Cholesterol, LDL and HDL

By: Tyler Heston

What are LDL and HDL?

LDL- LDL is the cholesterol that most doctors prefer to as the "bad" cholesterol. LDL is a type of cholesterol that can contribute to plaque and create blockages in your blood vessels.

HDL- HDL is "good" cholesterol. HDL will remove LDL and also clean the inner walls of blood vessels.

How do LDL and HDL Differ Structurally and Functionally?

Structure- The main structure difference between LDL and HDL is how much cholesterol and protein is in them. Around 50% of the weight in LDL is cholesterol and 25% of the weight is protein. In HDL 20% of the weight is cholesterol and 50% of the weight is protein.

Function- The main function difference is where they deliver cholesterol to. LDL brings cholesterol to cells throughout your body. While HDL takes cholesterol to the liver and takes it away from the heart and other organs.

Why do Doctors Monitor the Concentrations of LDL and HDL in Patient's Blood?

Doctors monitor concentrations of LDL and HDL in patients blood so that they can tell how much at risk they are heart disease and blood clots.

How are the Concentrations of LDL and HDL Associated with the Risk for Heart Disease and Associated Disorders?

To much LDL can lead to a heart attack because it blocks blood vessels.

HDL can help prevent heart disease because it cleans blood vessels.

What Other Molecules in a Patient's Blood are Monitored Along with LDL and HDL?

Triglycerides are also monitored along with LDL and HDL. Triglyceride is a fat that is found in the bloodstream. It is in cholesterol molecules and if there are high levels of it will increase risk of heart disease.

What do the Results of a Cholesterol Test Mean? How do Patients Interpret Each Value?

A cholesterol test will show you how much cholesterol, HDL, LDL and Triglycerides are in your blood.

A normal blood cholesterol test will be under 200 mg/dL

A normal LDL level will be less than 100 mg/dL

For HDL it would be a high risk if your levels were under 40 mg/dL

For triglycerides a normal result would be less than 150 mg/dL

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

Patients can change their levels of LDL and HDL by eating healthier. They could eat healthier fats, eat more heart healthy food in general.

Exercise more. Get on a treadmill and jog, or maybe go outside and jog. Any sort of physical activity that can break a sweat can help. This will also help you lose weight.

Quit smoking. Smoking is a bad habit and it will ruin your life.

Limit alchohol intake.

How does Intake of Unsaturated, Saturated and Trans Fats Affect Cholesterol Levels and Overall Health?

Saturated Fat- Saturated fat will increase your cholesterol.

Unsaturated Fat- If you eat unsaturated fat instead of saturated fat it will help your cholesterol level.

Trans Fat- Trans fat will raise your LDL level and lower your HDL level.