By: Addison Tandy
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat like substance that's found in all cell's of the body. Your body needs some cholesterol to make hormones, vitamin D, and substances that help you digest food.
Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) is one of the five major groups of lipoprotein. A microscopic blob that's made up of an outer rim of lipoprotein that surrounds a cholesterol center. Higher levels of LDL raise your risk of heart disease.
High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) is also one of the five major groups of lipoprotein. It is a microscopic blob that consist of a rim of lipoprotein surrounding a cholesterol center. It goes through the blood stream. As it does that is removes harmful/bad cholesterol from where it doesn't belong. High HDL levels reduce the risk of heart disease.
Why do doctors monitor the concentrations of LDL and HDL?
It's important for doctors to measure both HDL and LDL in order to know weather more cholesterol is being carried to or from the cells. Both HDL and LDL carry cholesterol through the blood stream, but they have very different effects in the body, which is why both are measured to assess overall heart health. LDL carries cholesterol from the liver, toward the body cells. HDL conversely, carries cholesterol away from the body cells and back towards the liver. From there it is eliminated via the digestive tract.
Heart Disease in association to HDL and LDL
This cholesterol protein package is called a lipoprotein. Lipoprotein analysis measueres blood levels of total cholesterol , LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides cholesterol.
What do the results of a cholesterol test mean?
Your test report will show your cholesterol levels in milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg/dL). Your total cholesterol and HDL cholesterol are among numerous factors your doctor can use to predict your life time or 10-year risk for a heart attack.
What patients can do to change the levels of LDL and HDL.
A healthy diet will higher your HDL and lower your LDL. Saturated fat in take should be limited to 7% or less of total calories. Cholesterol should be 200 mg or less. Omega 3 fatty acids will be increase HDL. Exercise can rise HDL levels by as much as 5%. However this activity must be consistent with at least 30 minutes a day for at least five days a week. About every 6 pounds lost can raise HDL by one and lower LDL by one. Medication can also be used to increase HDL and LDL levels.
How does intake of unsaturated, saturated, and trans fats affect cholesterol levels and overall health?
To much saturated, unsaturated, and trans fats can cause a person's LDL levels to increase. This could then lead to arterial hardening. If there is more LDL, than HDL can uptake on, then a person could suffer from a heart attack. Unsaturated are called good fats because they can improve blood cholesterol levels, ease inflammation, stabilize heart rhythms, and play a number of other beneficial roles. Trans fats are made up of by heating liquid vegetable oils, in the presence of hydrogen gas and a catalyst, a process called hydrogenation.