Understanding cholesterol is complicated. What is HDL? What is LDL? What is the difference? If you have questions regarding your cholesterols levels and what is considered normal, contact a Tucson Men’s Health Services clinic. Physicians at Men’s Vitality in Tucson, AZ can answer any of your cholesterol related questions.

Regarding cholesterol, yes, there is good cholesterol and bad cholesterol. Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is found in your blood vessels. The build-up of cholesterol can lead to blockage which could lead to a stroke. Don’t get confused, you need some cholesterol in your body to create necessary vitamins, hormones, and help with food digestion. Not all cholesterol is bad cholesterol. There is a healthy range for both LDL and HDL which most people should strive to stay within. Routine blood tests can track your LDL vs. HDL levels.

LDL or low density lipoproteins are known universally as “bad cholesterol.” A clogged artery is basically plaque build-up in the arteries. Plaque is made up of LDL cholesterol, fat, calcium and other free radicals. This is the cholesterol that physician warn about. Just because you have high levels of LDL does not necessarily mean you have clogged arteries. High LDL levels are indicative of coronary heart disease. Leaving high cholesterol untreated can, and will, lead to problems later.

On the flip-side, HDL or high density lipoproteins are known as “good cholesterol.” Typically, the higher your HDL levels are, the lower the chances of getting coronary artery disease. HDL, unlike LDL, does not clump within the arteries and clog arteries. HDL binds with bad cholesterol and takes it to the liver to be “cleaned.”