What you don't know could be killing you...

Over 2,100 Americans die every day because of cardiovascular disease, and an average of 1 person every 40 seconds. High cholesterol is one of the major factors of this disease.

What is LDL?

  • LDL is a lipoprotein that is responsible for taking cholesterol into cells.

What is HDL?

  • HDL is a lipoprotein that is responsible for removing extra cholesterol  from the blood stream, and taking it to the liver.

How are LDL and HDL different?

  • If you've heard someone say "bad" cholesterol, they're referring to LDL.
  • LDL can be referred to as bad cholesterol because it contributes to plaque, a thick substance that can clog arteries, and make them less flexible.
  • When you hear "good" cholesterol, it means the HDL.
  • HDL is considered a good cholesterol because it helps remove LDL from the arteries.
  • LDL contains way less protein than HDL, and a lot more cholesterol than HDL. This causes it to me low-density which gives it the name LDL, and causes HDL to be high-density, giving it the name HDL.

Why should cholesterol levels be monitored?

  • High cholesterol is one of the major factors for coronary heart disease, heart attack, and stroke.
  • High cholesterol combined with other factors like smoking, high blood pressure, or diabetes increases the risk even further
  • High cholesterol usually means that your arteries are clogged up, which is why it needs to be monitored.

How are LDL and HDL associated with heart disease and other disorders?

  • HDL is supposed to take LDL away
  • LDL contributes to Atherosclerosis
  • Atherosclerosis is the condition when your arteries are clogged.
  • When the arteries are narrow, it makes heart attacks and strokes very likely.

What other molecules are monitored in the blood stream?

  • Glucose is monitored in the blood stream. Diabetes is the condition where glucose levels are not normal.
  • Red blood cell count is monitored because if it was not normal it could mean you weren't getting enough oxygen.
  • White blood cell count is monitored because if it was not normal it could mean cancer or other diseases.

What do the test results of a cholesterol test mean?

  • Total cholesterol is calculated using: HDL+LDL+ 20% of triglyceride levels.
  • Having a high HDL number is not bad, it is actually good, because having low HDL is not good for you.
  • A low LDL is good, since it is the bad cholesterol.

How can you change the LDL and HDL levels in your blood?

  • Lifestyle changes are one of the best ways to reduce high cholesterol.
  • In some cases, there is cholesterol-lowering medicine you can take.
  • Avoid smoking
  • Eat healthier
  • Be more active.
  • Avoid fats, and foods that contain a lot of fats in them.

How does the intake of fats affect cholesterol levels and overall health?

  • The reason why eating unsaturated, saturated, and trans fats affect cholesterol levels is because whenever you eat a lot of fat, your liver produces more cholesterol.
  • Too much cholesterol is bad for your overall health, so avoiding eating too many fats, will help lower your cholesterol levels.

Works Cited:

By: Alex Solomon

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