Good And Bad Cholesterol
You will often hear doctors and dietitians talk about two different types of cholesterol ;low-density lipoprotein cholesterol;, and;high-density lipoprotein cholesterol;. This way of talking about cholesterol is a convenient shorthand, but strictly speaking, it is not really correct.
Strictly speaking, as any good chemist will tell you, cholesterol is just cholesterol. One molecule of cholesterol is pretty much the same as another. So why do doctors talk about good and bad cholesterol?;
The answer has to do with lipoproteins.
Lipoproteins.;Cholesterol are lipids, and therefore do not dissolve in a water medium like blood. In order for lipids to be transported in the bloodstream without clumping together, they need to be packaged into small particles called lipoproteins. Lipoproteins are soluble in blood, and allow cholesterol and triglycerides to be moved with ease through the bloodstream.
The behavior of the various lipoproteins is determined by the specific kinds of proteins that appear on their surface. Lipoprotein metabolism is quite complex, and scientists are still working out all the details. However, most doctors concern themselves with two major types of lipoproteins: LDL and HDL.;
LDL Cholesterol Bad Cholesterol.;In most people, the majority of the cholesterol in the blood is packaged in LDL particles. LDL cholesterol is often called bad cholesterol.;
How Are Triglycerides Different From Cholesterol
Triglycerides and cholesterol are both fatty substances called lipids. But triglycerides are fats; cholesterol is not. Cholesterol is a waxy, odorless substance made by the liver. It is used to build cell walls, helps the nervous system and plays an important role in digestion and hormone production.
Are Cholesterol And Triglycerides The Same Thing
Both cholesterol and triglycerides are lipids, but within this group, triglycerides are fats because of their composition and belong to a different class.;
To answer the question of whether cholesterol and triglycerides are the same, we can already tell you that while they are both lipids, they are different because they come from different sources and have different functions in the body.
Don’t Miss: Is Butter High In Cholesterol
Why Is There Tg In The Blood
The most common reason for elevated triglycerides is prediabetes. Chronically high insulin stimulates adipokines and hormone-sensitive lipase. This results in the release of too many fatty acids from fat cells. These excess fatty acids take up space in HDL and LDL particles.;
TG can also become elevated in several inherited diseases.;
Cholesterol And Triglyceride Screening
Talk to your doctor about when you should get a cholesterol test.
Some health organizations recommend that everyone ages 20 and older be checked every 4 to 6 years for the risk of heart attack and stroke, which includes a cholesterol test.footnote 1 Other organizations recommend cholesterol tests for people ages 40 to 75.footnote 2
For more information, see When to Have a Cholesterol Test.
Recommended Reading: How Many Mg Of Cholesterol A Day
How Is It Used
Blood tests for triglycerides are usually part of a lipid profile that is used to help identify an individuals risk of developing heart disease and to help make decisions about what treatment may be needed if there is borderline or high risk. As part of a lipid profile, it may be used to monitor people who have risk factors for heart disease, those who have had a heart attack, or those who are being treated for high lipid and/or high triglyceride levels.
Results of the cholesterol test and other components of the lipid profile are used along with other known risk factors of heart disease to develop a plan of treatment and follow-up. Treatment options may include lifestyle changes, such as diet or exercise programs, or lipid-lowering drugs, such as statins.
Choose Foods That Help Improve Your Ldl And Hdl Levels
Following a healthy eating plan can play a big role in your overall health, including your blood sugar and blood lipid control. What you eat and your cholesterol levels go hand in hand.
Foods that can help lower cholesterol:
Fiber , healthy fats , and plant stanols or sterols have all been shown to help lower cholesterol.
Other ways to improve cholesterol:
— Reduce sugar intake: Cut the amount of added sugars you eat. This is especially important for people with high triglycerides. The grams of sugars on the Nutrition Facts label of a food package, however, doesn’t tell you if sugars have been added . Instead, look at the ingredients list for items such as sugar, corn syrup, high fructose corn syrup, molasses, maple syrup, or agave to see if there are added sugars in the product. Natural sugars, such as those found in fruit and dairy products, are also counted as sugars on the Nutrition Facts label. Limit how much sugar you use to sweeten drinks or in recipes.
