Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that’s found in all the cells in your body. It’s not inherently “bad.” In fact, your body needs it to build cells. But too much cholesterol can cause health problems, especially cardiovascular problems, typically heart attack and stroke. Cholesterol has two sources, one is produced from the liver, the other is absorbed from food. Cholesterol is transported in the blood by lipoprotein – a transport medium. Hence there are two concepts, LDL Cholesterol and HDL Cholesterol. This article will help you distinguish these 2 concepts.
What are LDL and HDL cholesterol?
LDL (low-density lipoprotein): “bad” cholesterol, makes up most of your body’s cholesterol. When too much LDL cholesterol in the blood, it will accumulate in the walls of blood vessels, causing plaque. Atherosclerosis gradually narrows causing blood vessel blockage, leading to life-threatening diseases such as myocardial infarction, stroke, …
HDL (high-density lipoprotein): “good” cholesterol, accounts for about 1/4 – 1/3 of the total cholesterol in the blood, which is said to be good because it transports cholesterol and carries it back to the liver. The liver then flushes it from the body. High levels of HDL cholesterol can lower your risk of heart disease and stroke.
The main difference between HDL and LDL is: HDL is “good cholesterol”, and LDL is “bad cholesterol”. When your body has too much LDL cholesterol, it can build up on the walls of your blood vessels. This buildup is called “plaque.” As your blood vessels build up plaque over time, the insides of the vessels narrow. This narrowing blocks blood flow to and from your heart and other organs. When blood flow to the heart is blocked, it can cause angina (chest pain) or a heart attack.
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