A normal to low LDL/HDL ratio indicates a good cardiovascular health and an increased chance for a long and healthy life.
Measuring the LDL/HDL ratio, the ratio of “bad” cholesterol to “good” cholesterol, can provide valuable information on the balance between the two. The higher the HDL compared to LDL, the less likelihood of developing cardiovascular diseases. With this in mind, the LDL/HDL ratio can be used as a measure to evaluate risk for developing cardiovascular disease, but it can also be used as a measure to evaluate lifestyle changes and the effects it has had on your cholesterol.
The LDL/HDL ratio is the ratio of the levels in blood of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) to high-density lipoprotein (HDL). Both of these lipoproteins are transporters of cholesterol in blood, HDL from tissues back to the liver, and LDL from the liver out to various tissues.
The lipoprotein transporting cholesterol back to the liver for processing - HDL - is considered “good”, since this removes excess cholesterol from arterial walls and other tissues, where it may cause damage and disease.
A low LDL/HDL ratio means that there is a higher fraction of “good” cholesterol (HDL) compared to “bad” cholesterol (LDL). This is in general considered to be associated with better cardiovascular health, since more HDL means that more cholesterol will be removed from arterial walls and various tissues and back to the liver for processing.
A high LDL/HDL ratio means that there is a lower fraction of “good” cholesterol (HDL) compared to “bad” cholesterol (LDL). This is associated with an increased risk for developing cardiovascular disease. The reason is that more of the transporters will take cholesterol from the liver and out to various tissues, causing a build-up which may result in plaques, inflammatory processes and the development of heart disease.
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