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Basic Description of Lipids and Lipoproteins

Cholesterol is a fat-like substance (lipid) that is present in cell membranes and is a precursor of bile acids and steroid hormones. [1] containing both lipid and proteins. These particles are called lipoproteins. The cholesterol level in the blood is determined partly by inheritance and partly by acquired factors such as [2].
Three major classes of lipoproteins are found in the blood of a fasting individual: low density lipoproteins (LDL), high density lipoproteins (HDL), and very low density lipoproteins (VLDL). The LDL typically contain 60-70 percent of the total serum cholesterol and both are directly correlated with risk for CHD. The HDL normally contain 20-30 percent of the total cholesterol, [3]. The VLDL contain 10-15 percent of the total serum cholesterol along with most of the triglyceride in fasting serum; VLDL are precursors of LDL, and some forms of VLDL, particularly VLDL remnants, appear to be atherogenic.
Since most cholesterol in serum is contained in LDL, [4]. Whereas LDL-cholesterol is the major atherogenic lipoprotein and thus is the primary target of cholesterol-lowering efforts, total cholesterol can be used in initial testing for detecting a possible elevation of LDL-cholesterol. Initial testing for serum total cholesterol has several advantages: [5] and does not require that the patient be fasting.

and HDL levels are inversely correlated with CHD risk diet, calorie balance, and level of physical activity
Some of the more important of these components it is more readily available and less expensive,
Cholesterol travels in the blood in distinct particles the concentration of total cholesterol in most people is highly correlated with the concentration of LDL-cholesterol