All about Cholersterol

By:Annette Isssom (7th)

What is cholesterol?

A compound of the sterol type found in most body tissues, including the blood and the nerves. Cholesterol and its derivatives are important constituents of cell membranes and precursors of other steroid compounds, but high concentrations in the blood (mainly derived from animal fats in the diet) are thought to promote atherosclerosis.

What is LDL?

It stands for low-density lipoprotein. Its job is to transfer fats through the bloodstream, then the intracellular water to all cells around the body. Lipoproteins are complex particles composed of multiple proteins which transport all fat molecules around the body within the water outside cells. They are typically composed of 80-100 proteins/particle (organized by a single LDL and the larger particles) and transporting about 3,000 to 6,000 fat molecules/particles. The fats carried include cholesterol, phospholipids, and triglycerides

What is HDL?

Lipoproteins are complex particles composed of multiple proteins which transport all fat molecules around the body within the water outside cells. Unlike the larger lipoprotein particles which deliver fat molecules to cells, HDL particles remove fat molecules from cells which want to export fat molecules.

Why do doctors monitor the concentrations of LDL and HDL in patients’ blood?

Physicians monitor these two factors because their levels in the blood help doctors to evaluate a person’s health status and to determine whether a person is at risk for cardiovascular disease. The LDL carries cholesterol from the liver toward the body cells, HDL conversely, carries cholesterol away from the body cells and back toward the liver. It’s important for doctors to measure both HDL and LDL in order to know whether more cholesterol is being carried to or from the cells.

How are the concentrations of LDL and HDL associated with the risk for heart disease and associated disorders?

LDL is the main source of artery-clogging plaque. HDL works to clear cholesterol from the blood. But, when there is too much cholesterol in the blood, it builds up in the walls of your arteries, causing the process of atherosclerosis, a form of heart disease. The arteries become narrow and blood flow to the heart muscle is slowed down or blocked. The blood carries oxygen to the heart, and if enough blood and oxygen cannot reach your heart, you may suffer chest pain. If the blood supply to a portion of the heart is completely cut off by a blockage, the result is a heart attack.

What other molecules in a patient’s blood are monitored along with LDL and HDL?

Triglycerides which is a blood lipid that helps enable the bidirectional transference of adipose fat and blood glucose from liver. which could also be a good help to help monitor LDL & HDL.

What do the results of a cholesterol test mean? How do patients interpret each value?

It is to measure the LDL, HDL and the Triglycerides. Each number takes on a different meaning in relation to the others. In addition, other risk factors for heart disease, such as smoking, family history, and diabetes, can affect the meaning of your results.

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

Saturated fat is that it takes more to break down the fat then what your body produces normally when you eat leaner meats. All meat products are going to have it, and it is something you need but only in very small quantities. Trans fats are laboratory created fats that preserve the longevity of junk food, like Oreos. You should actually avoid this fat at all costs because in no amount is it good for you to take in something that is not natural.

What Can Patients do to Change the Levels of LDL and HDL in Their Blood?

The two main things a patient can do to change their HDL and LDL levels are have a healthy diet and exercise often! To lower LDL levels, one should eat less saturated fats. To higher HDL levels, one should take in more omega-3 fatty acids. Medication can also help.