What is the difference of good cholesterol and bad one?

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good vs bad cholesterolCholesterol is a waxy fatty substance produced by the body mostly in the liver and partly obtained from food. Although often considered daunting, cholesterol actually has many benefits such as cell layering, wrapping the nerve fibers, producing a variety of hormones and body acids.

Cholesterol can not be released directly by the blood, so we need a molecular “carrier” called lipoproteins. There are two types of lipoproteins, ie high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL).

Evil cholesterol (LDL)

LDL, or better known as bad cholesterol, is a carrier of fat from the liver to the cells. If too much, it will cause a blockage in the artery walls due to fat deposition vessels carrying blood to the heart and brain. Fat is then thickens, hardens, and eventually forming plaques. This condition is called atherosclerosis.

When plaque clogs the blood vessels of the heart, then you will feel chest pain and heart attack risk. If the brain”s blood vessels are clogged, then you are at risk for stroke.

Good cholesterol (HDL)

HDL is the good cholesterol that transports cholesterol from the cells back to the liver. HDL act as “scavengers” who pick up trash along the LDL in the vascular wall. When the “trash” too much or “scavengers” too little, then the “garbage” will accumulate into harmful plaque.

The amount of total cholesterol in the blood should not exceed 200 mg per 100 ml of blood, although there may be slight differences in the values ​​according to age, sex and race. You can determine the amount of total cholesterol, LDL, and HDL you through blood tests.

For most men, the recommended LDL level is not to exceed 100 mg / dL. High LDL level is a risk factor for stroke and heart disease, which are the two leading causes of death. Recent guidelines recommend cholesterol to lower levels of bad cholesterol (LDL) to 70 mg / dL if there are risk factors for cardiovascular disease such as suffering from high blood pressure, diabetes, obesity, had parents and close relatives who suffer from coronary heart disease or stroke at a relatively young age (less than 55 years).


Triglycerides derived from glycerol and fatty acids and is a blood fat that helps transfer fat adipose tissue and blood glucose from the liver. The triglycerides also contribute to the incidence of atherosclerosis. In addition to the risk of cardiovascular disease events caused by the process of atherosclerosis, high levels of triglycerides also contribute to the incidence of acute pancreatitis when kada triglycerides over 400 mg / dl.

Apo B

Is the primary apolipoprotein of chylomicrons and LDL is responsible for carrying cholesterol to tissues. High levels of Apo B indicates the process of the formation of plaques that cause vascular disease (atherosclerosis) so that the risk for heart disease. Apo B levels are a better indicator of heart disease risk than total cholesterol tests

About the author

Birry Karim

Board Certification: Medical Doctor, Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Tarumanagara Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Universitas Indonesia

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Posted: January 30, 2013 at 7:01 am, Last Updated: February 18, 2016 at 11:05 am

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