What is Cholesterol?
LDL and HDL
What are LDL and HDL? Well they are both a type of lipoproteins. LDL is considered 'bad cholesterol' because they bring cholesterol to cells throughout the body and can cause cholesterol to buildup within the arteries. This buildup can lead to arterial blockage and and increased risk for heart attack and stroke. HDL is considered 'good' cholesterol because its function is to carry cholesterol out of the heart and back to the liver where it is passed from the blood.
How do they differ?
LDL is structured with 50% cholesterol and 25% Protein.
HDL is structured with 25% cholesterol and 50% Protein. Since protein is more dense than fat, HDL is more dense than LDL. LDL contains a protein call B-100 and HDL mostly contain proteins called A-I and A-II.
Monitoring LDL and HDL and other molecules
triglycerides, low density lipoproteins, and high density lipoproteins are other molecules that are monitored with LDL and HDL.
The results of a cholesterol test could either mean they have really high cholesterol, low, or normal blood pressure. Patients can interpret each value based upon scales, less than 200 mg/dL is considered healthy, while 200 - 239 mg/dL is borderline high and 240 mg/dL is high.
How to change levels of LDL and HDL
Patients can change levels of LDL and HDL by changing their diet,increasing physical activity, and lowering stress.
Unsaturated fat helps lower LDL. Saturated raises level of cholesterol. Trans - partially hydrogenated, raises LDL, which can clog arteries and cause heart disease, and lower HDL