Cholesterol: LDL and HDL

By: Alexis Sorrell

What are LDL and HDL?

LDL (Low-Density Lipoprotein)- LDL causes blockages by collecting on the walls of blood vessels.

HDL (High-Density Lipoprotein)- HDL goes through the blood stream and removes LDL's off the walls of blood vessels.

Structure and Function of LDL and HDL:

Structure: LDL's and HDL's are both made up of lipids and proteins. The difference between the two is that LDL's have are made up of more cholesterol and HDL's are made up of more protein.

Function: Both LDL's and HDL's transport cholesterol, the difference between them is where the transport the cholesterol to. LDL's bring cholesterol to your cells and HDL's take cholesterol away from your heart.

Why is the concentration of LDL and HDL in Blood Monitored?

These levels are monitored by a doctor to tell if a patient is at risk for heart disease.

How are the concentrations of LDL and HDL associated with heart disease?

If there are high levels of HDL and low levels of LDL then your risk for heart disease is increased.

What other molecules in blood are monitored with HDL and LDL?

Along with HDL and LDL, cholesterol and triglycerides are monitored. Having high amounts of any of these can increase your risk of heart disease.

What do the results of a cholesterol test mean?

A good amount of cholesterol is under 200 mg/dL, for triglycerides the normal amount is 150 mg/dL. A normal amount of LDL in blood is less than 100 mg/dL and for HDL is higher than 40 mg/dL.

What can patients do to change the levels of LDL and HDL?

To lower these, a patient must eat a healthy diet and have a healthy weight. They must also exercise regularly.  

What is unsaturated, saturated, and trans fats affect on cholesterol levels and health?

Unsaturated fats are good for health and help lower cholesterol levels. Saturated fats are bad for your health and raise LDL levels. Trans fats are also bad for your health and lower HDL's.

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