HDL Cholesterol


Lt Col Reynolds
Just as LDL is often called “bad” cholesterol, HDL is considered to be “good” cholesterol. Dr. Patel, would you explain why HDL is called “good”?

Dr. Patel
Sure, Dr. Reynolds. HDL is another lipoprotein, known as high-density lipoprotein, with the job of carrying cholesterol throughout the bloodstream. HDL transports about 25 percent of blood cholesterol.

What makes HDL good is that it moves cholesterol away from your arteries. HDL also helps prevent LDL from depositing into the arterial walls. In some ways, HDL serves as a scavenger within your body, picking up excess cholesterol and returning it to the liver. In the liver, the cholesterol is converted to a key component of bile. It is then excreted into the intestine where a portion is eliminated, and the remainder is used in the absorption of fat.

There is only one process that removes cholesterol from your body, and HDL plays a critical role in it. As a result, people with high levels of HDL generally have a lower risk of heart disease.