Cholesterol and Triglycerides Tests
Cholesterol and triglyceride tests are blood tests that measure the total amount of fatty substances (Reference cholesterol Opens New Window and Reference triglycerides Opens New Window) in the blood.
Cholesterol travels through the blood attached to a Reference protein Opens New Window. This cholesterol-protein package is called a lipoprotein. Lipoprotein analysis (lipoprotein profile or lipid profile) measures blood levels of Reference total cholesterol Opens New Window, Reference LDL cholesterol Opens New Window, Reference HDL cholesterol Opens New Window, and triglycerides.
- Cholesterol. The body uses cholesterol to help build cells and produce Reference hormones Opens New Window. Too much cholesterol in the blood can build up inside arteries, forming what is known as Reference plaque Opens New Window. Large amounts of plaque increase your chances of having a heart attack or stroke.
- HDL (high-density lipoprotein) helps remove fat from the body by binding with it in the bloodstream and carrying it back to the liver for disposal. It is sometimes called "good" cholesterol. A high level of HDL cholesterol may lower your chances of developing heart disease or stroke.
- LDL (low-density lipoprotein) carries mostly fat and only a small amount of protein from the liver to other parts of the body. A certain level of LDL in your blood is normal and healthy because LDL moves cholesterol to the parts of your body that need it. But it is sometimes called "bad cholesterol" because a high level may increase your chances of developing heart disease.
- VLDL: (very low-density lipoprotein) contains very little protein. The main purpose of VLDL is to distribute the triglyceride produced by your liver. A high VLDL cholesterol level can cause the buildup of cholesterol in your arteries and increases your risk of heart disease and stroke.
- Triglycerides are a type of fat the body uses to store energy and give energy to muscles. Only small amounts are found in the blood. Having a high triglyceride level along with a high LDL cholesterol may increase your chances of having heart disease more than having only a high LDL cholesterol level.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference February 1, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Rakesh K. Pai, MD, FACC - Cardiology, Electrophysiology
Reference Carl Orringer, MD - Cardiology, Clinical Lipidology