Cholesterol

By: Suzy Baiz

What is LDL?

  • LDL stands for Low Density Lipoprotein.
  • It is a cholesterol-carrying particle in the blood, made up of cholesterol and other lipids.
  • High LDL levels in the blood correlate with a tendency to develop blocked blood vessels and heart disease.
  • Also called "bad cholesterol."

What is HDL?

  • HDL stands for High Density Lipoprotein.
  • It is a cholesterol-carrying particle in the blood, made up of cholesterol and other lipids.
  • An HDL particle carries less cholesterol than LDL, and may be correlated with a decreased risk of blood vessel blockage.
  • Also called "good cholesterol."

Structure and Functions

Structure

LDL-Approximately 50% of the weight of a LDL is cholesterol and 25% is protein.

LDL contains B-100 proteins.

HDL- Consists of 20% cholesterol and 50% protein in weight.

Contains A-I and A-II proteins.

Functions

Both transport cholesterol in the blood.

LDL- The primary carrier of cholesterol.

Brings cholesterol to your cells throughout your body and can cause build up in the arteries.

HDL- Carries cholesterol away from your heart and other organs and delivers it back to the liver, where it is passed from your body.

Why is it Monitored?

  • These levels in the blood help evaluate a person's health status.
  • Determines if the person is at risk for cardiovascular disease.
  • To know if more cholesterol is being carried to or from the cells.

LDL and HDL associated with Heart Risk

  • High LDL levels can be associated with a stroke or hear attack, they can make the arteries clog, this is why it is sometimes referred to as "bad" cholesterol.

Making Changes in Your Levels

  • Lowering your LDL levels and increasing your HDL levels can reduce your risk of heart disease.
  • Don't smoke.
  • Get more physical activity.
  • Eat healthy.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation.

Other Molecules Tested For

  • Total Cholesterol
  • LDL
  • HDL
  • Triglycerides

Fats

  • Saturated Fats raise your LDL.
  • Trans Fats should be eliminated.
  • Monounsaturated fats lower LDL levels.
  • Carbohydrates can raise your triglycerides and lowers HDL.

Sources

  • "How Do LDL and HDL Differ Structurally and Functionally?" Healthy Eating. Web. 14 Dec. 2014.
  • "Why Do Doctors Monitor the Concentration of LDL & HDL?" LIVESTRONG.COM. LIVESTRONG.COM, 4 May 2014. Web. 14 Dec. 2014.