By Mariana Sanchez
What are LDL and HDL?
LDL is the bad cholesterol in your body. LDL collects in the walls of the blood vessels, causing the blockages of atherosclerosis. HDL is the good cholesterol in your body. HDL cruises in the bloodstream. As it does, it removes harmful bad cholesterol from where it doesn't belong.
How do LDL and HDL differ structurally and functionally?
LDL and HDL differ structurally by their compositions. Approximately 50% of the weight that LDL has is cholesterol and 25% is protein. HDL consist of 20% of cholesterol by weight and 50% of it is protein. LDL and HDL differ functionally by delivering cholesterol to different parts of your body. LDL brings cholesterol to cells throughout your body and can cause cholesterol to buildup within your arteries. HDL carries cholesterol away from the heart and other organs and deliver it back to your liver, where it passed from your body.
Why do doctors monitor the concentrations of LDL and HDL in a patients blood?
Doctors monitor the concentrations of LDL and HDL in a patients blood because their levels in the blood help doctors to evaluate a person's health status and to determine whether a person is at risk for cardiovascular disease.
How are the concentrations of LDL and HDL associated with the risk for the heart disease and associated disorders?
The concentrations of LDL and HDL associate with the risk for heart disease and disorders when there is too much cholesterol in your blood. The blood can build up in the walls of your arteries and cause atherosclerosis which is a form of heart disease.
What other molecules in a patient's blood are monitored along with LDL and HDL?
LDL and HDL aren't the only things getting monitored in a patients blood. Other molecules that are being monitored in a patient's blood are RBC, WBC, triglycerides, and hemoglobin.
What do the results of a cholesterol test mean? How do patients interpret each value?
A result of a cholesterol test means that your test report will show your cholesterol levels in milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg/dL). Patients interpret blood cholesterol tests results by blood cholesterol being measured in a small blood sample taken from a finger prick.
What can patients do to change the levels of LDL and HDL in their blood?
Patients can do several things to change the levels of LDL and HDL in their blood. For example, patients can get a blood test to start off, to know where their LDL and HDL stand. Once they've done that, and have seen how they wanna change their cholesterol levels to, they can eat a healthier diet, maintain a healthy weight, exercise daily, don't smoke, and if they are smokers, try to stop smoking or lower the amounts of smokes they get a day, and treat their high cholesterol.
How does intake of unsaturated, saturated, and trans fats affect cholesterol levels and overall health?
An intake of all these fats affect cholesterol levels and overall health in different ways. For example, saturated fats are fats that come from animals, which can cause your LDL cholesterol to go up. Unsaturated fats, on the other hand, are a much healthier choice of fats because they are fats that come from things that we can call natural. Unsaturated fats can be found in foods such as olive oil, Colonna oil and such. Trans fat, are much like unsaturated fats because they both come from natural fats, but trans fats are like the bad version of unsaturated fats. Trans fats are basically good fats that humans made bad. Trans fats are to be believed that it can cause atherosclerosis which is a type of heart disease.