What you need to know about Cholesterol
What is Cholesterol?
What are LDL and HDL?
LDL- LDL (low density- lipoprotein) is the bad cholesterol. LDL collects in the walls of blood vessels, causing the blockages of atherosclerosis ( specific form of arteriosclerosis in which an artery wall thickens as a result of invasion and accumulation of white blood cells).
HDL- HDL (High density- lipoprotein) is the good cholesterol. HDL scavenges and removes LDL. HDL reduces, reuses, and recycles LDL cholesterol by transporting LDL to the liver where it then can be processed. HDL acts like as a cleaning crew for the inner walls (endothelium) blood vessels. HDL scrubs walls and keeps them clean.
How do LDL and HDL differ stucurally and functionally?
The Structure of Both LDL and HDL contain lipids and proteins
LDL is 50% cholesterol and 25% is protein. HDL is 20% cholesterol, while 50% is protein
Since protein is more dense then fat, HDL particles are more dense then the LDL particles.
LDL contains the protein B-100, while HDL mostly contains A-1 and A-11 proteins. Protein determines the function of the lipoprotein.
The Function of Both LDL and HDL transport cholesterol throughout the blood.
LDL are the primary carriers of cholesterol and they bring cholesterol to cells throughout your body and can cause cholesterol build-up within your arteries and increase heart disease and stroke. HDL's job is to carry cholesterol away from your heart and other organs and deliver it back to your liver, where it passed from your body.
Why do doctors monitor the concentrations of LDL and HDL in patients’ blood?
Doctors monitor patients concentration of LDL and HDL to help evaluate person's health status and to determine whether a person is at risk for cardiovascular disease. Doctors measure HDL levels to ensure that levels are high enough to promote good cardiovascular health. Too much LDL in the bloodstream can result in cholesterol plaques forming inside arteries. The results in atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, and can lead to heart attack or stroke. HDL levels that are higher are better for your health. LDL levels that are lower are better for your health.