HDL, LDL, VLDL, triglycerides…what’s it all mean?

Published in Wellness Tag: David Ross, MD,MBA  

Ever wonder about the alphabet soup called the cholesterol panel?  Here is the basic analogy I give my patients, and it covers 90% or more of their issues.  The more complex cases we will leave for another day.

The LDL is your “bad cholesterol”, but we’re just going to call it the “garbage”.  It clogs the vessels leading you your heart muscle.  If garbage completely blocks one of these vessels a heart attack results.

The HDL is your “good cholesterol”, but we’re just going to call the “vacuum”.  The vacuum works to clean up some of the excess garbage.

According to the analogy above, it is easy to see that the cleanest vessels will result from a big vacuum (high HDL) and very little garbage (LDL).  The opposite case is having lots of garbage and a wheezy vacuum, which  would be more likely to result in blocked vessels.

I hope  this is helpful!  The next time your doc show you your cholesterol results don’t be confused…just think about the garbage and the vacuum.