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Game of Health for Some, Life and Death for Others

Game of Health for Some, Life and Death for Others

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What might seem to be the game of health to individuals when they are young often becomes much more serious for people when they age. When people advance in years, that once frivolous game of health, previously treated as if it truly is a game, suddenly becomes less of a game and more of a grimace.When we look around and view obituaries of our peers and experience the pains of old age creeping in, the game of health becomes a thing of the past.

The World Health Organization, which certainly doesn’t look at the game of health as a game, estimates that 20% of all strokes and more than 50% percent of all heart attacks are linked to high cholesterol. And if cardiovascular disease is the No. 1 cause of death and illness in our society and high cholesterol is a key player in more than half of all heart attacks, it’s safe to say that high cholesterol is not playing a fair game of health.

Cholesterol is a fat lipid that is produced by the liver and cannot dissolve in blood. The game of health within your body, if you want to call it that way, pits high-density lipoprotein (HDL or good cholesterol) against low-density lipoprotein (LDL or bad cholesterol).

You lose in this game whenever the LDL slowly builds up along with plaque in the walls of arteries leading to your heart and brain, making them narrower and less flexible. Nevertheless, you can win when HDL passes through those arteries and carries cholesterol away from them to the liver, where it is passed from the body. The winners in the game of health are those who keep their LDL cholesterol level below 100 mg/dL and their HDL level above 60 mg/dL.

Triglycerides are another type of fats present in your bloodstream. Even though they have a different chemical makeup than cholesterol, high levels of triglycerides can also have a negative impact on the game of health, increasing the risk of heart problems. To keep triglycerides within the scope of the game of health, a fasting level of 150 mg/dL is recommended.

Although some cholesterol is introduced into the body through food, the bulk of it is produced in the liver. Cholesterol has a major role in producing some hormones and is important for the function of cells, yet the game of health no longer is a game when too much cholesterol is in the body, resulting in strokes and heart attacks.

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