What is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is a fat found in the blood. A part is produced by the body, while another is introduced with the diet

Cholesterol present in the blood is transported within molecular structures called lipoproteins

There are two main types: low-density lipoproteins or LDL and high-density lipoproteins or HDL.

LDL lipoproteins, also known as “bad” cholesterol, carry excess cholesterol from the liver to the arteries and release it into the vessels resulting in atherosclerosis; HDL lipoproteins, known as “good” cholesterol, promote the removal of cholesterol from the blood and its elimination through bile salts, protecting the heart and blood vessels.

Why measure cholesterol?

In physiological quantities, cholesterol is involved in various processes that are fundamental for the functioning of the body, but its excess represents one of the main risk factors for heart disease.

The test is useful for determining the levels of total cholesterol (roughly the sum of LDL + HDL), LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol.

The values are expressed in milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl) and have been associated with different degrees of cardiovascular risk.

Are there rules of preparation?

The sampling is usually done in the morning.

Your doctor will suggest whether you need to fast.

The exam is neither dangerous nor painful.

The patient can feel the sting as the needle enters the arm.

The test is performed with a simple blood sample.

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