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 types of ldl, VLDL vs. LDL: What's the Difference?

Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and very low-density lipoproteins (VLDL) are two different types of lipoproteins found in your blood. Lipoproteins are a combination of proteins and various types of fats. They carry cholesterol and triglycerides through your bloodstream.

Cholesterol is a fatty substance that’s necessary for building cells. In the body, it’s most commonly created in your liver through a complex pathway. Triglycerides are another type of fat that’s used to store extra energy in your cells.

types of ldl, VLDL vs. LDL: What's the Difference?

The main difference between VLDL and LDL is that they have different percentages of the cholesterol, protein, and triglycerides that make up each lipoprotein. VLDL contains more triglycerides. LDL contains more cholesterol.

VLDL and LDL are both considered types of “bad” cholesterol. While your body needs both cholesterol and triglycerides to function, having too much of them can cause them to build up in your arteries. This can increase your risk for heart disease and stroke.

Low Density Lipoproteins

Low density lipoproteins, also referred to as LDL, is known as the "bad cholesterol". LDLs are produced by the liver and carry cholesterol and other lipids (fats) from the liver to different areas of the body, like muscles, tissues, organs, and the heart. It is very important to keep LDL levels low, because high levels of LDL indicate that there is much more cholesterol in the blood stream than necessary, therefore increasing your risk of heart disease.

High Density Lipoproteins

High density lipoprotein, also known as HDL, is considered the "good" cholesterol. HDL is produced by the liver to carry cholesterol and other lipids (fats) from tissues and organs back to the liver for recycling or degradation. High levels of HDL are a good indicator of a healthy heart, because less cholesterol is available in your blood to attach to blood vessels and cause plaque formation.

Very Low Density Lipoproteins

Very low density lipoproteins, or VLDL, are lipoproteins that carry cholesterol from the liver to organs and tissues in the body. They are heavier than low density lipoproteins, but are also associated with atherosclerosis and heart disease.

(Read: How To Lower Your Cholesterol)