LDL cholesterol is one of the transporters (lipoproteins) for cholesterol in the blood. Despite its vital properties, it is bad cholesterol because it promotes the hardening of the arteries (arteriosclerosis). In this article, you can find information and increase your education on how to calculate LDL values and the importance of LDL cholesterol and different LDL values.

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What is LDL

LDL cholesterol is a lipoprotein, a combination of fats (such as cholesterol) and proteins. Only in this connection can water-insoluble substances, such as cholesterol esters be transported in predominantly aqueous blood. Other lipoproteins are, for example, HDL cholesterol and VLDL cholesterol.

The liver initially produces VLDL (very low-density lipoprotein), loaded with cholesterol and other fats (triglycerides). LDL cholesterol will be formed in the phase of triglyceride breakdown by certain enzymes and changes in the structure of lipoproteins. Its task is to care for and transport cholesterol from the liver to the cells of the body. They need cholesterol to build cell membranes and produce various hormones (such as estrogen).

However, when LDL cholesterol is too high, these mechanisms are no longer sufficient. Excess cholesterol, among other things, accumulates in the walls of the arteries. Vascular calcification can cause other clinical pictures and diseases like a heart attack or stroke.

The Friedewald equation

The Friedewald equation is a standard medical formula that you can use to estimate clinical presentation, specifically plasma LDL cholesterol concentration.

Total cholesterol consists of HDL, LDL, and VLDL cholesterol. Total and HDL cholesterol can be easily measured, and you can estimate VLDL cholesterol based on triglyceride values under certain conditions. LDL cholesterol calculated can be based on three known values using Friedewald’s formula.

You should not use Friedewald’s formula to detect chylomicron or triglyceride values if you have measured values >400 mg/dl (>4.5 mmol/l).

Ldl calculation formula

The following serum concentrations in the LDL calculated formula are total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides.

LDL = TC - HDL - 0.2\cdot TG

TC – Total cholesterol is a laboratory value representing the total cholesterol contained in different lipoprotein fractions of the patient’s blood. (LDL, HDL, VLDL).
HDL – high-density lipoprotein; serves to dilute cholesterol after transporting excess cholesterol back to the liver.
TG – Triglycerides are a type of lipid in the blood. Elevated triglyceride levels are a risk factor for cardiovascular disease – similar to high LDL cholesterol levels. Triglycerides are necessary for the care of energy in the body.
0.2 – the value of milligrams per deciliter (mg / dL). If you use the unit of measurement in millimoles per liter (mmol / L), the value you will use is 0.45.

LDL cholesterol range

Comprehensive medical cardiovascular control allows individual risk assessment. The individual risk assessment will distinguish between very high, high, moderate, and low risk. Based on the specific threat, you will see the target LDL values of the patient in the next table:

LDL cholesterol rangeLDL cholesterol category
less than 100 mg/dLoptimal
100 – 129 mg/dLnear-optimal
130 – 159 mg/dLborderline high
160 – 189 mg/dLhigh
190 mg/dL and abovevery high
LDL cholesterol range

With LDL cholesterol, lower numbers are better because a high LDL level can raise your risk for coronary artery disease and related problems.

HDL vs. LDL cholesterol

HDL, or “good cholesterol,” works by moving LDL cholesterol out of the arteries and promoting its transport to the liver, where it is stored or broken down. It has an essential role in removing LDL cholesterol because it does not allow it to settle in the tissues of our circulatory system. Clinical values ​​should be higher than 35 mg / dL, and the more, the better. Using HDL cholesterol, you can also calculate the cholesterol ratio in the blood on our Cholesterol Ratio Calculator.

LDL cholesterol is called “bad cholesterol”. It contributes to the formation of fatty deposits in the patient’s arteries, which leads to the accumulation and accumulation of other factors in the narrowing and obstruction of blood flow, so that tissue receiving food and oxygen through received blood becomes sick or even dies. (heart attack).

How to calculate LDL cholesterol?

Once you have measured all the required values, determine in which units the importance ​​of your tests were measured. You need to enter the values ​​of the following elements the LDL calculator:

  1. Total cholesterol levels,
  2. High-density lipoprotein level,
  3. Triglyceride level,
  4. Finally, the result representing LDL cholesterol level will be displayed.

What’s a normal LDL-C level?

Whether the cholesterol level is too high depends primarily on the individual clinical condition and the patient’s risk constellation. Therefore, as a rule, one cannot speak of a standard or high cholesterol level without considering the overall medical risk of heart attack, stroke, or circulatory disorders.

The level of LDL cholesterol should be as low as possible. The values ​​of the guidelines always refer to the personal risk of developing cardiovascular diseases. The European Society of Cardiology (ESC) for dyslipidemia states that we must respect the following medical levels of LDL cholesterol:

a) patient has low risk: cholesterol levels should be below 116 mg/dl (milligrams per deciliter) or below 3.0 mmol / l (millimoles per liter). For this group of people, the risk of developing cardiovascular disease in the next ten years is less than one percent.

b) patient has moderate risk: cholesterol levels should be below 100 mg/dl (or below 2.6 mmol/l). There is a moderate risk, for example, if you are under 35 and have had diabetes mellitus for less than ten years and there are no other risk factors.

c) patient has high risk: your cholesterol level should be below 70 mg/dl (or below 1.8 mmol/l). High risk includes patients with familial hypercholesterolemia.

d) patient has a very high risk: cholesterol levels should be below 55 mg/dl (or below 1.4 mmol/l). This risk group includes, for example, patients diagnosed with cardiovascular disease.

Within two years, patients who have had two major cardiovascular events (such as heart attack and stroke) should weigh LDL cholesterol below 40 mg/dL.


1. Is LDL good or bad?

The total amount of fat in the blood cholesterol includes LDL and HDL cholesterol. Based on the measured information of cholesterol values, you can determine the potential medical risk of cardiovascular and vascular diseases or stroke.
Individual cholesterol values, i.e., LDL and HDL, are better indicators of potential diseases than the total. That is why it is essential to know that LDL is cholesterol, which doctors consider “bad,” and on that basis to prevent the risk of clogged arteries and other health problems.

2. Normal LDL cholesterol levels

The LDL cholesterol level depends on several other health factors, so normal LDL cholesterol cannot be determined. The following values ​​are optimal in total cholesterol.
• Total cholesterol <5.0 mmol/l
• LDL cholesterol <3.0mmol/l
• HDL cholesterol >1.0 mmol/l for men and >1.2 mmol/l for women

3. Which is good cholesterol, HDL or LDL?

“LDL” means Low-Density-Lipoprotein (Low-Density-Lipoprotein). This type of packaging carries cholesterol from the liver to the body. High LDL is associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, so LDL means “bad” cholesterol.
The abbreviation “HDL” represents high-density lipoprotein. HDL cholesterol transmission returns cholesterol from the tissues to the liver. According to current knowledge, high HDL is probably the reason for the lower risk of cardiovascular disease. HDL cholesterol is therefore also called “good” cholesterol.

4. How to reduce LDL quickly?

We are not interested in your privacy, but lose weight for your good if you are overweight! Your daily cholesterol intake should not exceed 300 mg. Do not consume more than 2-4 eggs a week, including those used to prepare other dishes. Make fruits and vegetables the backbone of your diet. Exercise regularly, and in case of any changes in the body, contact your doctor!