The key difference between LDL and VLDL cholesterol is that LDL contains more cholesterol while VLDL contains more triglycerides.
Noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) have become a hot topic as one of the major contributors to morbidity and mortality in humans. NCD is a collective term for cardiovascular diseases and neoplastic conditions. Cardiovascular conditions are dependent on many factors, and one of those factors that play a vital role is dyslipidemia. It has a familial tendency with aspects of diet contributing to it, as well. Lipoprotein level is one of the determinants of transportation of fats throughout the body, and in diagnosing the condition in early stages. Two such important lipoproteins are very low-density lipoproteins (VLDL) and low-density lipoproteins (LDL). LDL and VLDL consist of different percentages of cholesterol, protein, and triglycerides. However, both types are bad cholesterol. The article intends to highlight the difference between LDL and VLDL cholesterol.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is LDL Cholesterol
3. What is VLDL Cholesterol
4. Similarities Between LDL and VLDL Cholesterol
5. Side by Side Comparison – LDL vs VLDL Cholesterol in Tabular Form
What is LDL Cholesterol?
Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) is a type of bad cholesterol that carries newly formed cholesterol from the liver to the other tissues in the body. Thus, it is responsible for early atheroma formation progressing into atherosclerosis with narrowing of arteries and leading up to cardiovascular disease (heart attacks & strokes) at an early age and death. On transport to the arterial walls, these LDL linked cholesterols undergo oxidation, which promotes the formation of plaques.
Usually, LDL is low in triglycerides (TGs) and high in cholesterols. Thus, reduction of LDL levels is possible by leading positive lifestyle, modifications and compliant use of medication statin, and to a lesser level with fibrates, nicotinic acid, gemfibrozil and resins like cholestyramine.
What is VLDL Cholesterol?
Very low-density lipoproteins (VLDL) are another type of bad cholesterol that is responsible for moving fats and cholesterols through the blood. VLDL production occurs in the liver. Thus, it is only present as a mediator in the transport of triglycerides and cholesterols. Furthermore, this lipoprotein contains a high number of apolipoproteins required for binding lipids to proteins. They contain Apo B 100, Apo E, Apo C I, and Apo C II. However, they are acquired and lost along the way, ultimately to form the final product.
VLDL contains high amounts of triglycerides and lower amounts of cholesterol. Triglycerides levels indirectly measure the VLDL in our blood. Hence, the management of VLDL is possible by the management of triglycerides. Thus, exercises and omega- 3 fish oils are solutions to reduce the levels of VLDL.
What are the Similarities Between LDL and VLDL Cholesterol?
- LDL and VLDL cholesterol are two different types of lipoproteins in our blood.
- Both are bad cholesterols.
- Furthermore, both are lipoproteins containing apolipoproteins that comprise triglycerides, cholesterol, proteins, and phospholipids.
- When they are present at high levels, they may build up in our arteries, increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke.
- However, our body needs both cholesterol and triglycerides to function.
- High levels of LDL and VLDL can be reduced by physical exercises and eating a healthy variety of foods.
What is the Difference Between LDL and VLDL Cholesterol?
Both LDL and VLDL are lipoproteins. But they contain different percentages of cholesterols, triglycerides, proteins, and phospholipids. The key difference between LDL and VLDL cholesterol is that the LDL contains more cholesterol while VLDL contains more triglycerides. Furthermore, the level of LDL can be measured directly. But the level of VLDL cannot be measured directly. Hence, this is also a difference between LDL and VLDL cholesterol.
Besides, a further difference between LDL and VLDL cholesterol is that the management of LDL can be done through specific drugs like statins and carbamates, but the management of VLDL is done through the management of TGs, which in turn, is managed by fish oils.
Below infographic provides more details on the difference between LDL and VLDL cholesterol.
Summary – LDL vs VLDL Cholesterol
LDL and VLDL are two types of bad cholesterols present in our bloodstream. LDL contains a high percentage of cholesterol while VLDL contains a high level of triglycerides. Furthermore, it is possible to measure LDL levels directly while VLDL levels cannot be measured directly. Also, LDL levels can be managed directly while VLDL levels cannot be managed directly. Thus, this is a summary of the difference between LDL and VLDL.
1. “VLDL Cholesterol.” MedlinePlus, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 30 July 2018, Available here.
2. Harvard Health Publishing. “Making Sense of Cholesterol Tests.” Harvard Health, Available here.
1. “Structure of LDL receptor family members” By AntiSense – Own work (CC BY-SA 3.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “VLDL 2” By Servier Medical Art (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr