What is Cholesterol?

Created By: Dawson Meade

How does LDL and HDL differ structurally and Functionally?


The differences between HDL and LDL, structurally, are that LDL is composed mostly of cholesterol. Around 50% and then around 25% is composed of protein. Now, HDL is composed mostly of protein. Around 50% and then around 25% is cholesterol.


The differences between HDL and LDL, functionally, are the LDL carries cholesterol through out the body to its cells. It can cause cholesterol to build up in your arteries, this buildup can eventually lead to arterial blockage and increased risk to and for heart disease, and stroke. Now HDL carries cholesterol away from the heart to other organs and back to the liver. (Kramps, Media)

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

LDL can easily cause Heart Disease by dropping off cholesterol in the arteries, or veins, or vessels. Over time the cholesterol will build up and pack together cause arterial blockage, which is a risk for heart disease. HDL if to low, will be over powered by the LDL and not be able to get rid of as much access cholesterol, there for will become plaque on the artery walls. This is usually called atherosclerosis. The concentrations should be that LDL is lower than HDL. (WebMD)

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

A cholesterol test measures LDL, HDL, and the Triglycerides in your blood, as well as the total cholesterol. The test used is called a Lipid Panel. The way the patient will interpret each value is different for each person. The normal standards or safe standards are:

Total Cholesterol - Below 200 mg/dl

LDL - In between 100 mg/dl and 129 mg/dl

HDL - 60 mg/dl or Below

Triglycerides - Below 150 mg/dl


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

avoiding saturated fats (primarily found in foods from animal sources) and trans fats (hydrogenated oils and partially hydrogenated oils, commonly found in snack foods) will help to lower total cholesterol, as well as your LDL. Eating a diet that is low fiber and contains a lot of saturated and/or trans fats (in other words, the typical American diet) will raise total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. (Seale)

Eating saturated fats raises your LDL. Trans fats, which are hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated saturated fats, should be eliminated completely from your diet. Studies have shown that trans fats stick to the blood vessels and cause an exponential rise in heart attacks. (Matzer)


Arielle Kramps, Demand Media (N.D.) How do LDL and HDL differ structurally and Functionally? Retrieved from http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/ldl-hdl-differ-structurally-functionally-2003.html

Mayo Clinic Staff, (N.D.) Cholesterol levels: What numbers should you aim for? Retrieved from http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/high-blood-cholesterol/in-depth/cholesterol-levels/art-20048245

Seale, Matzer (N.D.) How does your diet affect your cholesterol levels. Retrieved from


WebMD, INC (N.D.) Heart Disease and Lowering Cholesterol. Retrieved from http://www.webmd.com/heart-disease/guide/heart-disease-lower-cholesterol-risk