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Cholesterol is a natural product of your body's biochemistry. It is made in the liver and is needed for cell membranes, nerves, brain and other organs to work properly. It is also used to make hormones and some digestive juices. Cholesterol is a lipid (a fat like substance) and does not dissolve in water. Since the blood is mostly water, lipids cannot be transported in the blood stream since they do not dissolve. However, the body has an ingenious way to get around this problem. Specialized proteins surround the lipid and 'hide' it from the water. The lipid (fat) becomes surrounded by the protein forming a new product called a lipo-protein (fat and protein). These lipo-proteins are soluble in water and travel in the blood with their cholesterol or other lipid hidden inside perfectly concealed from the water. Bad Cholesterol Two different types of lipo-protein are used to transport cholesterol around the body. One of these is Low Density Lipo-protein (LDL). Low density lipo-protein (LDL) transports cholesterol to the various parts of the body where it is needed. The combination of the low density lipo-protein and cholesterol is called LDL cholesterol. When there is damage to inner lining of an artery caused by smoking, high blood pressure or too much LDL cholesterol in the blood, that cholesterol is deposited in the arteries and leads to a buildup of plaque. The plaque in turn causes narrowing of the arteries, and increases the risk of heart disease and stroke. LDL cholesterol has therefore been called the 'bad cholesterol'. The Good Cholesterol High Density Lipo-protein (HDL), removes and transports cholesterol away from the arteries to the liver for reprocessing and, because it removes the cholesterol from the arteries, HDL cholesterol has been termed the 'good cholesterol'. In fact the body needs both types of cholesterol in the correct proportions in order to function properly. High insulin levels increase the amount of 'bad' cholesterol. High insulin levels, increase the amounts of LDL 'bad' cholesterol in the blood and lowers the amount of the HDL, 'good', cholesterol. Diabetics are therefore quite likely to also have diseases of the blood vessels (cardio vascular diseases) due to the hardening and thickening of the arteries caused by atherosclerosis and the build up of plaque. This process may take years but will affect the entire body. Eventually it leads to blockage of arteries anywhere in the body but especially in the smaller vessels of feet and hands (peripheral arterial disease -PAD), the tiny arteries feeding the heart muscle, and the cerebral arteries of the brain. Gangrene in the hands and feet often occurs and results in removal of the limbs (debridement). Heart attacks and stroke are also quite common, and in fact some experts suggest that up to 70% of diabetics will die from some type of blood vessel related disease. High blood sugar lead to diabetes and a reduction in the quality of and length of life unless lifestyle changes are made For more information on this silent killer please Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/9150790

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