Cholesterol, LDL, and HDL

By: Shea Prather

LDL (Low density lipoprotein)- Bad kind of lipoprotein, it collects in the walls of blood vessels, causing the blockages of atherosclerosis.

HDL (High density lipoprotein)- Good kind of lipoprotein, goes through the bloodstream and removes harmful cholesterol from where it doesn't belong.

HDL and LDL differ structurally and functionally:

Structurally: Although HDL and LDL are both made up of lipids and protein, there are many differences between the two. HDL is 50% protein, but LDL is only 25% protein. HDL is more dense hence high density lipoprotein. Also, they contain different types of proteins.

Functionally: Both lipoproteins transfer cholesterol in the blood, but where they transfer it to in the body is different. LDL brings cholesterol to cells throughout your body and can lead to buildup in your arteries. HDL carries cholesterol away from your heart and delivers it back to the liver.

It is important to monitor levels of HDL and LDL in your blood because if you have too much or too little of either, it could be dangerous to your heart.

High levels of LDL in your blood can lead to Atherosclerosis increasing your risk of having a heart attack. HDL reduces the risk of heart disease because it carries bad cholesterol away from the blood stream.

Cholesterol and Triglyceride levels are monitored in a patient's blood as well as HDL and LDL. Having high amounts of these could increase your risk of heart disease.

Normal cholesterol level is less than 200 mg/dL, normal LDL level is less than 100 mg/dL, normal HDL level is more than 40 mg/dL, and normal triglyceride level is less than 150 mg/dL.

Increased amount of these values could lead to heart disease.

To lower the levels of LDL and raise the levels of HDL, a patient must have a healthy diet and weight and also exercise regularly.

Saturated fats raise cholesterol levels and LDL levels which means they are bad for your health. Trans fats are also bad for your health, lowering HDL levels. Unsaturated fats are better for your health because they lower cholesterol levels.

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