Understanding LDL, VLDL and HDL Cholesterol

Most of the fat in the blood carried in small “packages” called lipoproteins. They can easily be divided into:

  • VLDL
  • LDL
  • HDL
  • A common cholesterol test provides an answer to the above, and the total amount.

    VLDL and LDL – “bad cholesterol”

    “Bad cholesterol” is usually called LDL. However, it is vital, and only dangerous if you get too much of certain parts of it. It has been shown that the smaller and denser LDL particles , the easier it has become oxidized and trapped in the damaged vessel wall.


    The fat you eat is transported first to the liver, where it is compacted into large containers called VLDL. These are released into the blood and binds to the cells intermittently in the body. VLDL (very low-density lipoprotein) is produced in the liver. VLDL-C contains the highest amount of triglycerides compared with HDL and LDL cholesterol, which makes VLDL dangerous as a risk factor for coronary heart disease.

    HDL – “good cholesterol”

    High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is called the packaging can take up excess cholesterol from the body and transporting it back to the liver (the opposite of LDL). High levels of HDL lowers the risk of heart disease significantly. We speculate that it is because it can take away fat and cholesterol stored in the container walls through small LDL. In healthy individuals, about thirty percent of blood cholesterol is carried by HDL.

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