Health and Beauty

calculate total cholesterol formula

Matters of the Heart | Should I treat my cholesterol? The controversy over statins

Cholesterol, triglyceride and trans-fats

Cholesterol is good, and is necessary in the body  for cell membrane stability, for synthesis of hormones and vitamins, for the development of the brain and nervous system, for digestion etc. Cholesterols regulate many things from inflammation to metabolism to immune functions. But it is this same cholesterol which, in excess, blocks arteries, and which leads to a heart attack or stroke.

Cholesterol is barely soluble in water, and is transported in the blood bound to proteins called lipoproteins.  There are several types of lipoproteins in the blood. In order of increasing density, they are chylomicrons, very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL), intermediate-density lipoprotein (IDL), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). Elevated levels of the lipoprotein fractions LDL, IDL and VLDL are regarded as atherogenic (prone to cause building up of plaque and narrowing of arteries.)

How to calculate total Cholesterol. Is there a formulae to calculate total Cholesterol from LDL and HDL?

What if my HDL is very high (running 100Km a week) but LDL marginal, would the high HDL number drag the total cholesteral higher than guideline?


The formula is from Friedewald. Total cholesterol minus (triglycerides divided by 5) = LDL. HDL has always been measured directly and as direct measurement of LDL has been widely available for more than 5 years I no longer use the Friedewald calculation.


The formula is from Friedewald. Total cholesterol minus (triglycerides divided by 5) = LDL. HDL has always been measured directly and as direct measurement of LDL has been widely available for more than 5 years I no longer use the Friedewald calculation.

Why are there different ways of calculating your Total Cholesterol?

My sister says your total cholesterol should be your HDL + LDL. However, on my last blood test, my HDL + LDL was 10 points lower than my total cholesterol. So, I found some web sites that have the following formula:

HDL + LDL + (Triglyceride


Technically, there is no pure cholesterol in your bloodstream. Cholesterol is transported by lipoproteins. LDL (low-density lipoproteins) and HDL (high-density lipoprotiens) are the lipoprotiens used to transport cholesterol.

Tests can


well, I think that one day some scientist discovered that if you get bored enough you can find different ways to do things. Like the Total Cholesterol. What it is, is that you take the common ingredience in all food, then add it together. Everything


Technically, there is no pure cholesterol in your bloodstream. Cholesterol is transported by lipoproteins. LDL (low-density lipoproteins) and HDL (high-density lipoprotiens) are the lipoprotiens used to transport cholesterol.

Tests can