Cholesterol...the Good, the Bad and The Truth

We’ve all been told to keep our “bad” cholesterol low and our “good” cholesterol high but the truth is cholesterol isn’t good or bad.

Almost every cell in our body is capable of producing cholesterol but it is primarily made in the liver. Cholesterol is needed to produce our bile acids and sex hormones and is used as a “spackle” to patch up damage to our arteries caused by free radical damage and other injuries. It supports the functions of the brain, nervous system, liver, blood and skin.

Cholesterol is fat soluble and therefore it doesn’t dissolve in blood so it’s carried to and from the cells by lipoproteins.

HDL (“good” cholesterol) transports cholesterol from tissues and other organs to the liver and conversely, LDL (“bad” cholesterol) moves the cholesterol out of the liver and to the tissues and organs as needed.

Cholesterol test results are usually broken down into three categories that make up the total cholesterol count.
  1. HDL-High Density Lipoprotein has the ability to calm the immune system and reduce inflammation. It’s important to have this number as high as possible but minimally >40.
  2. LDL-Low Density Lipoprotein. This is the number that gets most physicians in a tizzy but new research has proven that the number isn’t as important as the particle size of the LDL in determining cardiovascular risk. A VAP test can determine whether your particle size is large and fluffy (Type A) versus small and dense (Type B). The small, dense particles oxidize causing free radical damage and inflammation leading to higher cardiovascular risk. The VAP test is quite expensive but there is an alternative way of determining the LDL particle size and that’s from your triglycerides.
  3. Triglycerides-Fat. Your Triglycerides are a surrogate marker for LDL particle size. Low Triglycerides mean large, fluffy (Type A) LDL and result in low risk cardiovascular disease

Triglycerides are directly tied to the amount of carbohydrates you eat and whether your insulin mechanism is working properly. 
There are many natural ways of raising HDL and lowering Triglycerides and LDL, if you have further questions concerning this information please don’t hesitate to contact me at

1 comment:

  1. That PDF on the VAP test was super-useful. My last cholesterol test had high HDL, very low trigs, but high LDL. My doctor is all worried about the LDL, but that article had just the info that I need to talk to my doctor about the particle size test -- although it seems that's not even necessary given my low trigs!

    Thank you!