— Limit high-cholesterol foods: People with diabetes should consume no more than 200 milligrams of cholesterol per day, according to the ADA.
Recommended Reading: Does Skim Milk Have Cholesterol
Ask A Laboratory Scientist
This form enables patients to ask specific questions about lab tests. Your questions will be answered by a laboratory scientist as part of a voluntary service provided by one of our partners, American Society for Clinical Laboratory Science. Please allow 2-3 business days for an email response from one of the volunteers on the Consumer Information Response Team.
Why Do We Need Cholesterol
Cholesterol plays a vital role in how your body works. There is cholesterol in every cell in your body, and it’s especially important in your brain, nerves and skin.
Cholesterol has three main jobs:
- Its part of the outer layer, or membrane, of all your bodys cells
- Its used to make vitamin D and steroid hormones which keep your bones, teeth and muscles healthy
- Its used to make bile, which helps to digest the fats you eat
Also Check: How To Know If Cholesterol Is High
How To Lower Levels Of Triglycerides And Cholesterol
Prevention is the first step towards keeping your cholesterol levels within the recommended ranges.Here are some important lifestyle habits;that help reduce and keep under control levels of cholesterol and triglycerides:
- Engage in regular physical activity. Physical activity is not only fundamental for losing weight, but also for keeping it off. Regular physical exercise contributes to the health of our heart. The effect of physical activity on triglyceride levels varies according to the intensity of the effort expended, the length of time and the calories used up during the activity.
- Follow a healthy diet: simple sugars, like fructose, can cause triglyceride levels to increase; foods with a high saturated fat content cause an increase in bad cholesterol. It is advisable to eat foods containing complex carbohydrates and foods rich in fiber, like greens and whole grains instead of simple sugars, and increase the amount of food rich in mono and polyunsaturates .
- Keep your weight under control. In light of the continuing increase in overweight and obesity, it is fundamental to keep your weight under control from early childhood on, utilizing an approach designed to balance caloric intake through food with the calories you consume while engaging in physical activity.
Sometimes altering your lifestyle habits is not sufficient to keep cholesterol under control. In this case it is possible to undergo a pharmaceutical treatment and/or a treatment utilizing nutritional supplements.
The Relationship Between Glucose And Uric Acid Metabolism: Influence Of Short Term Allopurinol On Glucose Metabolism
Abstract Many investigators suggest that insulin resistance of the peripheral tissues is the primary defect that results in non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus . It is also generally accepted that multifactorial controls, playing in concert for gene expression trigger this disease. Previous research reports indicated that uric acid metabolism plays a role in the pathogenesis of NIDDM. To investigate this hypothesis, we studied 53 NIDDM patients by using a double blind cross over control study, of allopurinol and placebo administration. We found a statistically significant elevation in the level of hemoglobin A1c after the allopurinol intervention period of 12 weeks compared with the placebo period of the same duration . The elevation was also found in a subgroup with Body Mass Index less than 25 kg/m2 and BMI more than or equal to 25 kg/m2 . No statistically significant differences between fasting plasma glucose, glucose tolerance test, serum insulin, total cholesterol, triglycerides, high density lipoprotein cholesterol, creatinine, prior to and after use of allopurinol were noted except for serum uric acid . No relationship between changes in HbA1c and changes in uric acid, analysed by linear regression analysis and correlation was demonstrated . We conclude that the changing of hemoglobin A1c may be a direct effect of allopurinol or support the role of uric acid in the pathogenesis of NIDDM.Continue reading >>
Also Check: What Cheese Is Low In Cholesterol
Is Any Test Preparation Needed To Ensure The Quality Of The Sample
Current standards recommend that testing be done when you are fasting. For 9 to 12 hours before the test, only water is permitted. Your healthcare practitioner may decide that you may be tested without fasting. Follow any instructions you are given and tell the person drawing your blood whether or not you have fasted. In addition, alcohol should not be consumed for 24 hours just before the test.
