Ldl Cholesterol Levels

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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"The lower the better" is the catch phrase for low density lipoprotein levels (LDL cholesterol levels) in your circulatory system. Every reference to lowering cholesterol is ultimately to LDL. There is far more of it than there is of its counterpart HDL and it serves a different function. LDL is the freight train of the circulatory system, distributing cholesterol throughout your body, where it is used to build cell walls, protect nerve fibers, produce vitamin D and help in digestion. So far, so good.

But too much of a good thing is so often bad. So it is with LDL cholesterol levels. LDL comes in through the liver and off the dinner (breakfast-lunch-snack) plate. Too much is too often a problem.

What Are Appropriate LDL Cholesterol Levels?

Ideally your LDL cholesterol levels will be less than 100 mg/dL (milligrams per deciliter). That's about one-tenth of one-twenty-eighth of an ounce. Much more common, unfortunately, are LDL cholesterol levels in the range of 175 to 200. That's about one-fifth of one-twenty-eighth of an ounce. Not much of a difference, you say. Enough to kill you.

In clinical terms, optimal LDL cholesterol levels are less than 100 mg/dL. This figure is a goal, however, and few have levels that low. The average is in the 130 mg/dL range. Borderline optimal levels are froms 100 to 129. Borderline high levels are 130 to 159. Into the real risk territory are high levels at 160 to 189 and very high levels of 190 and above 190. Remember, LDL cholesterol levels are generally a better predictor of health disease than either HDL or total cholesterol levels, other medical conditions notwithstanding.


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