LDL - Definition

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Lipoproteins are a set of molecules composed of lipids bound to proteins. This is one of the forms in which cholesterol is present in the blood. LDL, a low density lipoprotein, differs from IDL, of intermediate density, and HDL, with high density. LDL cholesterol is called bad cholesterol or atherogenic cholesterol and is responsible for deposits on the walls of arteries: this is atherosclerosis, a major factor in cardiovascular diseases such as myocardial infarction or stroke. If too much LDL cholesterol is accumulated, dietary rules are essential to reduce the intake of animal fats (except fish) and focus on vegetable fats. In some cases, drugs lowering blood levels of the bad cholesterol, called statins are used. In contrast, HDL- cholesterol, good cholesterol, plays a protective role in preventing the arteries from forming deposits.