Why Is Tg/hdl Important
TG/HDL is important because it is an important predictor of risk for heart disease. It is also a marker of insulin resistance, and insulin resistance is the major cause of prediabetes, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes.
The Womens Ischemia Syndrome Evaluation study studied 544 women referred for CV disease evaluation . The TG/HDL ranged from 0.3 to 18.4. It was a powerful predictor of all mortality and cardiovascular events.;
This chart shows the WISE study range of TG/HDL. Individuals with lower TG/HDL had lower CV disease risk.
More Important Than Ldl The Triglyceride/hdl Ratio
There are few things that humble me more than my complete and utter buffoonery when it comes to HDL lipidology Peter Attia
Its true of all of us. Thomas Dayspring
Thomas Dayspring is a nationally recognized lipidologist. That means hes an expert on cholesterol, fat, and oil metabolism. And Peter Attia is no slouch in this area. If youd like to spend a few hours hearing cutting-edge concepts in this area, try listening to episodes 20-24 of Attias podcast THE DRIVE.;
But be warned; that video is very technical. Less than 600 people have started even one of these podcasts. We can only guess how many finished the full 5 hours. I did.;
Some information wasnt that new. For example, Attia and Dayspring mentioned that the Framingham study indicates that TG/HDL is 5 times more predictive of heart attack risk than LDL.
They also mentioned that lipoprotein particles pass both cholesterol and fatty acids around like hot potatoes. A few of their concepts also seemed to contradict some basics mentioned later in this article.;
Why would I focus this article on such simple concepts?;
Because the basics of triglycerides and HDL are critical to health. But the complicated version just isnt understandable, let alone actionable.;
I did a simple version of the TG/HDL in a video 3 years ago. It was one of our popular videos.;
Many people told me the information saved their lives. Chuck Smith is one of those people.
How It Is Done
The health professional taking a sample of your blood will:
- Wrap an elastic band around your upper arm to stop the flow of blood. This makes the veins below the band larger so it is easier to put a needle into the vein.
- Clean the needle site with alcohol.
- Put the needle into the vein. More than one needle stick may be needed.
- Attach a tube to the needle to fill it with blood.
- Remove the band from your arm when enough blood is collected.
- Put a gauze pad or cotton ball over the needle site as the needle is removed.
- Put pressure on the site and then put on a bandage.
Recommended Reading: Is Almond Milk Good For Cholesterol
Understanding The Test Results
A full lipid profile can be an important part of your childs health information. It shows the levels of each type of fat in the blood. These include LDL, HDL, triglycerides, and total cholesterol. Your child’s doctor can tell you what the results should be for your child. In general, healthy levels are:
LDL of less than 130 mg/dL
HDL of greater than 35 mg/dL
Some children and teens have families with high cholesterol or early heart disease. In these cases, the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute advises these levels for cholesterol:
When Is It Ordered
A lipid profile, which includes triglycerides, is recommended every 4 to 6 years to evaluate risk of heart disease in healthy adults. Children should have a lipid profile screening at least once between the ages of 9 and 11 and once again between the ages of 17 and 21.
Testing may be ordered more frequently when people have identified risk factors for heart disease.;Some risk factors for heart disease include:
- Cigarette smoking
- Acceptable: Less than 90 mg/dL
- Borderline high: 90-129 mg/dL
- High: Greater than 130 mg/dL
For young adults older than 19
- Acceptable: Less than 115 mg/dL
- Borderline high: 115-149 mg/dL
- High: Greater than 150 mg/dL
Note: These values are based on fasting triglyceride levels.
When triglycerides are very high ), there is a risk of developing pancreatitis;in children and adults.;Treatment to lower triglycerides should be started as soon as possible.
