Cholesterol Part 5: A Technical Distinction


Before we continue I will need to define some technical terms.

If you get a blood lipid panel you will see a number of variables, among them LDL and HDL. The LDL number you see is more precisely called LDL-C. LDL-C is an estimate of the amount of cholesterol in each LDL particle – the C stands for cholesterol. Similarly HDL is usually HDL-C.

There is another variable called LDL-P. It is an estimate of the number of LDL particles (P for particles) in your blood stream.

Our preoccupation with cholesterol (and dietary fats that the conventional wisdom dictates cause high cholesterol and heart disease) has led us to try to estimate the amount of cholesterol in our bloodstream. However, as I have described in the previous post, it is the LDL particle becoming stuck in the arterial wall that directly causes heart disease (via the inflammatory response).

In that case, shouldn’t we monitor the number of LDL particles in the blood stream? Wouldn’t that provide us with more useful information?

Sadly LDL-P is rarely reported.