LDL and HDL Particles:  Size Can Matter

lipoprotein subclasses new.jpg

There is more to LDL and HDL than a single number.  As the image shows, there is small and large LDL and small and large HDL.  The number reported in the standard lipid panel is actually a sum total "weight" of a bucket of particles of different size and density.  

Large LDL is commonly called "buoyant" because it stays in circulation and is less likely to penetrate the artery protective inner layer, literally bouncing off the wall like a beach ball.  Small LDL is more "dense" and more penetrating (like a bullet) and getting "stuck" in the wall to be fuel for the inflammation "fire" that creates atherosclerotic plaque.

Large HDL removes cholesterol from the artery more efficiently than smaller HDL.

  • Larger LDL and HDL particles reduce the risk of arterial disease and events.

  • Smaller LDL and HDL particles increase risk.  

Higher risk particle size is associated with

  • Insulin resistance

    • Prediabetes

    • Metabolic Syndrome

    • Type 2 Diabetes

  • Diets high in sugar and processed foods

  • Sedentary lifestyle

Improvement results from

  • Loss of fat, especially visceral fat 

    • Low sugar and processed food
    • Vegetables, vegetables, vegetables!
    • Time restricted feeding/fasting
  • Exercise

  • Improved control of Diabetes and Prediabetes

  • Niacin

  • Bergamot BPF

Knowing the details of your LDL and HDL completes your personalized profile and plan to reverse arterial disease.  Repeating this test periodically helps keep lifestyle and other treatments on track.

Watch the following video to see what happens when plaque builds up in the arteries