Blood Cholesterol
Blood Cholesterol

Blood Cholesterol What is Blood Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that your body needs for good health, but in the right amounts.

Lipoproteins are small, round particles made of lipids (fats) and proteins. These particles carry cholesterol in your blood and throughout your body. Two types of lipoproteins include:

  • Low-density lipoprotein (LDL), sometimes called “bad” cholesterol
  • High-density lipoprotein (HDL), sometimes called “good” cholesterol

High levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol may create a buildup of plaque (fatty deposits) in your arteries. This buildup can lead to a heart attack, stroke, or other health problems. High levels of “good” HDL cholesterol may lower your risk for health problems. HDL cholesterol carries cholesterol and plaque to the liver to be flushed out of the body.

Watch this video to see how cholesterol flowing through your bloodstream can build up on the wall of the blood vessel over time. This forms plaque that can partially block blood flow through the blood vessel. Medical Animation Copyright © 2022 Nucleus Medical Media, All rights reserved. Click here to view this video with an audio description.

The genes you inherit and your lifestyle habits play a major role in your cholesterol levels.

Routine blood tests can show whether your cholesterol levels are healthy or unhealthy. To help get your cholesterol levels into the healthy range, you may need heart-healthy lifestyle changes or medicines.

A smiling older woman and man preparing salad in a kitchen
Healthy eating patterns can improve cholesterol numbers and reduce disease risk.


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