5 Surprising Facts About Cholesterol

Other than recognizing that there’s a good kind and a bad kind, and trying to figure out just how seriously an omelette might contribute to the latter, we spend very little time with cholesterol on our minds. Of course, that was before we knew that it played a role in spicing things up in the bedroom. Yeah, game changer. Read on to brush up on this and other little-known cholesterol facts.

And, of course, don’t forget to keep your cholesterol in check with regular exercise, a heart-healthy diet, and regular check-ups. 

High cholesterol knows no age.

While we tend to think of high cholesterol as a concern for our later years, it’s not true that kids are totally immune from the health problem. In fact, it’s not unlikely to begin seeing early risk factors for heart disease in childhood, and the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends screening kids’ cholesterol as early as the age of 9 years old to catch these signals early.

You can see cholesterol in your eyes.

The eyes might be the window to the soul, but they’re also the window to cholesterol (doesn’t have quite the same ring to it, does it?) When a person has high cholesterol, they’re likely to develop a thin white or gray ring – a pocket of cholesterol, actually – around their cornea. This usually occurs in older individuals, but is not totally unheard of in younger people, as well.

Cholesterol can protect your skin.

Chances are you’re not lathering yourself with cholesterol every time you go to the beach or spend some time under the sun (or so we hope). But as strange as it may seem, cholesterol works incredibly well at repelling harmful UV rays and protecting your skin from potential sun damage. Luckily, you can look for moisturizers that contain cholesterol to reap the benefits while sticking to traditional beauty supplies.

Cholesterol does wonders for your sex life.

Cholesterol plays a pretty serious role in the production of testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone, which, in case you didn’t know, are the body’s sex hormones. Put simply, this means that you have cholesterol to thank for a healthy libido.

Breastmilk can lower the risk of developing high cholesterol.

New mothers are almost always in disagreement on the importance of breastfeeding, or lack thereof, but cholesterol may be something to take into consideration when picking a side. According to a study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition back in 2008, infants who are breastfed are least likely to develop high cholesterol in adulthood. It also doesn’t hurt that breastfeeding is a way for new mothers to balance out their cholesterol levels more quickly after pregnancy, during which their cholesterol levels are especially high to promote healthy development of the baby. 

Certain supplements can help lower your cholesterol and lower the risk of disease. Find out which supplements are best for you here