LDL cholesterol

LDL cholesterol
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Cholesterols  are hydroaromatic hydrocarbons. They are produced by the human organism itself as well as ingested by eating animal products. They have various functions: They serve to produce steroid hormones like estrogen, gestagen, and androgens, or gall in the liver, or to develop new tissue. As fat isn`t soluble in blood, cholesterol has to be sorruounded by an envelope composed of lipoproteins , which is illustrated in the picture.

The water-insoluble fats (yellow, purple) are surrounded by the lipoproteins (blue-yellow). The envelope has a specific apolipoprotein B 100, which improves the solubility of cholesterol in the blood, and promotes the intake of it into the cells by interacting with their receptors, which makes it an independent risk factor for fatty degeneration of cells and vessels. The different transport forms of cholesterol are named after the lipoproteins of the envelope. They are classified according to their density. The picture shows a low density lipoprotein (LDL).

The LDL cholesterol is the harmful form. It transports fats into the body and the cells. A high concentration of LDL cholesterol in the blood is dangerous because the cholesterol can deposit in the vascular walls and cause arteriosclerosis. Combined with other vessel damaging factors, such as smoking or high blood pressure, this can cause a heart attack, stroke, or peripheral arterial occlusive disease of the legs (PAOD).

All these diseases are ultimately caused by deposits in vessels that can hinder or even completely stop the blood flow. HDL is the antagonist of LDL.


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 - Uploaded at 24.12.2010
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