Understanding Cholesterol: Where to Start

by Melissa Chichester

When it comes to understanding how cholesterol impacts our health, it often gets a bad rap. 

Cholesterol is essential for bodily functions. 

That’s why regular cholesterol blood tests are important assessments. Understanding the results can be challenging, so we’re breaking down what to understand about cholesterol blood tests.

Understanding cholesterol

Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in the blood. There are two main types: 

  • Low-density lipoprotein (LDL): The cholesterol that builds up in the arteries
  • High-density lipoprotein (HDL): The cholesterol that helps remove LDL cholesterol from the arteries

The cholesterol blood test

The cholesterol blood test, also known as a lipid panel or lipid profile, measures the levels of various types of cholesterol and fats in the blood. It usually includes these tests:

  • Total cholesterol: This measures the total amount of cholesterol in your blood, including both LDL and HDL cholesterol.
  • LDL cholesterol: Often considered the most important value, LDL cholesterol levels indicate the amount of “bad” cholesterol in your blood.
  • HDL cholesterol: This value reflects the level of “good” cholesterol present in your blood.
  • Triglycerides: Triglycerides are a type of fat found in the blood.

These are the most common cholesterol tests. If you want to know more through deeper exploration, you can request additional tests from your healthcare provider. This includes  

testing apolipoprotein B, C-reactive protein level (HS CRP), and the sizes of cholesterol particles.

>>How to Read Cholesterol and Heart Health Test Results

Interpreting cholesterol blood test results

To interpret the results of your cholesterol test, it’s important to discuss them with a doctor. Your doctor will walk you through understanding your numbers and what they mean for your health and well-being. In addition, your healthcare provider will recommend how often you should have your cholesterol checked.


For cholesterol already within a healthy range, supplements can be part of your healthy lifestyle.* 

Puritan’s Pride Berberine and Ginkgo Biloba supplement provides two key ingredients for supporting not only heart health but also brain health.*

Berberine supports heart health and can help maintain blood sugar and triglyceride levels already within a normal range.* It may also complement a healthy weight loss program due to its benefits for metabolic health, such as supporting cholesterol and triglyceride levels.* 

Carrying a little excess weight can lead to changes in metabolic health parameters such as blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. Improving healthy lifestyle habits such as diet and exercise can help you lose weight while also benefiting various metabolic parameters that are important for your overall health*.

>>Shop heart health

Meanwhile, ginkgo biloba provides herbal support for brain health, promoting healthy brain function and helping to maintain circulation and blood flow.* What’s more, ginkgo contains antioxidant properties that help fight free radicals, which cause oxidative stress and may contribute to the premature aging of cells.*

If you’re looking for added heart and brain health support, taking two capsules of this specialized formula daily can help contribute to your overall wellness.*

Small lifestyle changes can support heart and cholesterol health, so prioritize healthy habits and regular cholesterol screenings to stay on top of your needs.