Cholesterol is a type of fat that is part of all animal cells. It is essential for many of the body’s metabolic processes, including hormone and bile production, and to help the body use vitamin D. However, there’s no need to eat foods high in cholesterol. The body is very good at making its own cholesterol – you don’t need to help it along. In fact, too much cholesterol in your diet can lead to heart disease.
Screening for cholesterol is recommended after age 35 for males and 45 for females. The optimal interval for screening is uncertain. On the basis of other guidelines and expert opinion, reasonable options include every 5 years, shorter intervals for people who have lipid levels close to those warranting therapy, and longer intervals for those not at increased risk who have had repeatedly normal lipid levels.
Risk management is all about education. You learn to drive before hitting the highway. Learn what you need to know to maximise your health potential.