Chapter 1 the Problem and Its Setting Introduction

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CHAPTER 1
The Problem and its Setting
Introduction
Cholesterol is a chemical compound that is naturally produced by the body and is structurally a combination of lipid (fat) and steroids. Cholesterol is a building block for cell membrane and about 80% of the body’s cholesterol is produced by the liver, while the rest comes from our diet. The main sources of diet cholesterol are meat, poultry, fish and dairy products. After meal, dietary cholesterol is absorbed from the intestine and stored in the liver. The liver is able to regulate cholesterol levels in the bloodstream and can secrete cholesterol if it is needed by the body. Benjamin, 2011.

When too much LDL, “bad” cholesterol circulates in the blood, it can slowly build up in the inner walls of the arteries that fed the heart and vein. Together with other substances, it can form plaque, a thick, hard deposit that can narrow the arteries and make them less flexible. This condition is known as atherosclerosis. About one fourth to one third of cholesterol is carried by high density lipoproteins, HDL is known as “good” cholesterol, because high levels of HDL seem to protect the heart. Collins, 2012

A desirable cholesterol level is said as less than 200mg of cholesterol per deciliter of blood (mg/dL). Blood cholesterol level is considered a borderline high when it reaches the range of 200-239 mg/dL and considered as high cholesterol when it reaches more than 239 mg/dL. High cholesterol level is considered to be hypercholesterolemia. It is a form of hyperlipidemia and hyperlipoproteinemia Bertram, 2011.

Hypercholesterolemia occurs when there’s too much cholesterol. It is characterized by very high levels of cholesterol in the blood. For people who have a high risk of developing a form of heart diseases called coronary artery diseases. Bethesda, 2012.

There are some herbal medicines that can lower the cholesterol in the blood. One of them is the “Lato” (Caulerpa lentillifera). It is a kind of edible seaweed, known as “seagrapes” or “green caviar”. It is sensitive to low temperature and osmotic pressure and is easily spoiled by storage in refrigerator or washing with tap water. Some claimed it to be effective in lowering the blood cholesterol. Muhammad, 2012.

Therefore, the researchers conducted a study to prove the effectiveness of Lato (Caulerpa lentillifera) in lowering blood cholesterol. Background of the Study
Seaweed has always been used as additives in animal feed and amendments to the earth. Farmers used to harvest the seaweed from the seashore and, by adding it to the diets of their livestock or simply spreading it over the fields; they began to realize how beneficial it was. One kind of the seaweed, Caulerpa lentillifera, or “lato” is not only for food and commercial purposes. It also contains medicinal properties that may help cure some illness and diseases. It is an effective antifungal and an antibacterial, and used to cure goiter. This specie has lots of nutrients and minerals which can be beneficial in human’s health. This study started on other species of seaweeds, Polycystum sargassum, which has a property of lowering cholesterol. The study focuses on other kind of specie which is more available in Philippines, the Caulerpa lentillifera, known as “lato” which possess this kind of property. Upon completion of study, the researchers hope that this study will serve as a reference for further studies in the formulation of other hypercholesterolemic drug found in sea or terrestrial plants and can also help people in curing other kinds of diseases. Setting of the Study

The study was conducted at, Conception Aguila Hall, Laboratory Room 304, Centro Escolar University, Manila. Conceptual Framework
The lato (Caulerpa lentillifera) was collected at the water ground in Rosario, Cavite. The collected seaweeds were washed with distilled water. It was crushed into finely ground fresh sample and extracted using 95% ethanol. The extracted seaweeds were kept...
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