You May Like: Is Tahini Good For Cholesterol
Cholesterol: The Good And The Bad Of It
HDL High-density lipoprotein
- Makes up 20%30% of total cholesterol
- The “good” cholesterol
- Moves cholesterol from arteries to the liver.
LDL Low-density lipoprotein
- Makes up 60%70% of total cholesterol
- Main form of “bad” cholesterol
- Causes build-up of plaque inside arteries.
VLDL Very-low-density lipoprotein
- Makes up 10%15% of total cholesterol
- With LDL, the main form of “bad” cholesterol
- A precursor of LDL.
LDL cholesterol.;The LDL measurement is usually considered the most important for assessing risk and deciding on treatment. The definition of a healthy level keeps on getting lower. For people at low risk of heart disease, an LDL of less than 100 is desirable, However, people at higher risk of heart disease, an LDL of less than 70 or perhaps even lower is considered “optimal.” Some experts say that an LDL of less than 70 would be a healthy LDL goal for all of us.
Your LDL is computed by plugging the measurements for total cholesterol, HDL, and triglycerides into a: LDL = Total cholesterol HDL . LDL can also be measured directly in a non-fasting blood sample.
You have to fast for about 10 hours before the test because triglyceride levels can shoot up 20%30% after a meal, which would throw off the equation. Alcohol also causes a triglyceride surge, so you shouldn’t drink alcohol for 24 hours before a fasting cholesterol test.
The numbers to know
What Treatments Are Available For High Cholesterol
Treatment may include:
Addressing risk factors. Some risk factors that can be changed include lack of exercise and poor eating habits.
Cholesterol-lowering medicines. Medicines are used to lower fats in the blood, particularly LDL cholesterol. Statins are a group of medicines that can do this. The two most effective types are atorvastatin and rosuvastatin. Other medicines that lower cholesterol levels are ezetimibe and PCSK9 inhibitors.
Read Also: How To Raise Hdl Cholesterol Levels
Triglycerides Diet Vs Cholesterol Diet What Is The Difference
How is a triglycerides diet different than a cholesterol diet? In many ways these two diets are the same. Triglycerides and cholesterol are both fats which circulate in the blood stream and can be stored by the body, but diets to lower these components do have some differences. A triglyceride diet plan restricts the sugars and carbohydrates in the diet, while a cholesterol diet plan minimizes the animal fats in the diet. Most healthy diets should have low amounts of both animal fats and sugars, and both diet types help reduce the fats in the bloodstream.
Another difference between a triglycerides diet and a cholesterol diet is the foods included. A cholesterol diet may have more fiber, because this substance helps to remove cholesterol from the body. These diets are also intended to include foods which boost the good cholesterol, or HDL type. A low triglyceride diet mainly eliminates sugars as much as possible, and chooses complex carbohydrates over the simple variety.
Another difference with a triglycerides diet is the alcohol factor. With a diet intended to lower cholesterol a glass of red wine is allowed every other day or two, because of the reservatrol and its benefits. The link between high triglycerides and alcohol consumption means that even a single glass of wine or other alcoholic drink may raise triglyceride levels, so red wine is prohibited for high triglycerides but allowed for high cholesterol diets in many cases.
How Can I Prevent High Cholesterol And Triglycerides
The American Heart Association recommends that no more than 6 percent of your daily calories come from saturated fat. The AHA also recommends avoiding trans fats whenever possible. Eating plenty of whole grains, fruits, and vegetables can also decrease high cholesterol.
Other ways that can help you maintain healthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels include:
- eating skinless poultry with no visible fat
- eating lean meats, in moderate portions
- eating low-fat or fat-free dairy products
- consuming polyunsaturated fats and mono-unsaturated fat instead of saturated fats and trans fats
- exercising for at least 30 minutes per day, 4 days per week
- avoiding fast food, junk food, and processed meats
- eating grilled and roasted foods instead of fried foods
- drinking less alcohol, alcohol causes triglyceride levels to increase
Read Also: What Is Cholesterol Used For In Our Bodies