by: Riley O'Shea and Katie Mangini
LDL and HDL function and structure
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.
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.
11 Power Foods for Lower Cholesterol." EverydayHealth.com. 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.