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All components of cholesterol are important

Category: Heart Health and Cholesterol

While cholesterol is a well known risk factor for heart disease, not all types are created equal. In fact, some varieties of lipids can actually reduce a person's chances of suffering from a heart attack or stroke. This is why cholesterol testing that reveals a patient's complete lipid profile is so important.

There are three basic types of cholesterol. Low density lipoprotein, or LDL, is known as bad cholesterol. This is the type that builds up in arteries and restricts blood flow. Triglycerides are another type of cholesterol that has a similar effect. Then there is high density lipoprotein, or HDL. This type of fat has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, according to the American Heart Association (AHA).

This is because it sweeps through arteries, removing buildups of other types of cholesterol that would eventually cause dangerous blockages. It takes these fats to the liver where it can be processed. The AHA says that this type of cholesterol plays an important role in protecting the heart.

For these reasons, cholesterol testing that reveals the various types of fat in the blood is so important. A patient may have elevated LDL levels, but if their HDL is equally high, they may not be at risk.

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