Low/High density lipoprotiens

When cholesterol is transported around the body it has to be transported in little packets called lipoproteins. These lipoproteins also contain various lipids and proteins. Cholesterol isn't soluble in water so they need to be transported to the cells in these lipoproteins.

Lipoproteins come in many different types. This variation comes from the different proportions of lipids and proteins inside the lipoproteins. Proteins are denser than lipids.

Q1. What is the difference between an HDL and an LDL?

HDLs pick up their cholesterol from dying cells or from cells that are being restructured, and transported to the liver. LDLs usually carry the cholesterol from the liver to the parts of the body that need it.


LDLs often deposit cholesterol in the damaged walls of arteries. There is a positive link between LDLs and the risk of suffering from CHD and possibly a heart attack. HDLs have the reverse effect because they take cholesterol away from the walls of blood vessels.

The health focus has shifted from looking at the amount of cholesterol to the proportion of good HDLs and bad LDLs. The higher the proportion of HDLs, the lower the risk of heart disease.

A person who has a diet rich in saturated fat would have a high LDL level.

Q2. What should the person above do to improve their diet and reduce the amount of LDL in their bloodstream?

Improving your diet still does not reduce your LDL levels by very much. Numerous studies have suggested that even with a low - fat, low - cholesterol diet, the concentration of LDL can only be reduced by 10%.

Certain drugs can be used reduce cholesterol levels and inhibit the production of cholesterol. This is much more effective than using diet and therefore it reduces the level of LDLs. There is a drug that inhibits an enzyme in the liver cells which catalyses one of the reactions involved in the synthesis of cholesterol.

Q3. Which drug do you think is used to reduce cholesterol production in the body?