Lipoprotein subfraction testing is a test that is used to check for the risk of developing cardiac disease like atherosclerosis. The test measures the lipoprotein subfraction or amount of triglycerides, High-density Lipoprotein, Low-Density Lipoprotein, and cholesterol in the blood. Cholesterol is a lipid that is created within the body and as such does not need to be acquired from the diet; however, it can come into the diet by ingesting animal products like meat, eggs, and dairy.
The lipoprotein subfractions results depend on the age of the patient being tested. Assuming that a person is being tested in the core group of under 39, an ideal HDL count should be between 40-86 mg/dL for men, and 35-80 for women. This alone does not indicate anything and should be compared to the result of LDL measurements. The range of LDL is ideally between 80-100 mg/dL. Triglycerides should ideally be in the range of 54-110 mg/dL for both men and women. Cholesterol levels should be between 120-150 mg/dL. If the levels of LDL are beyond the normal range, it indicates an increased risk of heart disease.
There are many drugs that are used to shut down the creation of cholesterol in the liver and this is usually combined with a restricted diet. Cardiovascular exercise is also advised as this increases the amount of HDL that is created by the liver. Most patients at risk will be asked to get on to a vegetarian diet as plants have their own version of cholesterol called phytosterol. This can actually displace cholesterol without causing heart disease itself.
Lipoproteins are carrier molecules that are used by the body to transport lipid substances through the water-based environment of the blood. LDL is causative in heart disease because it is taken up by the body’s macrophages and deposited in the arteries of the heart. This causes plaque to form and block the blood supply to the heart. HDL, on the other hand, will mop up cholesterol in the body and send it back to the liver for recycling or excretion. It is also used to send cholesterol to the organs of the body that use cholesterol to create steroid and sex hormones like the testes, ovaries, and adrenal glands. This is the reason that HDL is called good cholesterol