What are HDL and LDL?
LDL: Low-density lipoprotein- It transports cholesterol from the liver to the tissues of the body. (The bad kind of Cholesterol)
HDL: High-density lipoprotein- Lipoproteins, which are combinations of fats (lipids) and proteins
Structure and Function:
Structure and function of LDL: They consist of 50 percent of the weight of an LDL particle is cholesterol and only 25 percent is protein. LDL brings cholesterol to cells throughout your body and can cause cholesterol to buildup within your arteries.
Structure and function of HDL: They consist of 20 percent cholesterol by weight and 50 percent protein. Can benefit your health because these particles carry cholesterol away from your heart and other organs and deliver it back to your liver.
Low-density lipoproteins and high-density lipoproteins both transport cholesterol in the blood, the main functional difference between the two is they deliver cholesterol to different parts of your body.
Why do doctors monitor LDL and HDL in patients blood?
HDL: It carries about a third of total cholesterol. Doctors monitor this level because according to the American Heart Association, HDL levels greater than 40 mg/dL reduce the risk of heart disease.
LDL: It has the ability to collect in the arteries. Doctors monitor LDL levels because too much can put a patient at risk of heart attack or stroke.
How are the concentrations of HDL and LDL associate with the risk of heart disease?
Usually high concentrations of HDL and LDL links to high in fats which can be bad on the arteries and heart.
Other molecules in patients blood that is monitored?
Triglycerides and blood sugar are commonly taken
What do the results of a cholesterol test mean? How do patients interpret each value?
They tell you if you have high and low cholesterol. They can show if you will have a risk of heart attack or stroke in the next 10 years. Your test report will show your cholesterol levels in milligrams per deciliter of blood (mg/dL)
Less than 200 mg/dL = Desirable (lower risk)
200 to 239 mg/dL = Borderline high (higher risk)
240 mg/dL and above = High blood cholesterol (more risk)
What can patients do to change LDL and HDL levels in their blood?
Doctors often prescribe medications such as niacin, resins, aspirin and fibric acid derivatives for patients with high LDL or low HDL to help prevent heart attack and stroke.
Eating a low fat diet (low in saturated fats), exercising at least 30 minutes per day 3 days per week, and maintaining a healthy weight can help the body sustain healthy HDL and LDL levels.
How does the intake of unsaturated, saturated, and trans fats affect cholesterol and overall health?
Being aware of the different types of fat and their affects on your body. Unsaturated fats are health fats that can improve cholesterol. Trans fatsincreasing your risk of heart disease. Additionally, consuming trans fat can increase the inflammation in your body, which may increase your risk of cardiovascular disease and Type 2 diabetes. High levels of LDL. Saturated fats can cause high levels of LDL and cause issues with your heart and body.