Lipid Levels



Cholesterolin the human body is a subject of immense concern. Since cholesterolcannot dissolve in blood, it has to be transported through the bloodstream via carriers known as lipoproteins. These are made from bothfat/lipids and proteins, thus the name lipoproteins. There are twotypes of lipoproteins, which transport cholesterol to and from bodycells namely low-density lipoproteins or LDL cholesterol andhigh-density lipoproteins or HDL cholesterol. Both LDL cholesteroland HDL cholesterol together with a fifth of the amount oftriglyceride in the body make up the total cholesterol count of thebody. This can be checked through a laboratory blood test (Bowden &ampSinatra, 2012). The aim of this paper is to explain the differenceamid total cholesterol, triglyceride, LDL and HDL cholesterol levelsand their significance in atheroma formation. Besides, the paper willalso discuss which of these lipid levels can be influenced throughmodifying eating and exercise habits.

LDLis considered as the bad cholesterol because it results in thickeningof the inner walls of arteries leading to clogging this makesarteries less flexible, a condition referred to as atherosclerosis(Brown,2007). Artery clogging may block narrow arteries resulting in heartattack or stroke. In case plaque develops in arteries that supplyblood to the legs, a condition referred to as peripheral arterydisease occurs.

HDLis considered as the good cholesterol since it helps in withdrawingLDL cholesterol from the arteries, reducing clogging. This occursthrough HDL cholesterol moving LDL cholesterol from the arteries tothe liver, where LDL cholesterol is broken down and excreted. HDLcarries a quarter to a third of blood cholesterol. High levels of HDLcan put risks of heart attack and stroke in check for a healthyperson. Reduced levels of HDL cholesterol can heighten the risk ofheart disease or heart attack (Bowden &amp Sinatra, 2012).

Triglyceridesare a type of fat stored as excess energy from a person’s diet inthe form of body fat. High triglyceride levels in the blood, justlike LDL cholesterol can result in atherosclerosis. This increase intriglyceride levels can be as a result of reduced physical activity,increased cigarette smoking, excess alcohol intake and a diet withvery high amounts of carbohydrates. Sometimes, genetic disorders area cause of high triglycerides levels in the body. People with hightriglycerides levels commonly have more body cholesterol with highlevels of LDL cholesterol and low levels of HDL cholesterol. Mostdiabetic people also have high levels of triglycerides (Bowden &ampSinatra, 2012).

Ina nutshell, for a healthy body, the levels of both LDL cholesteroland triglycerides should be kept low while the level of HDL should bekept high (Khan,2006). This kind of balance keeps the body’s total cholesterolcount healthy hence, reducing the risks associated with an imbalanceas indicated above.

Triglycerideslevels are sensitive to eating habits as well as body activity.Modifying one’s eating and exercise habits can thus influence howmuch of triglycerides are present in the body (Mierzejewski,2004). For instance, high carbohydrate contents in a diet coupledwith little or no body exercise increase the level of stored fats.Alcohol, which contains high amounts of processed carbohydrates, addsto the excess body fats too (Bowden &amp Sinatra, 2012). Overweightpeople, who in most cases do not access physical activity facilities,are also prone to high levels of bad fat levels. Highly active peoplelike sports people will utilize more energy compared to less activepeople like those in white collar jobs. These two groups of peoplerequire varied levels of energy supply at all times to ensure theirhealth is kept in check. Adequate exercise is vital always to makeuse of any unnecessary fat stores in the body.


Bowden,J., &amp Sinatra, S. T. (2012). Thegreat cholesterol myth: Why lowering your cholesterol won`t preventheart disease– and the statin-free plan that will.Beverly, MA: Fair Winds Press.

Brown,H. A. (2007).&nbspLipidomicsand bioactive lipids: Specialized analytical methods and lipids indisease.Amsterdam: Elsevier/Academic Press.

Khan,M. I. G. (2006).&nbspEncyclopediaof heart diseases.Amsterdam: Elsevier/Academic Press.

Mierzejewski,A. (2004).&nbspBringyour triglycerides down naturally: A drug-free solution to high bloodlipids.Peterborough, ON: Full of Health Publication.

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