Cholesterol Part 2: Transportation

 

Cholesterol is transported around the body by compounds called lipoproteins. Low density lipoprotein (LDL) takes cholesterol from the liver and transports it to your body’s cells. Once the cholesterol has been used, high density lipoprotein (HDL) returns it to the liver for recycling.

The cholesterol isn’t alone in the the lipoproteins. It is joined by fat molecules called triglycerides. The more triglycerides in the lipoprotein, the less room for the cholesterol. This is an important point and I will return to it later.

The conventional wisdom is that LDL is “bad” cholesterol and HDL is “good” cholesterol. However neither LDL or HDL are actually cholesterol. They are just the vehicles in which the cholesterol is travelling. In the next section I’ll explain why LDL became known as “bad” cholesterol.