What are the Risks of Excess Lipids?

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  • Written By: wiseGEEK Writer
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 16 October 2019
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When people think of excess lipids, they are usually thinking of blood measurements for lipids that measure cholesterol and triglycerides. High levels of certain lipids in the blood can increase the risks of a number of health conditions.

A lipids profile test breaks down lipids into three categories: high-density lipids, low-density lipids, and triglycerides. When a medical professional examines the health of a person based on these measurements, he or she looks for excess low density lipids .

Low-density lipids (LDLs) in high number are sometimes referred to by health professionals as high "bad" cholesterol. Excess lipids of this type increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure. At particular risk are the arteries, where LDLs can accumulate and create blockages, which can pose significant threat to a person's health.

Conversely, high-density lipids (HDLs) are called "good" cholesterol. Having excess HDLs does not pose a health risk, since they actually prevent some of the diseases caused by LDLs — HDLs keep LDLs in check. Low amounts of HDLs combined with high LDLs further increase the risk for heart disease.

Excess lipids that are triglycerides also pose a greater risk for developing heart disease. A person with high LDLs and triglycerides has a much higher risk for developing diseases affecting the cardiovascular system, particularly when low levels of HDLs accompany these measurements.


People who have high levels of "bad" lipids may be treated in a variety of ways. They are typically encouraged to change their diets to produce more HDLs and lower LDLs and triglycerides. When diet alone is not enough to effect change, medical professionals may also consider medication, which can help reduce excess lipids.

Patients with excess lipids are monitored for further risks to heart and artery disease, and will probably take more frequent blood tests to be certain that their cholesterol levels are dropping. Those with high cholesterol will probably need to continue on a reduced fat diet and may need to remain on medication for life.


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Post 1

for many years I have been told that I have high cholesterol. No one ever told me what I had to stop eating to bring my bad cholesterol down.

This article told me. Thanks for your help.

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