What is LDL cholesterol?

What is LDL cholesterol?

LDL cholesterol, also known as "bad cholesterol," is believed to contribute to the buildup of fatty deposits in the arteries. LDL lipoproteins are responsible for transporting cholesterol from the liver to the cells of the body, in contrast to HDL. If the LDL level is too high, it can accumulate in the walls of blood vessels, forming plaques and narrowing the vessels.

What to suspect with high LDL levels:

  • Severe impairment of liver function and bile acid reabsorption may occur when the liver is damaged by inflammatory factors such as drugs, tissue fat accumulation, excessive alcohol consumption, toxins, chronic diseases, or a severe deficiency of B vitamins.

  • Inflammatory bowel diseases such as celiac disease and Crohn's disease.

  • Liver cell damage, severe oxidative stress, and high levels of free radicals, indicating cancer or other chronic degenerative diseases.

  • Hormonal imbalances, such as the restoration of menstruation in women or the elevation of testosterone in men.

  • Hypothyroidism.

  • A high number of lipopolysaccharides (LPS).

  • Disorders of intestinal-liver cholesterol absorption and recycling.

What diseases can be caused by high LDL?

  • Coronary artery disease
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Stroke
  • Heart attack
  • Pancreatitis
  • Peripheral artery disease
  • Mesenteric infarction

What to suspect with too low LDL cholesterol in the blood:

  • Acute illness (resulting from intensive cholesterol consumption during the reconstruction of cell membranes), trauma (e.g., surgery or accident). These are situations in which LDL levels may be temporarily lowered.

  • LDL testing, like other lipid panel fractions (HDL, triglycerides, and total cholesterol), should be performed six weeks after a given event. Only the test result after such a period will be a reliable blood lipid concentration.

  • LDL is one of the fractions that affects hormonal imbalances. Pregnenolone, which is a building block for many hormones, including sex hormones, is made from cholesterol transported by LDL.

  • Cholesterol contained in LDL increases the risk of disease and also has an impact on adrenal overload and chronic stress.

  • Hyperthyroidism, if accompanied by characteristic symptoms.

  • Disorders of liver-gut circulation and too little intestinal cholesterol absorption.

  • Significant liver weakness and overload (toxins, parasites). Low LDL suggests a liver that is not functioning properly and cannot produce enough LDL to meet all its functions.

How to prepare for LDL cholesterol testing?

Regular blood tests can protect us from serious diseases. In the case of LDL cholesterol level testing, we can protect ourselves from, among other things, developing coronary heart disease. Testing for LDL cholesterol levels requires proper preparation. The patient should be fasting, meaning 12 hours since the last meal. The test should be performed along with other lipid panel fractions, as it is important to relate the LDL result to total cholesterol, triglycerides, and HDL cholesterol. Too high LDL cholesterol levels, combined with high triglyceride levels, may indicate high levels of VLDL, or very low-density lipoproteins.

LDL Cholesterol Norms: It is recommended that LDL cholesterol levels not exceed:

  • <115 mg/dL - for people with moderate or low cardiovascular risk
  • <100 mg/dL - for people with moderate or high cardiovascular risk
  • <70 mg/dL - for people with high cardiovascular risk
  • <55 mg/dL - for people with very high cardiovascular risk

It should be remembered that the risk of developing coronary heart disease largely depends on our lifestyle. LDL cholesterol levels can be lowered with medication, diet, and physical activity. Prevention and regular testing are important for our health and well-being.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.