Cholesterol is a fatty, waxy fatty substance that is produced naturally in your body and is an essential element for proper functioning of body. It is found in many places in the body, such as the cells in your muscles, skin, brain and nerves. The body naturally makes all the cholesterol it needs. Depending on the totals of the specific types of cholesterol required for the proper functioning of the body, excess cholesterol is either excreted from the body or deposited in the arteries. The cholesterol level is something you should care about through regular check-ups with your doctor and blood tests as recommended. Managing your cholesterol is important!
From age of 20, you must have a blood test every 5 years to check your cholesterol levels. If you are already at a greater risk or you have been diagnosed with heart disease, your doctor may recommend you more frequent cholesterol testing.
Cholesterol 101 – HDL, LDL and TC/HDL
Getting your results of a blood test from laboratory can be a little confusing for you! Given below are basic descriptions of the numbers related to cholesterol.
HDL, or High-Density Lipoproteins, or High-Density Lipoproteins HDL: is the “healthy” cholesterol level. Your HDL carries your LDL (bad cholesterol) to the liver, where it will be excreted by the body.
The good HDL levels to be:
- 40 mg/dL or higher for men
- 50 mg/dL or higher for women
An HDL level of 60mg/dL or higher has a protective effect. You must maintain to have a high amount of HDL cholesterol!
LDL, or Low-Density Lipoproteins, or Low-Density Lipoproteins LDL: is a sticky type of cholesterol that blocks your arteries. This is your “bad” cholesterol. Maintaining lower levels of LDL can reduce your risk of heart attack.
Try to maintain your LDL to be less than 130 mg/dl.
Triglyceride is the most common type of fat in the body: Many people who have diabetes or heart disease have high triglyceride levels.
Maintain your triglycerides below 150 mg/dl.
Total cholesterol, or TC: is the overall amount of cholesterol in your blood. It consists of your HDL, LDL and triglycerides measurements.
Maintain your total cholesterol below 200 mg/dl.
Total Cholesterol/HDL radio, or TC/HDL Ratio, is your total cholesterol divided by your HDL cholesterol: This is used as an indicator for the risk of coronary artery disease. You must keep a low ratio, which means that your total cholesterol is mostly the good HDL cholesterol. A low TC/HDL ratio decreases your chance of developing heart disease.