Although it regularly gets a bad press, Cholesterol is actually very important to our good health.
We all need it since it is used by the body you make certain hormones and to keep our cells in good condition. We couldn’t live without cholesterol. It my surprise some people to learn that cholesterol is an important substance that is essential to life. However, back in 1957, it was discovered that people with too much cholesterol in their blood had an increased risk of getting heart disease.
Yes, we all need some cholesterol but as with many things, too much of a good thing can be bad.
As an example, we might consider starting an old car on a cold morning. You pump the accelerator to get the petrol flowing so that the engine can fire. But you only need a certain amount; if you pump too much you will flood the engine and it won’t start at all.
Likewise, the body needs a certain amount; of cholesterol so that it can produce the hormones we need to keep our cells in good condition. However, if there is too much, the extra builds up in the blood vessels causing clots, and risk having a heart attack or stroke.
Where does the cholesterol in your blood come from? Some obviously comes from the food that we eat, and the food labels on the packaging will give you some information about this, but most of it (about three quarters) is made from your own liver.
The importance of keeping your cholesterol levels under control has been known for over 50 years. Remember, everyone needs to have some cholesterol in their bodies, so before we go on to this however, one more thing needs to be explained. Being fatty, cholesterol cannot dissolve in the blood, so it is carried around the bloodstream in combination with other substances. We can simplify what is in reality quite a complicated process by saying that there are two main types of cholesterol moving around in the blood.
It follows from this that what we should aim is a high level of GOOD cholesterol and a low level of the BAD cholesterol.
When you have your cholesterol measured (after an overnight fast) the results will usually contains 3 sets of numbers. These are the Good COLESTEROL (H D L), the BAD cholesterol (LDL)and the TOTAL cholesterol (confusingly, the total is not just the sum of the good and bad.)
If the results are too high or too low or if diet and exercise have not helped enough, then you will probably be proscribed a drug called STATIN. These were discovered in the 1970s, and were first used as cholesterol-lowing drugs in 1987. They work by interfering with the mechanism by which the liver produces cholesterol.
Think of satins as a trap if there’s too much water coming out of your shower head, then you`ll turn the tap a bit to slow the water flow. Satins can be thought of as slowing down the production of cholesterol in the liver so less gets into the blood.
Many thousands of patients have studied for many years, and for the vast majority statins are safe and effective way to bring down high cholesterol levels and, most importantly, reduced risk of death due to heart attacks and strokes. If there is a family history of heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke or diabetes, or if you suffer from any of these conditions yourself, then it is more important that cholesterol levels are reduced.
There are other fatty substances in the blood apart from cholesterol, and although these are also important as far as heart disease and good health are concerned,
If you want to learn more about fats in the blood, usually called LIPIDS, then it isn’t hard to find information in books or on the internet, or by talking to your health care team.
The February Newsletter is now available – to download a copy click here: King of Hearts Feb 2017
The January Newsletter is now available – to download a copy click here: King of Hearts January 2017
The November Newsletter is now available – to download a copy click here: Newsletter November 2016
The October Newsletter is now available – to download a copy click here: Newsletter October 2016
The September Newsletter is now available – to download a copy click here: Newsletter September 2016
The August Newsletter is now available – to download a copy click here: Newsletter August 2016