LDL and HDL

by: Alizabeth Goldey

What are LDL and HDL?

LDL is the lipoprotein that carries the cholesterol throughout your body, delivering it to different organs and tissues. HDL, which is also a lipoprotein, picks up excess cholesterol in your blood and takes it back to your liver where it's broken down. (Mayo Clinic Staff)
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At which concentrations of LDL and HDL associate you with the risk for heart disease and associated disorders?

For men, you are at risk for heart disease and associated disorders when your HDL cholesterol levels are less than 40 mg/dL. Men want their HDL levels to be 60 mg/dL or above. For women they don't want their levels to become less than 50 mg/dL and be more than 60 mg/dL. LDL levels for both men and women should be below at least 129 mg/dL. 129 mg/dL is also almost borderline high. if your LDL levels get above 160 you are at risk for heart disease and associated disorders. (
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What other molecules in a patient's blood is monitored along with LDL and HDL?

Some other molecules that are monitored along with LDL and HDL are triglycerides and VLDL. Triglycerides are the type of fat the body uses to store energy and give energy to your muscles. Having a high triglyceride level along with a high LDL level may increase your chances of developing heart disease. VLDL's job is to distribute triglycerides produced by your liver. Having a high VLDL can cause cholesterol to build up in your arteries. (WebMD)
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How does intake of unsaturated, saturated, and trans fats affect cholesterol levels and overall health?

The intake of unsaturated fats can help lower your cholesterol and improve your overall health over time. Unlike unsaturated fats, saturated fats may increase your cholesterol levels and may help cause build up over time. When over-eaten, trans fats can affect your overall health. Trans fats may increase your LDL cholesterol levels and lower your HDL levels. (American Heart Association)
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Mayo Clinic. (2012, September). Cholesterol levels: What numbers should you aim for? Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/in-depth/hdl-cholesterol/art-20046388?pg=1
Mayo Clinic Staff. (2012, November). HDL cholesterol: How to boost your 'good' cholesterol. Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/in-depth/hdl-cholesterol/art-20046388?pg=1
WebMD. (2014, March). Cholesterol and triglycerides test. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/cholesterol-management/cholesterol-and-triglycerides-tests