LDL cholesterol is considered a "bad" cholesterol, because elevated levels of LDL cholesterol are associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease.
Low-density lipoprotein deposits cholesterol on the artery walls, causing the formation of a hard, thick substance called cholesterol plaque. Over time, cholesterol plaque causes thickening of the artery walls and narrowing of the arteries, a process called atherosclerosis.
Our bodies naturally produce between 500 to 1000 mg total serum cholesterol each day.
The most common causes that may be underneath your high LDL levels include: diabetes, liver problems and hypothyroidism. See the differential diagnosis section for a complete list.
Diets that are high in saturated fats and cholesterol raise the levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood. Dietary cholesterol comes from animal products: meat, poultry, fish, and dairy. Plants do not make cholesterol.
High LDL is also associated with excessive consumption of unfiltered coffee.
LDL cholesterol of less than 100 mg/dL is the optimal level. Less than 130 mg/dL is near optimal for most people.
A high LDL level (more than 160 mg/dL or 130 mg/dL or above if you have two or more risk factors for cardiovascular disease) reflects an increased risk of heart disease.
A conventional assessment includes: total cholesterol, HDL, LDL and triglycerides.
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