Eron Poe

What LDL and HDL are and how they differ structurally and functionally

LDL causes buildups of plaque in the arteries that can lead to heart disease, heart attacks, and strokes. HDL removes the bad cholesterol (LDL), transports LDL to the liver to be reprocessed, and helps the inner walls of the blood vessels. Both LDL and HDL are microscopic blobs that consists of a lining of lipoprotein surrounding cholesterol in the center. 50% of the weight of an LDL is cholesterol and only 25% is protein. HDLs consist of 20% cholesterol by weight and 50% protein. LDL bring cholesterol to the cells throughout the body and can cause cholesterol to buildup within the arteries. HDL benefit your health because they carry cholesterol away from your heart and other organs.

Why doctors monitor the concentrations of LDL and HDL in patients' blood

  • To prevent too much LDL which could cause plaque buildups
  • To make sure the levels are high enough to promote good cardiovascular health
  • To see if the patient is at risk for heart disease

How concentrations of LDL and HDL are associated with the risk for heart disease/ associated diseases

LDL will build up in the blood vessels causing heart disease (atherosclerosis). HDL reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease because it carries it away from the blood stream.

Other molecules in patient's blood that are monitored along with LDL and HDL

  • Cholesterol
  • LDL
  • HDL
  • Triglycerides
  • Blood sugar

Meaning of results from cholesterol test and how patients interpret each value

Your total cholesterol and HDL cholesterol levels are factors your doctor can use to predict your lifetime or 10-year risk for a heart attack or stroke. Your total cholesterol value is calculated by HDL+LDL+20% of the triglyceride level

What patients can do to change the levels of LDL and HDL in their blood

  • Healthy diets
  • Saturated fat intake should be 7% or less of total calories
  • Exercise
  • Medications
  • Eating Omega 3

How intake of unsaturated, saturated, and trans fats affect cholesterol levels and overall health

Too much can cause
  • increase LDL levels
  • arterial hardening
  • heart attacks