Cholesterol, triglyceride, LDLs & HDLs
Everyone requires cholesterol in normal amounts for good health. Excessive cholesterol in the blood encourages the development of heart and blood vessel disease. We obtain cholesterol in two ways. It is manufactured by our liver and we also obtain it from animal foods. Those which are rich sources of cholesterol are egg yolks, brains, kidney, liver, heart, prawns, crab, crayfish, squid, abalone, tongue, duck, sardines. Vegetable products do not contain cholesterol. One third of the population is sensitive to cholesterol from the diet.
There is another type of normal fat in the blood. The levels in the blood tend to become elevated by excessive amounts of refined sugar, saturated fats and alcohol in the diet. Elevated triglyceride levels are more common in the overweight and inactive and often accompany elevated cholesterol levels. it is often associated with Diabetes.
Cholesterol and Triglycerides are transported in the blood in combination with various lipoproteins
High Density Lipoproteins(HDL) have been identified as a protective factor reducing the risk of developing chronic heart disease. ( oily fish, exercise and mono or polyunsaturated oils help to maintain the levels). Greater than .9 mmol/l is desirable.
Low Density Lipoproteins(LDL) are presumed to deposit cholesterol in the tissues and arterial walls and are associated with increasing the risk of developing Chronic Heart Disease. Less than 3.5 mmol/l is desirable.
Very Low Density Lipoproteins(VLDL) transport most of the triglycerides and are considered to increase the risk of developing Chronic Heart Disease. Often elevated in combination with Triglycerides.
Cholesterol/HDL Ratio: This is the total cholesterol divided by the HDL. This should be less tha 4.4. This ratio is considered by the Framingham Heart Study to be an indication of a safe risk for the prevention of Chronic Heart Disease