LDL Cholesterol

LDL-density lipoprotein (LDL) is one of the five major groups of lipoproteins (chylomicrons, VLDL, IDL, HDL, LDL) that enable lipids like cholesterol and triglycerides to be transported within the water-based bloodstream. It is used medically as part of a cholesterol blood test, and since high levels of LDL cholesterol can signal medical problems like cardiovascular disease, it is often called bad cholesterol, (as opposed to HDL, which is frequently referred to as good cholesterol or healthy cholesterol).

Each native LDL particle contains a single apolipoprotein B-100 molecule (Apo B-100, a protein with 4536 amino acid residues), which circulates the fatty acids, keeping them soluble in the aqueous environment. In addition, LDL has a highly-hydrophobic core consisting of polyunsaturated fatty acid known as linoleate and about 1500 esterified cholesterol molecules. This core is surrounded by a shell of phospholipids and unesterified cholesterol, as well as a single copy of B-100 large protein (514 kD). LDL particles are approximately 22 nm (0.00000087 in.) in diameter and have a mass of about 3 million daltons, but since LDL particles contain a changing number of fatty acids, they actually have a mass and size distribution.

LDL particles vary in size and density, and studies have shown that a pattern that has more small dense LDL particles, called Pattern B, equates to a higher risk factor for coronary heart disease (CHD) than does a pattern with more of the larger and less dense LDL particles (Pattern A). This is because the smaller particles are more easily able to penetrate the endothelium. Pattern I, for intermediate, indicates that most LDL particles are very close in size to the normal gaps in the endothelium (26 nm or 0.00000102 in.).

The correspondence between Pattern B and CHD has been suggested by some in the medical community to be stronger than the correspondence between the LDL number measured in the standard lipid profile test. Tests to measure these LDL subtype patterns have been more expensive and not widely available, so the common lipid profile test has been used more commonly.

There has also been noted a correspondence between higher triglyceride levels and higher levels of smaller, denser LDL particles and alternately lower triglyceride levels and higher levels of the larger, less dense LDL.

With continued research, decreasing cost, greater availability and wider acceptance of other lipoprotein subclass analysis assay methods, including NMR spectroscopy, research studies have continued to show a stronger correlation between human clinically obvious cardiovascular event and quantitatively-measured particle concentrations.

When a cell requires cholesterol, it synthesizes the necessary LDL receptors, and inserts them into the plasma membrane. The LDL receptors diffuse freely until they associate with clathrin-coated pits. LDL particles in the blood stream bind to these extracellular LDL receptors. The clathrin-coated pits then form vesicles that are endocytosed into the cell.

After the clathrin coat is shed, the vesicles deliver the LDL and their receptors to early endosomes, onto late endosomes to lysosomes. Here the cholesterol esters in the LDL are hydrolysed. The LDL receptors are recycled back to the plasma membrane.

A breakthrough technology named suspended matrix gel technology enables people of all ages with high cholesterol levels to naturally reduce the LDL cholesterol levels without any side effects and increase their HDL cholesterol levels – and this is not a drug! It’s HRT for your cardiovascular disease prevention and heart health!

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