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The Boston Globe


Ask Martha

Misconceptions about cholesterol

From TV commercials to cereal boxes, the warnings about high cholesterol are hard to ignore. But they can also be hard to understand. We’re told LDL is “bad,” for example, and HDL is “good,” but did you know that neither of them is actually cholesterol?

Then there’s the distinction between dietary cholesterol – the kind you eat – and blood cholesterol, which exists in every cell of your body. The latter, produced in the liver and other organs, regulates metabolism and hormones. This precious substance gets transported around the bloodstream via LDL and HDL, which are actually low-density and high-density lipoproteins.

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