by: Riley O'Shea and Katie Mangini

LDL and HDL function and structure

There is two types of cholesterol, LDL and HDL. LDL stands for low density lipoprotein, while HDL is high density lipoprotein. HDL is known as the good cholesterol and LDL is known as the bad cholesterol. Lipoproteins are a compound of lipids and proteins. LDL has a higher concentration of cholesterol and low concentration of proteins, and the protein it contains is B-100. HDL has a higher concentration of proteins and lower concentration of cholesterol, and the proteins it contains are A-I and A-II. The proteins contained in the lipoprotein determines its function. Both of the lipoproteins have the same basic function: to distribute cholesterol throughout the body. The difference is that LDL carries through the arteries and takes cholesterol to the cells, and the way it does this can cause build up on the arterial wall and cause plaque build up which can lead to heart attacks or strokes. HDL, on the other hand, distributes cholesterol to the liver which then releases it from the body.
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Why are LDL and HDL monitored?

Doctors monitor LDL because too much LDL in the bloodstream can result in cholesterol plaques forming. This can lead to harden arteries and then heart attacks or strokes. Doctors measure HDL because they need to make sure that the levels are high enough to promote good cardiovascular health. Too much LDL or too little HDL can lead to heart disease because the arteries get clogged and that leads to heart disease because the heart would have to work harder. Other molecules that are measured are triglycerides, low density lipoproteins, and high density lipoproteins. Triglycerides are a type of fat found in the bloodstream inside of cholesterol molecules, therefore, high levels of triglyceride increase the risk for heart disease.

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What your Test Results mean and How Can You Fix Them?

Test results for LDL and HDL will appear as a number with the mg/dL. The number for LDL should be below 190mg/dL, and if it is above it can represent risk of heart condition. The HDL number should be above 40mg/dL. The reason why HDL needs to be higher is because it helps flush out the buildup of cholesterol in arteries. The patient needs to understand that a high level of LDL means a higher chance for a bigger build up of plaque in arteries. A lower level of HDL means there not enough HDL to help get rid of the LDL that has built up. A way to lower LDL is to consume a healthier diet. The diet would consist of whole grains and fiber which absorb cholesterol, green tea, and grape juice which is high in HDL. There are many other options. Unsaturated are a good food source to lower LDL, but unsaturated fats and trans fat have an opposite effect. If trans fat and saturated fat is high it will increase LDL and chance for heart disease.

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Work Cited

Cholesterol Tests: Understand Your Results." WebMD. WebMD. Web. 09 Dec. 2015.

11 Power Foods for Lower Cholesterol." Web. 09 Dec. 2015.

"Why Do Doctors Monitor the Concentrations of LDL and HDL in Patients' Blood?" High-Density Lipoprotein V.s. Low-Density Lipoprotein. Web. 09 Dec. 2015.