Chylomicron, VLDL, LDL and HDL

There are several types of lipoproteins. They include:

  • Chylomicron: A lipoprotein rich in triglyceride and common in the blood during fat digestion and assimilation.
  • Very low-density lipoprotein, or VLDL: Produced primarily by the liver, with smaller amounts contributed by the intestine. VLDL contains relatively large amounts of triglycerides compared to protein.
  • Low-density lipoprotein, or LDL: Composed of a moderate amount of protein with little triglyceride, and a high amount of cholesterol, and
  • High-density lipoprotein, or HDL: Made from a high proportion of protein with minimal triglycerides and cholesterol.

When you eat, the small intestine takes the cholesterol and triglycerides from your food and packages them using chylomicrons to transport lipids into your bloodstream, and ultimately to your cell tissues.

When VLDL reaches your cells, it mainly distributes triglycerides. The VLDL then transitions into LDL since it is now higher in cholesterol and lower in triglycerides.

As LDL makes its way through your bloodstream, it has a tendency to deposit some of its cholesterol into the walls of your arteries, which is why LDL is referred to as “bad cholesterol.”

HDL, on the other hand, comes along and removes harmful cholesterol, taking it back to the liver to be reprocessed. And this is why HDL is referred to as “good cholesterol.”