What Is HDL Cholesterol?

By jolene
Reviewed: Dr. Gromatzky
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High density lipoprotein (HDL) is one of the five main categories of lipoproteins. A lipoprotein is a complex particle consisting of several proteins that function to transport lipids (fat molecules) around the body. This can occur in blood plasma, water, or other fluids that are outside cells.

Lipoproteins are divided into five main groups based on their density or size, function, and incidence of cardiovascular issues. HDL particles have been found to remove fat molecules from cells. Researchers have also observed that a higher concentration of HDL cholesterol is strongly associated with decreased atherosclerosis (narrowing of the artery due to plaque buildup) in the arterial walls. This is crucial as it lowers the risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke, plaque ruptures, and other vascular diseases. This is also why HDL cholesterol is often referred to as the “good cholesterol.”

1. Description

High density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) that consists of mainly cholesterol, protein, and phospholipid is both produced and secreted by the intestine and liver. HDL-C have multiple surface proteins. Those with Apo-A1 and Apo-A2 proteins are those secreted from the liver. The synthesis of Apo-A1 is required for the production of HDL-C. Being the smallest of the lipoprotein particles, it is also the densest.

Cholesterol is generally transported to the liver, ovary, testes, and adrenals via several pathways. This is important for the production of steroid hormones. HDL has been found to be biologically effective as it helps to inhibit the aggregation of platelets, inflammation, coagulation, and oxidation. All these attributes contribute to the protection from atherosclerosis.

HDL Cholesterol

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