HEART UK took its message on the importance of knowing your cholesterol to Westminster this week. The nation's leading cholesterol charity, organisers of the UK's first National Cholesterol Week, set up cholesterol testing in the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday afternoon.
Derek not only attended this event, but also had his cholesterol checked.
"I am delighted to support HEART UK's National Cholesterol Week. Heart disease is the biggest killer in the UK and if something as simple and painless as a quick cholesterol test can make the difference between a long and healthy life or a shorter life expectancy, marred by illness, then I urge all my constituents to get their cholesterol tested as soon as possible", said Derek after receiving his results.
All you have to do is make an appointment at your local GP's surgery. A raised cholesterol reading is a very useful indicator of cardiovascular problems and so early testing is a good way of helping to keep your heart healthy."
This Parliamentary Reception, sponsored by Welch's Purple Grape Juice, was organised by HEART UK in conjunction with Labour's Vale of Clwyd MP Chris Ruane, Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Heart Disease. Celebrity chef Aldo Zilli also attended this event in his role as Ambassador to HEART UK. The author of Zilli Light and the owner of several renowned restaurants in London, he has lost several relatives to problems associated with high cholesterol and so is a keen supporter of the work of HEART UK.
"I am delighted to be here this afternoon supporting HEART UK's National Cholesterol Week", he told Derek and his parliamentary colleagues: "I am determined to raise awareness of the problems of too much cholesterol. Many people don't fully understand how important it is to keep cholesterol in check or how to do it. People need to look at what they are putting into their bodies. Remember you only have one body and one heart."
Cholesterol is a waxy substance found naturally in the body, but high levels of it can cause the arteries to narrow. Not only does this force the heart to work harder to pump the blood around the body, but if arteries that feed the heart become completely blocked it can become starved of oxygen resulting in a heart attack. Cholesterol is measured in units called millimoles per litre of blood (mmol/L). According to guidelines laid out by the Joint British Societies, we should aim for a total cholesterol level under 55 mmol/l in order to keep our hearts healthy and an LDL cholesterol of less than 3 mmol/l.