Understanding the Oxidation of LDLs

Doctors and other experts refer to LDLs as bad cholesterol for a reason. One of the complications LDLs can cause in your body is LDL oxidation. This is a big problem that is potentially lethal if it remains untreated.

understanding the oxidation of ldls

1. What is LDL oxidation?

LDLs, or low-density lipoproteins, are cholesterol particles wrapped in protein membranes. This makes them soluble in the blood stream so that they are transported through the body to the various tissues that need cholesterol. LDLs are large particles that travel relatively slowly compared to other substances in the blood. This means that they are a ripe candidate for oxidizing agents from the body to take electrons from the LDLs. When this happens, the LDLs become oxidized, which makes them more unstable.

2. Why is LDL oxidation bad?

LDL oxidation leads to the LDL particles becoming unstable, which causes them to behave in a different way. They are much more likely to enter the walls of your arteries, which draw in a number of other cells to try and fight off the oxidized LDL. Eventually, the materials harden and form plaque around your artery; in turn, this builds up and can restrict blood flow, causing heart attacks, strokes and other complications.

3. What is done to prevent LDL oxidation?

LDL oxidation is a somewhat random occurrence. Since it is largely a chemical reaction, there is no way to prevent it from happening in your body. Because it can occur any time with LDL particles in your bloodstream, the best way to keep the oxidation from happening often enough to cause complications is to lower your LDL cholesterol levels.

4. How are LDL cholesterol levels lowered?

To lower LDL cholesterol levels, you have a number of options. If you are a smoker, you are likely to drop your LDL cholesterol levels a great deal if you quit smoking. Another great way is to minimize the potential of oxidation complications by dropping your LDL cholesterol level is to lose weight and start an exercise regimen. Talk to your doctor to determine the best plan for you.

LDL oxidation is a serious concern, especially for the overweight or otherwise unhealthy. If you have high LDL cholesterol levels, you need to take steps to lower them to keep these serious complications from taking place. If you are not sure what your LDL cholesterol levels are, call your doctor, and arrange to get a lipid panel.