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What are the different types of cholesterol?

Cholesterol exists in circulation primarily in two forms:

  • Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) Cholesterol: LDL cholesterol represents a class of lipoproteins that carries cholesterol from the liver to peripheral tissues. It is colloquially termed "bad" cholesterol because elevated levels of LDL cholesterol are associated with the accumulation of cholesterol deposits within arterial walls, initiating the formation of atherosclerotic plaques. These plaques can obstruct blood flow and lead to cardiovascular events such as heart attacks and strokes.

  • High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) Cholesterol: HDL cholesterol, conversely, comprises lipoproteins that transport excess cholesterol from peripheral tissues back to the liver for metabolism and excretion. HDL cholesterol is often referred to as "good" cholesterol because higher levels of HDL are correlated with a reduced risk of cardiovascular diseases. HDL acts as a protective factor by facilitating the removal of cholesterol from arterial walls and maintaining vascular health.

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