High VLDL Levels Appear to Be Dangerous;
Could Lowering Carb Intake Help?

What is VLDL?

It is an acronym that stands for “very low density lipoproteins.” These are lipid macromolecules that are made in the liver. They're comprised of approximately 85% triglycerides and can measure small as 30 nanometers.

What do these proteins do?

They act as shuttles for triglycerides, cholesterol, and other lipids.

Are there blood tests to determine your levels?

Yes. However, they're expensive and relatively uncommon. Blood must be drawn and analyzed, often in a distant facility, since it's quite difficult to separate these proteins out from more dense but still relatively non-dense low density lipoproteins.

Aren't all LDLs bad for you?

Not necessarily. Some researchers believe that very low density lipoproteins are in fact much more dangerous than LDLs. For instance, while studies have had some difficulty correlating high LDL levels with increased risk for heart disease, atherosclerosis, and stroke; high VLDL levels seem far easier to correlate with risk for those diseases.

Moreover, the hypothesized mechanism by which very low density lipoproteins cause problems is appealing and simple.

How do we make very low density lipoproteins?

The body creates these molecules in response, primarily it appears, to carbohydrates in the diet. In particular, they often appear as byproducts of the digestion of fructose, a simple sugar found in fruit juices and high fructose corn syrup.

Return from VLDL to Glossary

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