High LDL cholesterol levels are thought to be a serious heart risk factor, but up to a certain level, LDL is really a good guy. This fatty substance produced in the liver performs absolutely essential functions in the body, as it’s a major part of the membranes surrounding cells and the structures within them.
Large Vs. Small LDL Cholesterol
LDL is dangerous when it becomes oxidized or is overly present in the form of a small dense particle (known as “LDL-pattern-B”). It’s the small LDL particles that readily enter compromised arterial walls and fuel the inflammatory process. Having a greater number of small LDL puts you at higher risk. On the other hand, LDL cholesterol level is less dangerous when it is a large, fluffy, and more “buoyant” particle.
Heredity plays a major role in how much small LDL you have, so you will be more limited in how you can address this situation if you’re among the number of people with LDL cholesterol levels that are high. If you have significant numbers of small LDL, you need to be particularly mindful about exposure to things that damage your arterial walls and create opportunities for small LDL to affect them. These include cigarette smoke, mercury, lead, trans-fatty acids, insulin and radiation (to name a few). You may also want to adhere to a cholesterol-lowering diet, like my PAMM diet, exercise on a regular basis and do what you can to maintain your overall health.