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5 Cholesterol Myths and Facts


Have you ever felt confused by the barrage of information fed to you about cholesterol? Let’s go through some of the myths and facts about it.

Myth: All cholesterols are bad!

Truth: Not all cholesterols are bad to human. Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance found in our body. It is needed to make hormones, vitamin D and other substances that maintain various body functions.

Myth: Cholesterol circulates in our blood.

Truth: Cholesterol is not soluble in water. Since the major composition of our blood is water, cholesterol does not circulate freely in our blood. Instead, cholesterol is transported to and from tissue cells bound to lipid protein complexes, namely lipoproteins.

Myth: High density lipoproteins are bad cholesterol.

Truth: The lower the percentage of fat in the lipoprotein, the higher the density of the lipoprotein. Thus, high density lipoproteins (HDL) are the ‘good’ cholesterol, serving as transporters that take away bad cholesterol from blood vessels. Meanwhile, low density lipoproteins (LDL) promote cholesterol buildup in them.

Myth: Bad diet contributes to high cholesterol

Truth: Diet could be a contributing factor, but not the sole factor that causes this. Lifestyle behaviour, alcohol consumption and genetics play a role too.

Myth: Children will not get high cholesterol

Truth: This is not true. Childhood obesity is on the rise in many Asian countries and it’s causing them cholesterol problems. This is mainly due to poor diet and genetics.

Now that the truth is known, it's time to make better decisions for your health!

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About The Author
Mai Chun Wai
Dr Mai Chun Wai graduated with First Class Honours and Dean’s List from the International Medical University (IMU) Bachelor of Pharmacy in 2009. He was the recipient of Sanofi-Aventis Award and Kotra Pharma Award for excellence in research in the graduating class. Dr Mai then graduated with PhD in Medical and Health Sciences (Medicinal Chemistry) from IMU under the joint supervision from IMU, University of Strathclyde (United Kingdom, UK) in 2014. In 2012, he was awarded the IMU Young Alumnus Award 2012 for his noteworthy contributions to community and society with significant personal and professional achievement.

Currently he is appointed as Lecturer in School of Pharmacy, IMU. His research team published numerous peer reviewed papers related to drug discovery and rationale drug use. His team is clearly on a trajectory to developing a national and international reputation, as exemplified by being the only Malaysian selected in the Southeast Asia-European Union-NET II (SEA-EU-NET II) Fellowship 2016, his selection as the first awardee of the Research Mobility Grant 2016 to work as a Visiting Researcher at the Institute of Protein Biochemistry, National Research Council, Naples, Italy, his appointment as a Research Fellow of the Sultan Mizan Antarctic Research Foundation 2015, to work in Cambridge (United Kingdom) and his award of a travel scholarship funded by the Royal Society United Kingdom to participate in a workshop at UK in 2015.

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