Elevated Blood Lipids
Cardiovascular diseases are the leading cause of death in Sweden and globally, accounting for about one-third of all deaths. Each year, over four million Europeans succumb to these conditions.
Often, high blood lipid levels, specifically triglycerides and cholesterol, contribute to cardiovascular diseases.
What are Lipids?
Lipids, commonly referred to as fats, are biological materials that don't dissolve in water. This differentiates lipids from proteins and carbohydrates, which are typically water-soluble. Lipids primarily cluster in cell membranes or within cells as fat droplets that serve as energy reserves.
Tiny fat droplets also circulate in the blood. Encased in proteins, these droplets are termed lipoproteins. Lipoproteins facilitate the transport of lipids between various organs, like moving dietary fats from the intestines or distributing fats synthesized in the liver to muscles.
Blood lipids play a crucial role when present in the right amounts. Triglycerides act as energy sources, while cholesterol is essential for hormone production and cell structure.
When discussing high blood fat levels, the focus is on triglycerides and cholesterol. Cholesterol is categorized into two types: the "bad cholesterol" LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) and the "good cholesterol" HDL (High Density Lipoprotein). High levels of LDL cholesterol increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, whereas HDL cholesterol offers protection against them.
- Lipids, commonly referred to as fats, are biological materials that don't dissolve in water but require alternative solvents.
- Lipids are primarily composed of carbon and hydrogen atoms. Fats are high in energy due to their covalent bonds being high in energy.
- The body contains various lipid types: triglycerides, phospholipids, fatty acids, steroids, sterols, waxes, and fat-soluble vitamins and hormones.
- Lipids perform critical roles in the body: they form cell membranes, serve as energy reserves, function as hormones, provide thermal insulation, and cushion internal organs.