Updated: 07 – 10 – 2022
Cholesterol is a complicated subject. Most people don’t understand how it works. We know there’s good and bad cholesterol. But, the issue is deeper than that. That’s where you need to understand what is oxidized cholesterol.
Cholesterol comes as HDL and LDL. LDL, or low-density lipoprotein, is what we know as bad. But, oxidized cholesterol is the real culprit of most of its complications. Bad cholesterol could be bad because it oxidizes.
In this article, we’ll go through oxysterols.
What is oxidized cholesterol?
Cholesterol has a double bond in its structure. That means it’s prone to oxidation. This process leads to oxysterols. Oxysterols can form during the manufacture and processing of foods.
Autoxidation is a process initiated by a free-radical mechanism. It forms hydroperoxides, which lead to oxysterols. These molecules are similar to cholesterol, but with an additional oxygen function.
Oxysterols are mostly found in naturally high cholesterol foods. As such, eggs, dairy, and meat-derived products are common sources. Frying in animal and vegetable oils is also a common oxysterol source.
Why does it occur?
The oxidation of polyunsaturated fatty acids might be the culprit of cholesterol oxidation. The interactions between triglycerides and cholesterol could accelerate the process. The same could happen in the opposite way. Cholesterol may influence triglyceride oxidation.
Lipid oxidation forms peroxides on polyunsaturated fatty acids. They subtract hydrogen from the double bond. Thus, it allows the formation of free radicals in cholesterol. Consequently, this free radical migrates to other positions, allowing molecular oxygen reactions.
What are oxidized cholesterol’s implications?
Oxidized cholesterol results from a chemical reaction from bad cholesterol. We often think bad cholesterol accumulates in the artery walls. Yet, oxidized cholesterol is what builds up. Thus, it’s responsible for clogging the arteries.
As such, oxidized cholesterol can lead to atherosclerosis. In other words, it can harden the arteries. Then, it would decrease blood flow. The result is an increased risk of stroke and heart attack.
Platelets are useful for helping stop bleeding. They produce blood clots. Yet, they can also create plaques by sticking to the arteries. So, different substances can build up in the walls of the arteries.
That’s what we know as atherosclerosis. It can also lead to other complications:
- Coronary heart disease.
- Peripheral vascular disease.
- Cerebrovascular disease.
- Heart attack.
The main health risks
Oxidized cholesterol modulates immune responses that relate to inflammation. Today, we know more about these mechanisms than ever. And, most discoveries center around macrophage biology and signaling through pattern recognition receptors.
Different receptors interact with foam cell formation. Thus, they lead to inflammatory cytokine secretion. Certain cell responses from oxidized cholesterol also occur in artery inflammation. Thus, they’re the primary disease drivers.
In other words, oxidized cholesterol promotes cell accumulation. White blood, immune, and inflammatory cells are part of it. As such, it leads to the health complications mentioned before.
How can you prevent oxidized cholesterol buildup?
Luckily, preventing oxidized cholesterol can be quite simple. You only need to make sure you’re keeping a balanced diet. That means focusing on healthy fats, fruits, and vegetables. Those three are the best ones for preventing oxidized cholesterol.
Also, you don’t have to give up on saturated fats. All you need is moderation. With solid control, you can eat basically anything. Just avoid overdoing it.
Also, pay close attention to foods’ nutrition labels. You want to avoid hydrogenated foods. The same goes for partially hydrogenated foods.
Lastly, you can get checked for oxidized LDL. Make sure you see your doctor periodically for it. Just remember that lipid profiles don’t reveal oxysterols. That said, a heart CT scan can help you spot oxysterols.
The holistic takeaway
Oxidized cholesterol is the real key behind most of cholesterol’s disadvantages. As such, understanding what is oxidized cholesterol is crucial for prevention. That said, speculation is still plentiful. So, we can only stick to proper nutrition to avoid its complications.
That leads to this article’s recommendation. The Oxidized Cholesterol Strategy is a complete guide to oxidized cholesterol prevention. It goes through its origins, sources, and treatment.
This strategy is a straightforward nutrition and lifestyle program. It’ll show you meals, exercises, and the knowledge necessary to change everything.
To learn more about it, check out my review!