What is low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol?

Low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) is a particle that floats in the blood stream and acts as an efficient transport system that carries cholesterol from one cell to another in your body. Cholesterol is a fatty substance that is needed by your body to build cells, to make hormones, and to make bile acids in the liver.

Low-density lipoproteins (LDLs, or "bad" cholesterol) carry the largest amount of cholesterol in the blood. When you have too much LDL cholesterol in your bloodstream, it can build up in the walls of your arteries. This contributes to atherosclerosis.
Dr. Marcus J. Cox, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

LDL cholesterol is often referred to as the “bad cholesterol” and has been linked to an increased risk in cardiovascular events when elevated. LDL collects in the walls of blood vessels causing blockages that we call atherosclerosis. This can be effectively treated by statin therapy that has shown to reduce these risks.

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Dr. Kelly Traver

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is a small form of cholesterol that occasionally slips past the inner lining of the arteries into their muscular middle layer. So it is particularly able to invade the inner lining when the lining has been injured.

Dr. Merle Myerson, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

Cardiovascular specialist Dr. Merle Myerson explains the definition of  low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol. Watch Dr. Myerson's video for important tips and information about heart health.

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) carries the majority of cholesterol through your bloodstream and delivers it to the cells of the body. These molecules are larger, less dense, and less stable than high-density lipoprotein (HDL). They readily oxidize and deposit plaques on arterial walls which is likely to clog arteries and lead to cardiovascular disease. That's why LDL is known as the "bad" cholesterol.

Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol is bad cholesterol. Watch this video to learn more from Dr. Curtis Mann about low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.

Low-density lipoprotein, or LDL, is referred to as “bad cholesterol.” Over time, circulating LDL cholesterol can enter blood vessel walls and start to build up under the vessel lining. Deposits of LDL cholesterol particles within the vessel walls are called plaques, and they begin to narrow the blood vessels. Eventually, plaques can narrow the vessels to the point of blocking blood flow, causing coronary artery disease. This is why LDL cholesterol is often referred to as "bad" cholesterol.

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is a fat found in the blood that takes cholesterol around the body to where it is needed for cell repair and also deposits it on the inside of artery walls. It is sometimes called "bad" cholesterol.

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) is known as the bad cholesterol. The more of this that is present in the blood, the higher the risk of clogged arteries.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.