What does LDL cholesterol mean?
The LDL cholesterol value "Low Density Lipoprotein" stands for a lipoprotein (combination of proteins and fats) with low density. It is colloquially referred to as the "bad cholesterol".
From the liver, this protein travels with the blood to the cells, where it is then processed by receptors. If the LDL content in the blood is too high, deposits form in the vascular walls, which can lead to vasoconstriction and thus to cardiovascular diseases. In the worst case, a blood clot (accumulation of blood platelets) or a vascular occlusion can occur.
The risk of such vascular occlusions, which can result in a heart attack, is particularly high in vessels that supply the heart. If vascular occlusions occur in the neck or head area, the risk of a stroke increases.
Measures against high LDL cholesterol levels include regular exercise, a low-cholesterol diet and abstaining from alcohol and smoking.
The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) recommends an LDL cholesterol level below 116 mg/dl (3 mmol/l). The lower the LDL value, the lower the risk of cardiovascular disease.
What does HDL cholesterol mean?
The HDL cholesterol value "High Density Lipoprotein" stands for a lipoprotein (combination of proteins and fats) with high density. It is colloquially referred to as the "good cholesterol".
This protein takes up cholesterol that has already been deposited in the vessel wall and transports it back to the liver, where the cholesterol is converted into bile acids and then excreted through the intestines.
The HDL cholesterol thus protects against vascular occlusion and arteriosclerosis. With extremely high HDL levels, however, there is also a risk of such vascular occlusions.
The cholesterol content can be determined by a blood test by a specialist. Depending on the evaluation, you will receive either the total, LDL and/or HDL cholesterol value.
Here you can find out in which unit cholesterol is given and what the limit values are.Learn more