Lipid and Lipoprotein Metabolism

Lipids are types of fats which your body either absorbs from food or produces using the liver. Cholesterol and triglycerides (which store energy in fat and muscle cells) are the most commonly known lipids.

Lipids on their own are not compatible with a water-based environment and cannot travel through the bloodstream alone. To enable them to do so, they need lipoproteins to transport them. Lipoproteins are classified by size and density, depending on their lipid to protein ratio. Two types of lipoproteins are involved in transporting lipids. You may have heard of good (HDL) and bad (LDL) cholesterol which is strictly a myth as it is the lipoproteins which differ, not the cholesterol which remains the same. Low-density lipoproteins (LDL’s) carry cholesterol from the liver to the cells in the body to be used for various purposes. High-Density Lipoproteins (HDL) are thought to transport any excess back to the liver, to be broken down into bile acids and removed from the body. Therefore, High levels of LDL’s and low levels of HDL’S are major risk factors for the build up of fatty deposits in the lining of the blood vessels.

This group of disorders include ones which are characterised by high levels of lipoproteins in the blood (hyperlipoproteinaemia) or not enough lipoproteins in the blood (hypolipoproteinaemia).

Skip to content