Very low density lipoproteins (VLDL) are part, like LDL (bad) and HDL (good) cholesterol, of the general composition of cholesterol. Each sort of lipoprotein is in fact a blend of elements, including cholesterol, protein and fat, namely triglycerides, the latter in fluctuating amounts. It is generally HDL and LDL cholesterol levels that are analyzed and recorded during a cholesterol blood test, and so we seldom hear of our VLDL cholesterol levels.
Despite their relative obscurity on the page of blood laboratory reports, VLDL cholesterol levels contribute to the risk of heart disease; they contain the highest amount of triglycerides in the blood, so they pose a threat to heart health. Increased levels of VLDL cholesterol equal a higher risk of coronary artery disease and stroke.
How Do I Know if I Have High VLDL Cholesterol Levels?
At this time, there is no direct method of measuring VLDL cholesterol levels. Instead, they are estimated as a portion of the total triglyceride value. The normal level is regarded as being between 5 and 40 mg per deciliter (5-40mg/dL). In order to ensure VLDL cholesterol levels are suitably low, simply focus on keeping LDL levels in check and the result should be acceptable VLDL, too.
Who Suffers High VLDL Cholesterol Levels?
High VLDL levels appear to be more common in men than women, but nobody seems to be certain why that’s the case. A study reported in the Journal of Clinical Chemistry & Clinical Biology tested a group of employees in one large company, ranging in age from 17 to 70, and found that, “VLDL cholesterol and VLDL apolipoprotein B values were found to be distributed with positive skew in both sexes but were higher in men than in women…” The full study can be read by visiting: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/3475401.
The overall results of this study, which did not focus entirely on men versus women in the incidence of high VLDL, was that the composition of VLDL was probably connected to the triglycerides contained in serum. Because there is no routine test for VLDL cholesterol levels, ensuring you do not ingest too many fats and that you do eat sufficient soluble fiber, plus get half an hour of exercise per day, should let you feel at ease with your general cholesterol levels, especially LDL and VHDL.