What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that is naturally produced by your body and is found in your diet in eggs and animal products that are rich in fat, particularly saturated fats, such as meats and full-fat dairy foods.
Cholesterol is essential for many of your body’s metabolic processes, including the production of hormones (oestrogen, testosterone and adrenal hormones) and vitamin D, and is necessary for the structure of cell membranes, to produce bile acid for healthy fat digestion, metabolism of other fat-soluble vitamins and to insulate nerve fibres. It is not necessary to consume cholesterol in the diet as your body can produce sufficient cholesterol to meet its needs.
‘Bad’ vs ‘good’ cholesterol
Cholesterol is transported around the body in the blood attached to lipoproteins. There are two main types of lipoproteins: low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL):
- LDL (often called ‘bad’ cholesterol) carries most of the cholesterol that is delivered to cells
- HDL (often called ‘good’ cholesterol) helps remove excess cholesterol out of the cells, including cells in the arteries
For good health, it’s important to maintain a healthy balance between good and bad cholesterol.
Bergamot and cholesterol health
Bergamot contains a unique composition of citrus flavonoids and has the highest concentration of flavonoids compared to other citrus fruits. Some of these flavonoids are potent antioxidants that help to reduce cholesterol oxidation and free radical damage to cells. Bergamot maintains healthy cholesterol and supports healthy cardiovascular system function. See Bergamot Cholesterol Care.