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Before knowing the average cholesterol ratios we must first have an in depth perception of cholesterol. Cholesterol as most of us know is a fatty molecule that is produced by the liver. This soft and waxy material is present in all parts of the body. Cholesterol can also be obtained via the animal products in our diet. Often though as a bad thing, cholesterol plays an important role in the overall health and body function. It is vital in the production of hormones, vitamin D and bile acid. Cholesterol is carried in the blood stream in packages called lipoprotein.
There are two types of cholesterol. HDL cholesterol or known as 'good' cholesterol and LDL cholesterol ('bad' cholesterol). LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol is the type of cholesterol that builds up in the arteries. HDL (high density lipoprotein) cholesterol carries the fatty deposits in the body to the liver for excretion. Thus, the higher the HDL cholesterol you have, the better.
Cholesterol is measure by milligrams of cholesterol per deciliter of blood (mg/dL). Most of the time when your tested for cholesterol level, the total amount of total cholesterol is only given and sometime you are given with the HDL cholesterol and the total cholesterol results. The desirable total cholesterol level is 200mg/dL and the beneficial amount of HDL is more than 40mg/dL. It is important to remember to fast on the night before, before taking a lipid profile test (a test that profiles the HDL cholesterol, triglycerides and total cholesterol) the next day.
Triglycerides are another type of fat that flows in the blood stream. They comprise the 95% fat in the body. Triglycerides are carried by a special lipoprotein called 'chylomicon'. Having high levels of triglycerides and low density lipoproteins signifies a high risk of having a coronary heart disease. The triglycerides attach themselves on the walls of the arteries and veins, very much like LDL cholesterol, developing a thick plaque that is called as the atherosclerosis.
There are two important cholesterol ratios. These cholesterol ratios are 'LDL/HDL' cholesterol ratios and 'total cholesterol/HDL' cholesterol ratios. In the latter cholesterol ratios, your cholesterol result is given by the total cholesterol divided by the HDL cholesterol. According to the American Heart Association, the desirable amount should be 5:1 below with the optimal amount of 3.5:1 or 3.5 to 1. The LDL/HDL is done by dividing LDL cholesterol by the HDL cholesterol. The desirable amount in this ratio should be 3.5 below. The American Heart Association recommended that physicians must use complete numbers for 'total cholesterol/HDL cholesterol' in determining the appropriate treatment.
A normal cholesterol level as suggested by the National Institute of Health:
* total cholesterol - 200mg/dL
* LDL - 100mg/dL
* HDL (man) - 40mg/dL above
* HDL (woman) - 50mg/dL above
* Triglycerides - 150mg/dL