Cholesterol Blood Test, from our experts to you.Dr Sam Rodgers MBBS, MRCGP
Chief Medical Officermeet our doctors
What is cholesterol?
What can I learn from this test?
What's the difference between good and bad cholesterol?
How to prepare for your test
Frequently asked questions
The average range of your total cholesterol, cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and non-HDL cholesterol can differ depending on the lab your results are tested at and their values. You will be able to see where your cholesterol levels lie (as well as your ratio of total cholesterol: HDL) within the ranges on MyMedichecks, after the results have been reported. Your doctor will also comment on whether this is the appropriate level and any changes you should consider making.
What is a normal range of cholesterol in a blood test?
High cholesterol is when you have too much of a fatty substance called cholesterol in your blood. High cholesterol can run in families, or be caused by eating fatty food, not exercising enough, being overweight, smoking, and drinking alcohol. Have a look at everything you need to know about cholesterol, including ways to lower your cholesterol levels.
What is high cholesterol?
Eating fatty foods before taking our Cholesterol Blood Test may affect your results. If you are interested in your triglyceride or LDL levels, then we do recommend fasting, but otherwise, fasting is optional.
Can I eat before my cholesterol blood test?
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a fatty substance (a lipid) found in every cell in your body and is produced naturally by the liver. It is essential for the maintenance of cell membranes, the production of vitamin D and bile acid, along with the production of vital hormones, such as testosterone and oestrogen.
Read more in our blog: all you need to know about cholesterol.
The benefits of healthy cholesterol
HDL cholesterol is often known as good cholesterol because it helps to protect your heart and blood vessels from disease. HDLs remove excess fat from the blood vessels as well as have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects.
HDLs are most protective at around 1.3 – 1.4mmol/L — higher levels might not offer any extra protection (13). You should aim for total cholesterol: HDL ratio of less than four.
Find out about how the Mediterranean diet can help to keep your heart healthy.
Causes of high cholesterol
High cholesterol can increase your risk of many diseases, including cardiovascular disease. High cholesterol can sometimes be easily reversed, especially if it’s down to lifestyle. However, there are other causes besides lifestyle that can increase your risk of high cholesterol.
Several factors can increase your risk of high cholesterol. Read more on all you need to know about cholesterol.
Cholesterol for men and women
Women naturally have higher HDL cholesterol levels than men due to hormonal differences. However, there is no difference in a man’s or a woman’s genetic predisposition for high LDL cholesterol levels.
Women should aim for an HDL cholesterol level above 1.2mmol/L while men should aim for above 1mmol/L.
Pregnancy can also affect cholesterol levels as during pregnancy, cholesterol and triglyceride levels increase naturally. As the pregnancy develops, there is increased availability of nutrients for the placenta to support the growth and development of the baby.