GoodHealthGuide.org – Have you ever read about cholesterol and its different types, and wondered what is LDL cholesterol? Before you learn deeper about LDL itself, you may want to understand what lipoprotein is itself. Due to concerns regarding high cholesterol and its role in a lot of health problems, a lot of people have heard about high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL).
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HDL is generally known as “good” cholesterol, while LDL, on the other hand, is known as “bad” cholesterol. HDL brings cholesterol to the liver, where it can then be metabolized well. It seems that HDL protects the cardiovascular system from diseases even though experts are not entirely sure how.
LDL is a group of lipoprotein that carries cholesterol, triglyceride, and other lipids in fat to various parts of the body. More specifically, the main function of LDL is to carry cholesterol from the heart to tissues by fusing it with the cell membrane. It is often referred to as “bad” cholesterol because a high level of LDL correlates with cardiovascular diseases. One of them is the hardening and clogging of arteries.
Measuring The Level Of LDL Cholesterol
The level of LDL and HDL in blood is measured through a blood test. The standard lipid profile test determines the type of lipoprotein that exists in blood, as well as the ratio between HDL and LDL. This test also measures triglyceride, a different type of fat that is produced by the body and can affect the risk of heart diseases.
Recently, a more comprehensive test has become available. The test is called as the Vertical Auto Profile (VAP) test. It can directly measure LDL, as well as many other lipoproteins in blood, not just HDL, LDL, and triglyceride. The standard test measure four components, while VAP test measures 15 components. As VAP test provides more information, it can help in determining risk factors even further for individuals with a family history of heart diseases, diabetes, stroke, and high blood pressure.
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Lowering LDL Cholesterol Levels
The latest cholesterol guide recommends you to lower your LDL levels to 70 mg/dL or less if you smoke, are of the age 45 (for males) or 55 (for females), have hypertension or diabetes, and other risk factors. For most people, the recommended LDL level is anything below 100 mg/dL As a high LDL level is a risk factor for dangerous diseases such as stroke and heart diseases, your doctor is likely to prescribe cholesterol-lowering pills for you if you have a high LDL level. Even though those pills are needed in the short-term, it should not be your main choice for the long-term solution.
Hinder yourselves from foods that can cause high cholesterol. Avoiding saturated fat and trans fat is especially important. Instead, eat a lot of food that can lower cholesterol. Increase your amount of exercise, stop smoking, and manage your stress well. Now that you can answer the question “What is LDL cholesterol?”, you should be aware of its dangers and make the necessary changes in your life to avoid a high LDL level.