Details on cholesterol levels, cholesterol levels chart, LDL, HDL and normal cholesterol numbers for men and women and their significance are discussed. Know what value is a healthy cholesterol level?
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Blood cholesterol is an essential substance in our bodies for good health. It is a white, waxy compound called sterols, present in every cell of the body. It is produced by our body for several purposes.
Cholesterol is essential for the development of our hormones and brain function. The result of not having enough cholesterol is depression and irritability.
In some people cholesterol is produced more than is required by the body, especially when the diet contains saturated fats. Saturated fats in the diet force the body to make too much cholesterol. The dietary cholesterol is found only in animal products. Saturated fats are found both in animal and vegetable foods and dairy products.
What is Cholesterol?
Blood cholesterol is of two main categories: High density Lipoproteins (HDL) and Low density lipoproteins (LDL). People with a high HDL cholesterol levels have low incidence of heart disease. HDL is a sort of cleaner that clean the deposit of fats in the blood arteries. HDL is improved with regular exercise and eating low fat foods. The cholesterol ratio is also important than the individual values of HDL and LDL.
Oxycholesterol is Worse
High levels of total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol can increase the risk of heart attacks. Now, scientists have discovered a little-known type of cholesterol, oxycholesterol which may prove to be the most serious and lethal cardiovascular health threat of all. Scientists from China reported in the National Meeting of the American Chemical Society in August 2009 that fried and processed food, particularly fast food, contains high amounts of oxycholesterol. Oxycholesterol is as important as LDL and HDL cholesterols and should not be ignored. Their study demonstrated that oxycholesterol boosts total cholesterol levels and reduces elasticity of arteries and promotes atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) more than other cholesterols. But a healthy diet rich in antioxidants can counter these effects.
HDL & LDL Cholesterol Numbers Chart
Healthy or Normal Cholesterol Range, Levels & Numbers
Total Cholesterol Level
Below you will notice the cholesterol level values in two different cholesterol units mmol/L and mg/dL units.
In adults - men and women, a blood cholesterol level below 200 mg/dl is considered to be desirable.
Desirable Cholesterol Level: Less than 200 mg/dL or 5.17 mmol/L
Borderline high risk cholesterol level: 200-239 mg/dL or 5.17-6.2 mmol/L
High risk cholesterol level: 240 mg/dL or 6.2 mmol/L and over
LDL Cholesterol Level
Less value of LDL cholesterol is better.
Desirable Levels of LDL cholesterol: Less than 129 mg/dL or 3.35 mmol/L
Borderline high risk of LDL cholesterol level: 130-159 mg/dL or 3.35-4.0 mmol/L
High risk of LDL cholesterol: 160 mg/dL or 4.15 mmol/L and over
Ideal for people at very high risk of heart disease: Below 70 mg/dL
Ideal for people at risk of heart disease: Below 100 mg/dL
HDL Cholesterol Level
High value of HDL cholesterol is better.
Desirable Levels of HDL cholesterol: more than 40 mg/dL or 1.04 mmol/L, ideally 60 mg/dL.
Normal Cholesterol Range: Total cholesterol less than 200 mg/dL and HDL-cholesterol (good cholesterol) 40 mg/dL or greater.
Get Your Lipoprotein Profile: Total cholesterol 240 mg/dL and above, regardless of HDL-cholesterol level
Get Your Lipoprotein Profile: Total cholesterol less than 200 mg/dL and HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) less than 40 mg/dL.
See for other risk factors: Total cholesterol between 200 to 239 mg/dL and HDL-cholesterol (good cholesterol) 40 mg/dL or greater.
Recently, the recommendation is that the hdl ldl cholesterol ratio is as important as individual levels of HDL cholesterol and LDL cholesterol.
Low cholesterol can be bad. It is important to have a steady level of cholesterol. Very low cholesterol (below 160 mg/dL) is associated with health problems. because it may increase the chances of depression, certain types of cancer and early delivery.
A recent finding (2014) of the ICMR study reveals that 72% Indians have low levels of the HDL cholesterol level and 79% have abnormal lipid levels.
Cholesterol Levels in Children
The children should be tested for high cholesterol as the cases of high cholesterol levels in children and kids are increasing.
In recent years obesity in children is increasing dramatically, consequently a significant number of children have elevated cholesterol levels. In most cases this remains undetected. Some experts are of the view that high childhood cholesterol is a major underreported public health problem. It is believed that the problems associated by high cholesterol can start in childhood.
Screening Children for High Cholesterol
The question arises, should the children be screened for cholesterol levels routinely? The National Cholesterol Education Program guidelines recommends cholesterol screening for children
1. whose parents or grandparents developed heart disease or had high cholesterol levels at age 55 or younger. About 90% of children with high cholesterol level have a parent who also has high cholesterol.
2. have severe obesity, physical inactivity, smoking, diabetes, elevated blood pressure, renal disease and low thyroid activity.
Dr. Ashok Seth, Chairman Escort Heart Institute says, "Blockages start as early as 3-4 years of age and major blockages can occur by 15 years of age. Regular health screenings including blood pressure, cholesterol and sugar tests during childhood once in every two 2 years and once every year in case of grown ups. In case detected with any irregularities, then a regular check is important on the advice of the doctor.
According to the American Heart Association, the ranges of total cholesterol for children 2 years to 19 years old are:
|Category||Total cholesterol |
|LDL Cholesterol |
|Acceptable||Less than 170||Less than 110||Child should be screened every 5 years.|
|Borderline||170-199||110 - 129||Doctor may test fasting cholesterol.|
|High||200 or greater||130 or greater||Doctor may test HDL and LDL cholesterol levels.|
It is not understood what high cholesterol levels indicate for a child. The best thing the parents can do for their children is that they teach them about good eating habits and the importance of regular physical activity.
Many children eat diets that are moderate to high in fat content. Many mothers (specially Indian) give their kids a lot of saturated fats (ghee, butter) for their growth and development. The fat more than the recommended value is harmful. The recommendation for total dietary fat intake is 30 percent of calories or less, out of which only 10 percent should come from saturated fats.