What is Cholesterol?

By Brian Diaz

How do LDL and HDL differ structurally and functionally?

HDL particles are more dense than LDL particles. HDL have A-I and A-II proteins. High-density lipoproteins have 20% of weight in cholesterol and 50% of weight in protein. LDL have proteins called B-100 proteins. Low-density lipoproteins have 50% of weight in cholesterol and 25% of weight in protein. Both LDL and HDL transport cholesterol in the blood. Low-density lipoproteins bring cholesterol to cells throughout the body. High-density lipoproteins bring carry cholesterol away from the heart and other rgans and bring it back to the liver. (Kamps, A.)

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

Too much LDL can build up plaque and clog arteries, which can cause a heart attack. Too little LDL can cause anxiety, depression, or cancer. Too much HDL can increase your risk of encountering any coronary events. Too little HDL can develop atherosclerosis. (Behrenbeck, T.) (Corsetti, J.) (Singh, V.) (WebMD)
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What do the results of a cholesterol test mean? How do patients interpret each value?

Having a cholesterol level of below 200 mg/dL is normal. This means that your cholesterol level is healthy. Anywhere from 200-239 mg/dL is when your cholesterol levels are getting high. This means that you should work on maintaining your cholesterol levels healthy, eat foods that are low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and maintain physical activity. 240 mg/dL and above is high. This means that you need to lower your LDL levels by limiting your intake of foods with lots of fats, trans fats, and cholesterol. Then eat more foods with fiber. (Drugs.com)

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

Unsaturated fats improve cholesterol levels. Saturated fats increase LDL cholesterol and is unhealthy for your body. Trans fats are very bad for health a they increase LDL cholesterol and lower HDL cholesterol. (Kamps, A.)
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Behrenbeck, T. (Dec. 14, 2014). Can your total cholesterol level be too low? Retrieved from


Corsetti, J. (May 25, 2010). More "good" cholesterol is not always good for your health. Retrieved from


Drugs.com. (n.d.). Interpreting blood cholesterol test results. Retrieved from


Kamps, A. (n.d.). How do LDL and HDL differ structurally and functionally? Retrieved from


Kamps, A. (n.d.). How fats affect your body. Retrieved from


Singh, V. (June 19, 2013). Low HDL cholesterol. Retrieved from


WebMD. (n.d.). Heart disease and lowering cholesterol. Retrieved from