low-density lipoprotein (LDL): Important functions?

What is LDL cholesterol?

LDL stands for low-density lipoprotein and named as the “bad cholesterol“, is a blend of a direct part of proteins, fewer parts of triglycerides and a noteworthy extent (50%) of cholesterol. You discover it mainly in the blood, the tissue cells, and around 80% of it is delivered in the liver. The body makes whatever remains of the 20% of the foods that we eat. LDL or bad cholesterol is sort of a lipid (fat).

Cholesterol can be characterized as the most common type of steroid compound in the body. It is a delicate and waxy substance and hence does not mix up with blood. Because of its nature, it needs a vehicle or a bearer to transport itself through the blood.

The solvent proteins in the blood carry out the activity and help the cholesterol to achieve the cells in the different parts of the body and complete its functions, which by chance are significant to us. Cholesterol piggy rides on the protein to encourage its mobility through the blood and this mix is called Lipoprotein (lipo means fat).

Generally, there are three noteworthy types of lipoproteins moving in the blood circulation system.

  • VLDL – Very Low-Density Lipoproteins (bad cholesterol).
  • HDL – High-Density Lipoproteins (good cholesterol).
  • LDL – Low-Density Lipoproteins (bad cholesterol).

All the above-mentioned lipoproteins not just convey the cholesterol; they also carry triglycerides, fat-soluble vitamins, phospholipids, antioxidants, and obviously the proteins. Low-density lipoproteins have B-100 proteins, while HDL particles contain generally AI and AII proteins. The type of protein decides the capacity of the lipoprotein and hence is crucial.

low-density lipoprotein

What are the functions of Low-density lipoprotein?

Low-Density Lipoprotein or LDL is alleged in light of the fact that it has a low density of proteins and is the most part of it is fat. It is known as the bad cholesterol in light of the fact that higher than ordinary LDL levels increases the chances of numerous cardiovascular diseases which includes heart attack and stroke in worst cases. Low-density lipoproteins carry the cholesterol from the liver through the blood for utilization by the cells of different tissues.

This aide in the development of the cell wall and furthermore keeps up the cell nourishment. Well, it will be completely unfair if we say that LDL is a complete nuisance to our body. We should definitely have a look at its advantages before we name it as an aggravation to our body. Both HDL and LDL have their own tasks to perform. They convey cholesterol to various parts of the body and that is the place their basic functions vary.

The main functions of LDL can be summarized in the below points:

  • Low-Density Lipoproteins, the essential bearers of cholesterol, carry it via the blood circulatory system all through the body to sustain millions of cells in different tissues.
  • When we are in sunlight, it is because of the LDL cholesterol that we can synthesize vitamin D.
  • Forerunner to the generation of the steroid hormone pregnenolone.
  • It assumes a fundamental part of intellectual functioning.
  • LDL helps in building the cell wall.
  • LDL helps in the ingestion of fat-soluble vitamins E, D, A, and K. Without it, our bodies will be deprived of these fundamental vitamins.
  • LDL assumes a crucial part in nerve cells (neurons) which exchange data through electrical signals.

Nonetheless, giving your LDL a chance to rise is undoubtedly a thing to avoid. Just keep those levels within the normal range and let the LDL carry out its activity.

Is LDL good for our system?

As we are now familiar with the importance of LDL cholesterol, it can be concluded that LDL is essential and good for our system if kept under the limits.

Within the points of confinement, LDL serves its imperative capacities at the cellular level to fabricate the cell wall, nourishing and securing the cells, helping in the assimilation of fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin A, E, D, and K. But when it crosses its typical blood levels and transcends 100 mg/dL, it begins demonstrating its dark side. In any case, take note of that the parameters of the cholesterol levels shift slightly by age. Even youngsters with a family history are known to have hoisted levels.

With abnormal states, its abundance attacks the endothelium layer of the blood vessel (arterial walls) and gets oxidized. This draws in the macrophages (WBCs), which covers the LDL and get stored on the walls of the arteries resulting in the formation of plaques. This is called atherosclerosis. These plaques narrow the blood vessels or arterial lumen after some time and result in reduced blood flow. This can occur in the supply routes of the heart or potentially the brain and can in this manner prompt a heart attack or a heart stroke. They can also break and form clusters inside the arteries.

low-density lipoprotein


LDL or the so-called bad cholesterol is not actually bad. It controls many functions of the body on a cellular level and is a crucial part of our system. It is responsible for numerous important tasks performed by our body like absorbing vitamin D from the sunlight, communication in nerve cells, absorption of fat-soluble vitamins, building cell wall, intellectual functioning, and other important cellular functions.

However, things change when the levels of it start rising. The main reason for it is the unhealthy diet or consumption of junk food. As 80% of the LDL is synthesized in the liver, we get the remaining 20% from the foods that we eat. Because the basic nature of LDL is fat and bulky, the elevated levels of it can cause serious cardiovascular troubles to the body which can result in heart attack and stroke in worst cases. So, in a nutshell, LDL is good for our system if kept within the confined limits.

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