Lipids are a secret star of your body. Even if you’ve never heard the word before, lipids have been living in your body and impact your health in countless ways. Lipids are defined as a class of organic compounds that are soluble in water. Simply put, lipids are fatty acids, and they store energy.
There are three types of lipids:
Phospholipids create a protective layer around cells. Sterols are more commonly known as cholesterol. Cholesterol comes in two forms: HDL and LDL. LDL is considered ‘bad cholesterol’ and HDL is considered ‘good cholesterol’. Good cholesterol helps your body make hormones and vitamin D. The last type of lipid is triglyceride. Triglycerides are fats and oils which can help reduce inflammation and blood pressure.
Lipids’ Role in the Body
One of the key roles that lipids, specifically phospholipids, play in your body is the protection of your nerve cells. Another crucial thing lipids do is to help your body absorb a variety of vitamins that support your health and wellness.
Lipids support the absorption of a few different vitamins. The first of these is Vitamin A. Vitamin A impacts lots of different parts of your body and health. It supports a healthy immune system, as well as promotes eye health, and reduces your risk of age-related decline. Vitamin A also promotes bone health, reproductive health, and overall healthy growth.
Vitamin D is another vitamin that’s absorption is supported by healthy amounts of lipids. Vitamin D is crucial for your body to build and maintain healthy bones. It also serves many other purposes. It can help reduce the severity of symptoms of depression and improve your overall mood.
Your body’s lipids also help you absorb Vitamin E. Vitamin E is an antioxidant, which means it helps to protect your cells from the free radicals, which can cause heart disease and cancers. Vitamin E is also a key component of healthy skin and eyes and promotes blood health.
The last vitamin that lipids help your body absorb is vitamin K. Vitamin K plays several unique roles in your health. Along with vitamin D, it helps to promote bone health and produces healthy bone tissue. Vitamin K also helps to make proteins that are needed for proper blood clotting, which is needed for proper healing cuts and scrapes.
In addition to all the great vitamin benefits lipids give you, they also impact your hormones. Lipids help with estrogen, testosterone, and cortisol. These hormones contribute to having good immune health, as well as your metabolism.
Even though lipids promote lots of great things in your body, you must make sure you consume them in healthy amounts. Along with many things, lipids are only good for you to a certain point. When you have too many lipids it can put you at risk for liver disease and heart disease.
Lipids come from fatty foods, fast food, fried foods, butter, milk, cheese, and most processed foods. Most of these foods are ones you should avoid eating in large quantities for many reasons, including overdoing it with lipids.
If you’re concerned about your lipid intake, or just want to make sure your levels are in the right place, schedule an appointment with your EPIC provider! A simple blood test called a lipid panel will test your overall cholesterol levels, LDL (bad cholesterol) levels, HDL (good cholesterol), and triglycpoerides.