Cholesterol level in the body is quite a confusing concept. Although various measures are opted to reduce the level of cholesterol but too low cholesterol levels in the blood may also have a negative impact. Thus, the target of a healthcare provider is to maintain the level of cholesterol within an optimal limit. Normal cholesterol level includes normal LDL cholesterol levels and normal HDL cholesterol levels.
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What Is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is found in the blood in the form of a soft and waxy substance. The substance is either synthesized within the body or can be sourced from the food. In the body, it is synthesized in the liver. Almost 75% of the total cholesterol in the body is produced by the liver. Cholesterol is also present inside the cell. Foods containing saturated fats such as animal products increases the level of cholesterol. Various factors affect the level of cholesterol in an individual. These factors include the amount of food with saturated fat content, heredity, and underlying medical conditions such as diabetes.
What Is “Good Cholesterol” And “Bad Cholesterol”?
Cholesterol does not have blood-solubilizing property. Fats and cholesterol travel in blood in the form of tiny packages known as lipoproteins. Based on the amount of cholesterol present in these packages, they are divided into High-density lipoproteins (HDL) and Low-density lipoproteins (LDL). High-density lipoproteins serve as cholesterol scavengers which removes the cholesterol from the blood and the walls of arteries and transport them back to the liver. They are, thus, known as Good cholesterol. Low-density lipoproteins tend to accumulate themselves on the arterial wall resulting in plaque formation. These are thus known as bad cholesterol.
[Also Read: Foods To avoid before cholesterol levels]
What Are The Impacts Of High And Low Cholesterol On The Body?
Cholesterol is not always a bad thing. However, higher than optimal cholesterol for a considerable period is surely a cause of concern. Following is the impact of high cholesterol on the body:
- Ischemic heart disease
- Peripheral arterial disease
- Type 2 diabetes
- High blood pressure
Following are the impact of the low level of cholesterol;
- Very low cholesterol level increases the risk of cancer.
- Hemorrhagic stroke
- If low cholesterol in pregnancy, it may lead to preterm delivery and low birth weight
- Increased risk of committing suicide in case of very low cholesterol levels
Normal Cholesterol Levels Chart – Total, HDL & LDL
|Target Population||Total Cholesterol (mg/dl)||HDL (mg/dl)||LDL (mg/dl)|
|Adult (Male)||Less than 200||More than 40||Less than 100|
|Adult (Female)||Less than 200||More than 50||Less than 100|
|Children||Less than 170||More than 45||Less than 110|
What Are The Normal LDL Cholesterol Levels?
The level of cholesterol can be diagnosed through a simple blood test. Your cholesterol report would show the total cholesterol levels as well as differentiated cholesterol levels. The differential cholesterol level shows the level of various types such as HDL, LDL, and VLDL. LDL less than 100 mg/dl is considered optimal while the level of 100 mg/dl to 129 mg/dl is considered borderline. If the level of LDL is 130 mg/dl or above, it indicates high LDL.
What Are The Normal HDL Cholesterol Levels?
The optimal level of HDL is required for various metabolic activities. HDL helps clean the endothelium, the inner wall of blood vessels and keeps them healthy. High-density lipoprotein with a level of 45 mg/dl or more is considered normal while a value between 40 mg/dl to 45 mg/dl is considered borderline. The level of HDL below 40 mg/dl is considered abnormal.
What Are The Normal Cholesterol Levels By Age?
As per the American heart association recommendations, adults should check the cholesterol level every 4-6 years after they attained the age of 20 years. As age increases, the level of cholesterol gets higher.
The person below the age of 19 years should have a total cholesterol level below 170 mg/dl, while the HDL should be greater than 45mg/dl. And the LDL level less than 110 mg/dl is normal.
People above the age of 19 years should have total cholesterol less than 200 mg/dl. The HDL level should be above 60 mg/dl while the LDL level should be less than 100 mg/dl. It is also to be noted that if the coronary disease is present in these patients, they should maintain the LDL level below 70 mg/dl.
[Also Read: Causes of false high cholesterol levels]
What Are The Normal Cholesterol Levels In Adults?
Among adults, men have a higher cholesterol level as compared to women. However, the cholesterol level rises in women once they attain menopause.
Normal Cholesterol Levels In Men
Normal serum cholesterol level in males should be less than 200 mg/dl while the level of HDL should be 40 mg/dl or higher. LDL level in a healthy person is to be below 100 mg/dl.
Normal Cholesterol Levels In Women
The normal cholesterol level for females is like that of males except for the level of HDL. The target level of HDL in healthy women is 50 mg/dl or more.
What Are The Normal Cholesterol Levels In Children?
The normal cholesterol level in children is less than adults. A healthy level of cholesterol in children is 170 mg/dl or less while normal LDL cholesterol level should be less than 110 mg/dl. Normal HDL cholesterol level in children should be more than 45 mg/dl.
Rohit Jain is an IPR Specialist and Medical Content Writing Expert. For over a decade, he has written several articles in the areas of female infertility, Erectile dysfunction, hemangioma, cervical cancer, monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance, mononucleosis, mitral valve disorder, nerve sheath tumor, shin splints, mild cognitive impairment, cellulitis, brain metastases, atelectasis, MCAD deficiency, lymphoma, sepsis, cardiac rehabilitation and metabolic disorder among others.