LDL vs. HDL Cholesterol: What is the difference?

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Difference between LDL and HDL

Atherosclerosis, strokes and heart attacks are common problems and are diseases that are caused due to high cholesterol that has thickened the walls of arteries. Therefore, immediate treatment is required in order to lower these cholesterol levels. The result of not doing so can lead to the named diseases and have dire consequences. Treatment begins with understanding why the cholesterol level is high in the first place and the way it is carried throughout the human body. High Density Lipoproteins (HDL) and Low Density Lipoproteins (LDL) are directly related to this cause.


The Creation

Naturally created in the liver, cholesterol is introduced to the body from various foods such as butter, milk, eggs, meat and other animal products. Other resources include foods such as potato chips, baked goods and biscuits which are also considered fat foods. The body absorbs the fat in the stomach and intestines and sends fat molecules into the bloodstream.

The Relation

When cholesterol is in the bloodstream, it should be transported throughout the body to do its original functions such as converting sunlight into Vitamin D and secreting hormones. Because cholesterol cannot do this done on its own, it then links itself to LDL which transports more of it through the body and if there is an excess of cholesterol then the LDL releases it in the arteries or the blood vessels. However, HDL serves the function of doing the complete opposite as give back the cholesterol to its original source: the liver. If cholesterol is met by HDL during this passage, they link together and then clean any type of extra cholesterol found in the bloodstream. Once the journey is completed and the HDLs reach the liver and the cholesterol is excreted from the body. This is another method of reducing cholesterol related diseases.


You should make sure that your body does not exceed or lack more than 200mg/dl of cholesterol and 40mg/dl of the HDL levels. Once can increase HDL and reduce LDL by exercising on daily basis and having a diet that has low saturated fats. In addition, smoking should be avoided and your weight should be maintained in accordance to your age, height and sex. Food that has a high density of plant sterols that include yogurts and spreads are a good remedy of related cholesterol problems.


Where LDL releases cholesterol in the arteries, HDL directly mops any type that it sees on its passage to the liver. Therefore, making sure that you body is in order and in good shape; one should try and increase their HDL levels because of the following reasons:

  • It means that you are avoiding critical situations and diseases such as heat attacks. Maintenance is required which includes different factors such as weight, smoking, exercising and other possible methods.
  • HDL helps you lower your cholesterol levels as it continuously excretes it from your body and this way, you will be free of any type of cholesterol related problems.

Which cholesterol is the good kind?
  • LDL
  • HDL

Discuss It: comments 1

After taking Lipitor for several months, I was having cognitive difficulties. I was having trouble staying in my lane on the freeway, and I felt tired all of the time. I was unable to really get mentally engaged in meetings at work. I was worrying that I was losing my ability to think and be employed. On a hunch, I stopped the Lipitor. I started feeling a little better every day. It took months to somewhat recover. My doctor switched me to Zetia. I experienced the same problems, but not as severe. I stopped taking it also. Both drugs did improve my cholesterol readings, but the decline in mental ability is not worth it. Over all, it's taken a very long time (about two years) for me to start feeling mentally sharp again.

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