LDL, HDL, Triglyceride – Cholesterol Tests Explained


What’s the story with cholesterol? You
know we’re told to eat healthy fats and this is actually a lot of debate about
how much fat you should eat. Some people say avoid fat. Others say that’s where
it’s at – eat nothing but fat. And there’s a lot more to the story than just
avoiding eggs that was what we used to think maybe 15 years ago. There’s also actually a lot more to the
story than diet alone. If you start looking at your own cholesterol test,
there’s a lot of information on it. It’s not just in HDL and LDL. For example, I
will look at triglycerides over HDL that helps me understand whether or not you
have problems with insulin resistance, prediabetes, metabolic syndrome, or even
diabetes. LDL is something that’s been debated a lot recently. Some people are
beginning to say higher LDLs (LDL or bad cholesterol levels) are even better.
Then there’s the folks that have really high LDL levels (FH – familial
hypercholesterolemia). And how many times have your doctors checked you for LP(a)?
That’s actually a type of LDL which has been shown to be a risk for
heart attack and stroke. So there’s a lot to cholesterol testing that you probably
haven’t heard of. People used to talk about HDL and LDL, and those are still
there. It stands for high-density lipoprotein
and low-density lipoprotein. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is actually what gets
deposited in the artery walls when you do have plaque. It may not be so much
associated with the level of LDL that’s really becoming much more hotly debated
these days. And frankly I don’t think it is it’s really more a focus of how much
inflammation or burn you have usually from insulin resistance to the
glycocalyx and the intima (the lining of the artery wall). HDL though still takes
that cholesterol up from the artery walls and takes it back to be digested
and burned by the liver. What is LDL anyway? I mean cholesterol
is the same, whether it’s HDL and LDL, isn’t it? It is still cholesterol. The
reality is that it is the thing that’s different is the type of protein that
the body is using to carry those tiny cholesterol particles. Why does the body
do that? Because all in water don’t mix so oil and cholesterol don’t mix… I mean
water and cholesterol don’t mix. Water and any of the fats don’t mix. In fact, people
have had what we call an embolus or a big blob of fat or oils in their blood.
When they do, it can kill them, just like a heart attack or a stroke that happens
with major trauma like car wrecks and multiple breaks. And it happens with
other types of trauma like surgery as well. My old friends Brad Bale and Amy
Doneen have used their on little pictures to demonstrate some of the
variation that you see with LDL. Their point on this one is, “Look, LDL gets all
the bad rap, but Lp(a), VLDL, and some triglycerides… some of these are
very dangerous. they’re bigger and meaner but they just don’t get a lot of focus.”
Speaking of VLDL, have you ever heard of remnant cholesterol? If you haven’t, again
google it on the internet, there’s a lot of YouTubes, there’s a lot of information
coming out about remnant cholesterol. I just had a patient call me up recently
concerned about this and it tends to be focused on VLDL, the very low-density
lipoproteins. It tends to have a lot of impact with the triglyceride activities.
If you’d like to learn more about this, we’ve got courses on it, we’ve got free
videos on it, and we’re going to be having an event in Louisville on
November 8th and 9th where we go over all of these in detail. So you can
take control of your health. Thank you for your interest. I’ve had so many
patients come to me because they quote their diet here, “Why don’t you take this
statin and let’s see what happens. Let’s see if a heart attack or stroke
happens.” No, prevention is a science. We know what’s going to happen, we know what
to look for, we know how to prevent it. Come see us in Louisville on November
8th and 9th. Get your CIMT artery scan, all your labs. See me and spend two days
learning usually what your doctor doesn’t know yet about the science of
prevention. Look forward to seeing you.

8 thoughts on “LDL, HDL, Triglyceride – Cholesterol Tests Explained

  1. I know that you have talked about this before & this was a nice update Doc. However, I am still in the dark as to how "inflammation" relates to the deposition of plaque in the arterial wall? Let's say that one has normal or low levels of all fractions of cholesterol & triglycerides & high inflammatory processes going on. Are they not subject to plaque deposition? Take the other scenario, no inflammation but high LDL, Lp(a), etc.. would they still get plaque deposition & be subject to heart disease? Maybe I'm not asking the right questions but I'm still trying to grasp the connection between the two? Thanks for your videos…………..

  2. Do you have any insight into whether eggs and choline cause prostate enlargement and even prostate cancer? With the keto popularity and the consumption of eggs are we headed for a generation of men with prostate cancer. Seems some recent research by Harvard seemed to connect choline with aggressive prostate cancer.

  3. That last thing you said about "let's see what happens" rings so true for my friends around me. Most of the people who have been announced at church that they have gone to the emergency room have gone there because of a badly prescribed medication. Either too much given, or the wrong medication or an interaction with another medication or the medication has been taken for years and the side effects are showing up like those monsters pictured at the beginning of your video. I wish I could come in November, but it will not be possible. Thanks so much for your videos. They are very helpful.

  4. I'm curious to know if giving blood can help with lowering remnant cholesterol and be beneficial for overall cardio vascular health. I have heard women experience more cardiovascular issues after menopause with the reasoning being they no longer have blood letting cycles. I believe there was a study on this.

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