LDL Cholesterol level: Your lab results explained | Summary and Q&A

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June 22, 2020
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LDL Cholesterol level: Your lab results explained

TL;DR

LDL and LDL-cholesterol are different; high LDL-cholesterol level is a concern as it is linked to heart disease, while HDL-cholesterol is not necessarily beneficial.

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Key Insights

  • 💡 High LDL-cholesterol level is associated with an increased risk of heart disease based on lab results and population studies. LDL-cholesterol is the cholesterol carried in LDL lipoproteins, which are like vehicles that transport fats in our bloodstream. The number of lipoprotein particles, rather than the amount of cholesterol or triglycerides, is the main driver of heart disease. ApoB and LDL-P tests can measure the number of lipoproteins. HDL, often referred to as "good cholesterol," does not have a clear association with decreased heart disease risk based on clinical trials. The simplistic idea of good and bad cholesterol does not match the evidence. LDL-cholesterol is not inherently bad, but excessively high levels can be problematic.

Transcript

LDL cholesterol level under 100 milligrams per deciliter is often described as desirable but did you know that LDL and LDL cholesterol are two very different things? that cholesterol itself is not the main problem? that HDL is not good cholesterol? and even LDL is not bad per se? fat and water don't mix so our body found a solution to transport fat... Read More

Questions & Answers

Q: Is LDL-cholesterol level a reliable indicator of LDL particle number?

LDL-cholesterol level is a decent estimation of LDL particle number, but for a complete assessment, measuring apoB or LDL-P can provide a more accurate count of LDL lipoproteins.

Q: Can high HDL-cholesterol level mitigate the risks of high LDL-cholesterol?

There is no evidence to support the idea that high HDL-cholesterol can compensate for high LDL-cholesterol. It is important to maintain healthy levels of both lipoproteins.

Q: Can genetics determine LDL-cholesterol levels?

While genetics can play a role in determining LDL-cholesterol levels, lifestyle factors, such as diet, can also significantly impact cholesterol levels, highlighting the importance of lifestyle changes.

Q: How are lipoprotein particles associated with heart disease?

The number of lipoprotein particles, rather than the amount of cholesterol or triglycerides, is the main driver of heart disease. Excess lipoprotein particles can lead to plaque formation and potential blockages in the arteries.

Q: Can raising HDL-cholesterol reduce cardiovascular risks?

No, raising HDL-cholesterol does not reduce cardiovascular risks. Observational studies and clinical trials have shown no significant benefit in terms of reducing cardiovascular events by increasing HDL-cholesterol levels.

Q: Is LDL-cholesterol always bad for health?

LDL-cholesterol is not inherently bad as our bodies require it. However, excessively high LDL-cholesterol levels can contribute to heart disease. It is important to maintain LDL-cholesterol within a healthy range.

Q: How can diet impact cholesterol levels?

Diet plays a significant role in cholesterol levels. Consuming a diet low in saturated fat and incorporating cholesterol-lowering foods can help maintain healthy cholesterol levels. A step-by-step program based on scientific evidence can guide individuals in making dietary adjustments.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • LDL and HDL are lipoproteins that transport fats in our bloodstream.

  • LDL-cholesterol refers to cholesterol carried in LDL lipoproteins, while HDL-cholesterol refers to cholesterol carried in HDL lipoproteins.

  • High LDL-cholesterol level is a concern as it is linked to heart disease, but HDL-cholesterol is not necessarily good.

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