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What is Serum Cholesterol?

Malcolm Tatum
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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Serum cholesterol is a term that includes the total level of cholesterol that is found in the bloodstream. Measuring the level of total cholesterol includes identifying all types or classes of cholesterol that are found in the system. This helpful measurement makes it possible to determine if the balance between the HDL or good cholesterol and LDL or bad cholesterol is within acceptable limits.

While tracking the HDL and LDL levels are part of what goes into a serum cholesterol evaluation, they are not the only factors considered. This measurement also involves identifying the current level of Very Low Density lipoprotein content, as well as the Intermediate Density lipoprotein levels. These readings, along with the LDL and HDL cholesterol levels, help to provide a complete picture of the lipids and proteins currently present in the body.

Over time, breaking down the various components that make up the serum cholesterol reading has helped physicians to identify a number of potential health problems and treat them before they become a problem. While the presence of good cholesterol is beneficial to maintaining organ health and providing the body with necessary energy, the presence of bad cholesterol can lead to blockages that may lead to problems with the heart and lungs. For this reason, the medical community has developed standards for what is considered a healthy level of good cholesterol as well as guidelines for what constitutes an excessive amount of bad cholesterol in the blood.

Overall, the total serum cholesterol is not expected to be over 200 milligrams for each deciliter of blood in the system. The bad cholesterol should not make up more than half of that amount. Ideally, many doctors prefer that the ration between good and bad cholesterol be more along the lines of two to one, with the bloodstream containing twice the amount of good cholesterol when compared to the amount of bad cholesterol present.

Simple bloodwork from time to time helps the physician to monitor cholesterol levels in the body and identify trends that can often be corrected with diet. In some cases, a doctor may prescribe medication that is formulated to lower bad cholesterol while promoting the production of good cholesterol. Because the serum cholesterol reading contains a breakdown of all classes of cholesterol present, and the current milligram per deciliter ratio present, it is possible to deal with high cholesterol before major health issues develop.

The Health Board is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Malcolm Tatum
By Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing to become a full-time freelance writer. He has contributed articles to a variety of print and online publications, including The Health Board, and his work has also been featured in poetry collections, devotional anthologies, and newspapers. When not writing, Malcolm enjoys collecting vinyl records, following minor league baseball, and cycling.
Discussion Comments
By anon963913 — On Jul 31, 2014

My serum cholesterol is 215.5 mg/dl Please advise me.

By rahl — On Feb 22, 2014

I am 32 years old. My serum cholesterol is 236 mg/dl; serum H.D.L. is 34 mg/dl; serum L.D.L. is 155 mg/dl; serum V.L.D.L is 47 mg/dl; serum triglycerides are 234 mg/dl; Ratio: HDL: Total cholesterol 1:6.94

HDL : LDL 1:4.55.

Is this good or bad? Please let me know.

By anon325461 — On Mar 16, 2013

For those who are concerned with cholesterol level being too high, especially serum, you can consume high levels of oat bran, gums and pectins. They will lower your serum cholesterol level, as well as cutting saturated fats like butter or hydrogenated types of foods. P.S. You should ask your physician for extended advice.

By anon291196 — On Sep 13, 2012

My serum total cholesterol level is 5.2 mmol/L(1.0)Low.

Serum LDL cholesterol is 3.5 mmol/L(<3)HIGH.

Mean corpuscules/hemoglobin(MCH)is 32.8 pg (27.0-32.0)high. What does this mean? Please advise.

By anon284778 — On Aug 11, 2012

My blood result shows "abnormal."

Serum cholesterol: 5.3

Serum triglycerides: 1.0

Serum HDL cholesterol: 2.1

Serum LDL cholesterol:2.7

Total cholesterol: HDL 2.5

Kindly advise me. Thank you.

By anon280068 — On Jul 16, 2012

My father's serum cholesterol is 289. His LDL is 191 and the hdl is 58. Kindly advise.

By anon255523 — On Mar 17, 2012

My serum cholesterol is 206. Is it high? What are the remedies?

By anon253810 — On Mar 11, 2012

A total cholesterol level of less than 200 mg/dl is considered desirable. 200-239 is borderline. Anyone above 240 is at high risk for coronary artery disease and should seek a doctor for medical advice.

By aaqib — On May 14, 2011

I have Serum Cholesterol level of 8.2mmol/l. What does it mean completely and what should i do to reduce it if it is bad at all?

By anon168683 — On Apr 18, 2011

I am 45 years old. i had my serum cholesterol tested and it is 280. is it high or low?

By anon134508 — On Dec 15, 2010

my serum cholesterol 192 mgs/dl. Is it high? advise me.

By anon122982 — On Oct 30, 2010

i have 400.0 mg/dl triglyceride, which is too high.

so please advise me how to get it to a normal level.

The rest of the lipids, such as serum cholesterol, hdl and ldl are at borderline. so kindly advise me how to get it to a desirable level.

By anon115159 — On Sep 30, 2010

I’m at age of 31 and the results of my cholesterol screening are as follows:

Cholesterol total, serum – 8.89

Cholesterol LDL, Calc – 6.97

Cholesterol HDL, serum – 0.98

Triglycerides, serum – 2.07

What medicine should I take to reduce the cholesterol level besides a change in my lifestyle (i.e. better diet, more exercise)?

By andlynch — On Aug 03, 2010

serum cholesterol 6.0; serum HDL cholesterol 1.5; total cholesterol HDL ratio 4.0; serum LDL cholesterol level 3.9. Please explain and advise.

By anon89409 — On Jun 10, 2010

my result of serum cholesterol is 4.4 please advise me.

By anon81505 — On May 02, 2010

I have tested my serum cholesterol and it is 116 mg/dl. Please explain why it's less.

By anon80901 — On Apr 29, 2010

my serum cholesterol is 234 mg/d1.hdl-68,ldl-150

vldl-16. advise me.

By anon75289 — On Apr 06, 2010

Serum cholesterol: 110 mg/dl and HDL is 34 mg/dl. My LDL is 57 mg/dl; VLDL is 19 mg/dl. My serum triglyceride is 95 MG/DL. Is it good or bad?

By bramhill — On Mar 26, 2010

My Serum cholesterol is 5.1 and my HDL cholesterol is 4.7. What exactly does this mean?

By anon68957 — On Mar 05, 2010

my serum total cholesterol is 194.0 mgs/dl. is that normal? Please tell me.

By anon56021 — On Dec 11, 2009

what is chol/HDL Chol Ratio?

By anon38158 — On Jul 24, 2009

I think my Serum Cholesterol is high. Kindly advise me.

Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum
Malcolm Tatum, a former teleconferencing industry professional, followed his passion for trivia, research, and writing...
Learn more
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