LDL Cholesterol levels indicate higher risks for heart disease

LDL is an indicator of fatty deposits in the arteries

Low density Lipoproteins the bad cholesterol

Low-density lipoprotein refers to a class and range of lipoprotein particles, varying somewhat in their size and contents, which carry cholesterol in the blood and around the body, for use by various cells.

It is commonly referred to as bad cholesterol due to the link between high levels and cardiovascular disease.

The correct function

Generally, LDL transports cholesterol and triglycerides away from cells and tissues that produce more than they use, towards cells and tissues that need the cholesterol and triglycerides.

What goes wrong?

Because the Low Density Lipoprotein transports cholesterol in the blood through the arteries, increased levels are associated with atherosclerosis, and thus myocardial infarctions, strokes, and peripheral artery occlusive disease.

This is why the cholesterol that is inside the Low Density lipoprotein is called bad cholesterol. Still, it is not the cholesterol that is bad; it is instead how and where it is being transported, and in what amounts over time.

Increasing evidence has revealed that the concentration and size of the particles more powerfully relates to the degree of atherosclerosis progression than the concentration of cholesterol contained within all the LDL particles.

Having low concentrations of large particles is the healthy pattern. Conversely, high concentrations of small Low Density Lipoprotein particles, despite the same total cholesterol content correlates with much faster growth of atheroma and progression of atherosclerosis.

Low Density Lipoprotein is formed as VLDL lipoproteins lose triglyceride through the action of lipoprotein lipase (LPL), and become smaller and denser containing a higher proportion of cholesterol.

Guidelines

The American Heart Association, NIH and NCEP provides a set of guidelines for fasting LDL levels and risk for Coronary heart disease.

LDL-Cholesterol Level Guidelines
Less than 100 mg/dL Optimal
100 to 129 mg/dL Near Optimal
130 to 159 mg/dL Borderline High
160 to 189 mg/dL High
190 mg/dL and above Very High

Our levels increase when we

  • Eat saturated fats
  • Eat foods that are high in cholesterol
  • Eat trans fats
  • Are over weight
  • Live a sedentary lifestyle

Our levels decrease when we

  • watch our diets
  • lose weight
  • exercise
  • and when needed take Statins.

There surely is no need for us to suffer, and get heart disease we can avoid it by lowering our bad cholesterol levels and adopting a healthy lifestyle.

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