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Lipid profile: what is it, indications and normal values

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The lipid profile is a laboratory test requested by the doctor whose objective is to verify the normal values ​​of lipids, es decir, LDL, HDL, VLDL, triglycerides and total cholesterol, which when they are within their normal limits represent a great risk for the development of cardiovascular diseases, such as angina, heart attack, stroke or venous thrombosis, for example.

The lipid profile is requested with the objective of identifying the risk of these diseases and helping to guide the treatment for each person, with the objective of avoiding health complications.

To determine the lipid profile, a sample of blood is needed, which can be taken in a day. The 12-hour day is indicated according to the clinical history of the person.



In the complete lipid profile, the following data are obtained:

1. LDL cholesterol

LDL cholesterol, by its acronyms in English, low density cholesterol, It is known as “bad cholesterol”, because when it is in high concentrations it is associated with a greater risk of cardiovascular diseases. However, LDL is essential for the good functioning of the body, as it participates in the formation of various hormones.

The ideal is that LDL cholesterol levels are below 130 mg/dl, however, in some people more rigorous care is needed, such as values ​​below 100, 70 or 50 mg/dl, depending on their history of illness , lifestyle habits or the presence of other cardiovascular risk factors.

See more details on how LDL cholesterol values ​​should be according to cardiovascular risk.



2. HDL cholesterol

HDL cholesterol, by its acronyms in English high density cholesterol, it is known as “good cholesterol”, and it is important that its values ​​in blood are found to be high, which represents greater cardiac protection. It is recommended that its value exceeds 40 mg, as it prevents cardiovascular diseases.

To obtain these values, it is recommended to perform physical activity and take a diet rich in good fats and fibers, which can be obtained in fish, oil, vegetables and seeds.

3. VLDL cholesterol

VLDL cholesterol has the function of transporting triglycerides and cholesterol to tissues, and is part of the non-HDL cholesterol group, so it must be kept low. It is recommended that your sean values ​​be less than 30 mg/dl.

Learn more about the consequences of high VLDL cholesterol.

4. Non-HDL cholesterol

It is the sum of all types of cholesterol, except HDL, and it is considered an important risk factor for cardiovascular diseases and can be used for monitoring and treatment guidance.

The non-HDL cholesterol values ​​must be greater than 30 mg/dl, which is considered ideal for LDL. Therefore, if the maximum LDL value recommended for a person is 130 mg/dl, non-HDL cholesterol is considered normal up to 160 mg/dl.

5. Total cholesterol

Total cholesterol is the sum of HDL, LDL and VLDL, with desirable values ​​lower than 190 mg/dL, since when they are higher, it increases the risk of diseases such as pancreatitis, heart attack, stroke or angina, for example.

However, in case the values ​​of good cholesterol (HDL) are found to be too high, the value of total cholesterol can increase, so it is always necessary to compare the values ​​of the complete lipid profile.

6. Triglycerides

These fat molecules are an important source of energy for the body and the muscles, however, when they are elevated in the blood, they can promote the accumulation of fat in the blood vessels and the development of cardiovascular diseases.

The desirable value of triglycerides in the lipid profile must be less than 150 mg/dl, and the higher the value, the greater the probability of complications. In addition to cardiovascular diseases, extremely high triglycerides can produce pancreatitis.

Learn more about how to lower high triglycerides.

Evaluate your cholesterol

If you want to know if your cholesterol is within the normal range, enter your data in the calculator below:

Indications of the lipid profile

The lipid profile is generally performed in adults every 5 years, however, in case of risk of heart disease or altered cholesterol in other analyses, the time interval decreases.

Although it is not common for this exam to be requested in children or adolescents, it can be carried out in those with a probability of developing heart diseases, such as in those who suffer from genetic diseases of cholesterol, diabetes, high blood pressure or obesity, for example.

What to do when lipids are altered?

When the lipid profile is altered, it is important to receive treatment, which should be prescribed by a doctor, as well as receiving follow-up from a nutritionist. The main ways of dealing with these changes include:

  • Changes in the diet: foods rich in fat should be avoided, such as fried foods or fatty meats, and excess carbohydrates. Since it is a balanced diet, and with the ideal amounts of nutrients for each person, it is recommended to have a follow-up with a nutritionist, who will indicate the best foods and the appropriate amounts.
  • Healthy lifestyle habits: to reduce bad cholesterol and increase cholesterol, it is recommended to practice regular physical activities, from 3 to 6 times a week, with an average of 150 minutes of exercise. It is also important to quit smoking, as it has an effect on the reduction of good cholesterol;
  • medication use: the doctor may prescribe medication to control cholesterol and triglyceride levels, such as statins to lower cholesterol, siding the most common Simvastatin, Atorvastatin or Rosuvastatin, fibrates to reduce triglycerides, such as Ciprofibrate or Bezafibrate. Learn more about drugs to lower cholesterol.

Furthermore, to reduce the possibilities of developing cardiovascular diseases, it is also important to control other risk factors, such as controlling blood glucose levels, blood pressure and weight, as these factors contribute to the formation of atherosclerosis in the blood vessels and the development of illnesses.

Watch the following video on how to understand the exam and what to do to control cholesterol levels:

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Consult a Doctor | Translated by User2937

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Disclaimer – (English version>) This content has been prepared based on information from research, additional publications, or the translation/verification work of a volunteer editor of this web council. This is a non-profit service. It is strongly recommended that all details and information published be carefully verified. We never allow medication recommendations, medication package inserts or any medication guidance. We never allow partisan politics as information.

Isenção de responsabilidade – (versão em português): Este conteúdo foi preparado com base em informações de pesquisas, publicações adicionais ou no trabalho de tradução/verificação de um editor voluntário deste conselho web. Este é um serviço sem fins lucrativos. É altamente recomendável que todos os detalhes e informações publicadas sejam verificadas cuidadosamente. Nunca permitimos recomendações de medicamentos, bulas ou qualquer orientação sobre medicamentos. Nunca permitimos a política partidária como base para checagem. Para mais informações, leia nossos termos.

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