Types of cholesterol and what you need to know about them
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What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is an organic molecule. It is a sterol, a type of lipid. Cholesterol is biosynthesized by all animal cells and is an essential structural component of animal cell membranes.
There are two main types of cholesterol: low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or "bad" cholesterol, and high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or "good" cholesterol. A cholesterol test is a blood test that measures the amount of each type of cholesterol and certain fats in your blood.
What are the four types of cholesterol?
The types of cholesterol and lipoproteins include:
- Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) or Bad Cholesterol — Plaque Builder.
- High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) or Good Cholesterol — The Bad Cholesterol Eater.
- Triglycerides — Blood Fats.
- Lp(a) Cholesterol.
Doctors and other health care professionals consider LDL cholesterol the “bad” cholesterol. Increased numbers of LDL cholesterol indicate more risk for blocked arteries and health problems. Doctors consider HDL cholesterolthe “good” cholesterol, and they interpret its levels in the opposite manner of LDL.
What is the healthiest cholesterol level?
Total cholesterol levels less than 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) are considered desirable for adults. A reading between 200 and 239 mg/dL is considered borderline high and a reading of 240 mg/dL and above is considered high. LDL cholesterol levels should be less than 100 mg/dL.
Why LDL is a bad cholesterol?
It is sometimes called the "bad" cholesterol because a high LDL level leads to a buildup of cholesterol in your arteries. HDL stands for high-density lipoproteins. It is sometimes called the "good" cholesterol because it carries cholesterol from other parts of your body back to your liver.
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