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What is HDL?



HDL stands for high density lipoprotein. HDL is one of several lipoproteins carrying cholesterol in our bloodstream, and is sometimes referred to as the “good” cholesterol. The reason being that it is responsible for transporting excessive amounts of cholesterol from tissues back to the liver for elimination and thereby reduces the risk for the development of atherosclerosis.

Higher HDL levels indicate a lower risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and suggest better cardiovascular health.

Measuring HDL together with other lipids allows for analysis of your overall cholesterol status as well as lipid status. HDL is an important biomarker for two reasons:

It provides important information on your risk for developing cardiovascular diseases (CVDs). This can therefore be used to evaluate risk when suffering from other conditions which might imply additional risk, as well as identifying a potential increased risk at an early, proactive stage before symptoms arise.
It can be used to monitor and track lifestyle changes and provide feedback on the progress towards a healthier you.



High levels of HDL



High levels of HDL means that there is a high amount of “good cholesterol”, bringing excessive lipids (including cholesterol) back to the liver for processing and elimination from tissues throughout your body.

This results in less risk of building plaques in arterial walls, directly associated with a decreased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases such as strokes and heart attacks. Indirectly, high HDL levels indicate better overall cardiovascular health.



Low levels of HDL



Low levels of HDL mean that there is a lower than normal amount of circulating “good cholesterol”. This can in turn result in a build-up of plaques in arteries, known as atherosclerosis, associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.
Low levels could also be found if you have an ongoing inflammatory process in your body.