Cholesterol — A few notes on lipid markers

  • Every cell in our body makes cholesterol. Not every cell makes enough of it to meet their needs.
  • There are net exporters and net importers of cholesterol.
  • cholesterol is an essential molecule for life.
  • It makes up the cell membrane of every cell. It allows membranes to have fluidity and have transporters sitting across them.
  • Cholesterol is the backbone for many of our hormones that we make
  • Cholesterol is (unlike for example Glucose) not water soluble.
  • Cholesterol hence needs to be transported through the body.
  • Cannot be moved through the bloodstream like water-soluble molecules.
  • This is why our bodies have lipoproteins. On the outside it’s water soluble. On the inside it can house water-insoluble things like cholesterol and triglycerides.
  • There are 2 lipoprotein families: ApoB (mainly ApoB100) and ApoA
  • ApoB consists of VLDL (=very low density lipoprotein), IDL (=Intermediate-density lipoprotein), LDL (=low-density lipoprotein) and LPa
  • HDL does not cause atherosclerosis. LDL causes atherosclerosis. Atherosclerosis is thickening or hardening of the arteries caused by a buildup of plaque in the inner lining of an artery.
  • Anything with an ApoB on it causes atherosclerosis.
  • LDL are the majority of ApoB concentration.
  • ApoB is a great predictor of cardiovascular risk as it is the total concentration of all particles that can cause atherosclerosis.
  • The lower ones ApoB the better.

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