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Cholesterol Ratios
What Do They Mean

Improving one's cholesterol ratios can have a profound impact on health. In the long term, lower bad cholesterol levels and better good cholesterol levels can lead to fewer medical bills, more energy, and a longer, healthier life.

Additionally, the methods used to achieve better cholesterol ratios can also help you lose weight, fight cancer, improve your immune system, and be healthier and stronger for longer.

Improving your quality of life can be as easy as raising the good or hdl cholesterol and lowering the bad or ldl cholesterol. Knowing what the optimal range of cholesterol levels is, what the difference between the two is, and what to do to effect a positive change can help you improve the quality along with the quantity of your life.

Low HDL-High LDL: A Recipe For Disaster

HDL is an acronym for High Density Lipoprotein; this is a type of fat. Think of fat not just in terms of animal fats or the fat levels on the back of labels, but rather as a little mechanism that plays out important roles in your body.

HDL cholesterol is important for proper nerve function, capturing and dispelling waste form the system, and transporting nutrients in and out of cells. It also plays a key role in producing the proper stomach acids to digest your food.

LDL is an acronym for Low Density Lipoprotein. In small amounts it plays significant roles in the body, such as serum production to keep the skin moisturized, and for killing off bad bacteria in the bowels.

Problems arise when the quantity of LDL cholesterol in one's blood becomes too high. When this happens, the cholesterol causes problems with the heart and circulatory system.

Probably the largest contributor to this problems is a diet that includes large quantities of high cholesterol foods combined with an inadequate amount of foods that lower cholesterol.

The Impact of the LDL/HDL Ratio

When an individual has their cholesterol tested they will typically receive results for:

  • Total Cholesterol
  • LDL
  • HDL
  • Triglycerides

From these results various ratios can be calculated. The most common cholesterol ratios used to assess risk of heart disease are the Total Cholesterol/HDL ratio and the LDL/HDL ratio.

The ratio of total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol is determined by dividing one's total cholesterol by their HDL. For instance, if an individual has an HDL cholesterol reading of 50 and a total cholesterol reading of 200 their total/HDL ratio would be 4.0.

The other frequently used ratio is the LDL/HDL ratio. As this ratio indicates, it is found by dividing the LDL by the HDL reading. Someone with LDL cholesterol of 250 and HDL of 50 would have an LDL/HDL ratio of 5.0

This chart shows the recommended ratios to assess heart disease risk.

Ratio Optimal moderate High
LDL/HDL 3.5 4.5 5
Total/HDL 4 5 9

While these cholesterol ratios are helpful as an easy way to see one's heart risk, their usefulness as a guide to determine treatment for high cholesterol is controversial. The American Heart Association recommends using the actual LDL, HDL, total cholesterol, and triglyceride numbers to obtain a more precise picture of one's cholesterol health.

You can leave cholesterol ratios and return to the main cholesterol page for an explanation of what the actual numbers mean.

Impacting the Ratio

It has been shown very clearly that most individuals can improve their cholesterol ratios without using medication.

With a cholesterol lowering diet, getting more exercise, losing weight, and using nutritional supplements, LDL cholesterol levels can be lowered and HDL cholesterol raised substantially. If you are already taking these steps to improve your cholesterol, that is fabulous.

By increasing your knowledge of the impact low HDL cholesterol and high LDL cholesterol levels have on the body and by gaining a better understanding about cholesterol ratios, we hope you can make a more informed decision when it comes to treatment methods and lifestyle changes to improve your life, health, and longevity.

If you are interested in how you can benefit from supplements designed to lower cholesterol, consider Lipi-Rite. It contains more of the natural ingredients that have been shown to lower cholesterol than any other product we have been able to find.