Cholesterol

What is it?

Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a health-promoting substance. It is a crucial component of cell membranes, it helps brain cells go through synapses, which makes it vital for learning and memory and it is the precursor to all steroid hormones and vitamin D.

LDL and HDL

HDL and LDL are lipoproteins that the body uses for dealing with cholesterol. Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) is responsible for transporting cholesterol to all cells in the body. High Density Lipoprotein (HDL) is responsible for removing excess cholesterol from the blood stream and transporting it to the liver. LDL and HDL are structurally different through their composition. HDL is the smallest and densest of lipoproteins. It contains a relatively low amount of fat compared to its protein content. LDL is roughly twice the size of HDL and it is less dense. LDL have a lower density because they contain a much higher amount of fat in their core.

Concentrations of LDL and HDL Levels

  • Why do Doctors monitor these?
Keeping track of these levels let a doctor know if they need to take action and to decrease the patient's risk of heart disease.

  • What do these levels mean?
Low levels of HDL or high levels of LDL increases the risk of heart disease and associated disorders.

Molecules Monitored Along with LDL and HDL

Triglycerides and total level of cholesterol is monitored along with LDL and HDL.

Reading Results of a Cholesterol Test

Cholesterol levels are measured in milligrams of Cholesterol per deciliter of blood.

-For total level of cholesterol

  • Below 200 mg/dL is disirable
  • 200-239 mg/dL is borderline high
  • 240 mg/dL and above is high
-For LDL level
  • Below 70 mg/dL is best for people who have heart disease or diabetes.
  • Below 100 mg/dL is optimal for people at risk of heart disease.
  • 100-129 mg/dL is near optimal if there is no heart disease. High if there is heart disease.
  • 130-159 mg/dL is borderline high if there is no heart disease. High if there is heart disease.
  • 160-189 mg/dL is high if there is no heart disease. Very high if there is heart disease.
  • 190 mg/dL and above is very high.
-For HDL level
  • Below 40 mg/dL is poor
  • 40-59 mg/dL is okay
  • 60 mg/dL and above is best
-For triglycerides
  • Below 150 mg/dL is desirable
  • 150-199 mg/dL is borderline high
  • 200-499 mg/dL is high
  • 500 mg/dL and above is very high

Make a Change

To lower levels all that you have to do is make better eating choices.

Fats

Unsaturated are best for cholesterol levels and for overall health.

Saturated and trans fats should be avoided in all diets because they are bad on the body.