The Importance of Fasting before a Cholesterol Test


LDL is known as “bad” cholesterol. It is so bad that it can, if enough of it is deposited into a heart arterie, cause death by heart attack.

To be sure, the body needs fats. They are important for the following reasons: Waterproof the skin. Insulate the body. Energy store. Major component of many hormones. They also build cell membranes. Cell membranes are very important to cell health. Vitamins A, C, E, and K cannot be absorbed without fat in our system. (Now you know why people who are using hard drugs or are involved in bulimia or starving themselves in other fashions look sick. The body must have various amounts of vitamins A, C, E, and K to sustain health.)

LDL or bad cholesterol is associated with fat. HDL is known as good cholesterol. When it comes to cholesterol, the ratio of HDL to LDL is what is important. This ratio is what doctors look at to determine one’s “cholesterol problem”.

LDL is an acronym representing, Low Density Lipoproteins. HDL is an acronym respresenting, High Density Lipoproteins. In simple terms, LDL clogs arteries and HDL cleans them. There are also Very Low Density Lipoproteins, or VLDL and less commonly measured classes such as Lipoprotein(a).

The body has a way of balancing cholesterol. Normally, in healthy people, the liver will produce less cholesterol when a person’s food intake holds a high cholesterol level.

An intake of food, 9 to 12 hours before an LDL test can effect the outcome due to triglycerides. The Friedewald Formula is an estimation of LDL concentration. If the patient does not fast, it can cause what is known as a “triglyceride bias”. Because a high level of triglycerides is known to cause heart problems, then the interpretor of the LDL test cannot make a more correct diagnoses concerning the patient’s cholesterol system. Therefore, it is extremely important to fast just as the doctor prescribes before this test. The Friedewald Formula is not foolproof and a doctor must consider several factors. Fasting assists in a correct estimation.

Usually, any blood tests can be altered to one degree or another by food intake, because once food is swallowed, the body goes to work in a myriad of ways. Many reactions occur and become more complex with digestion.

To not fast as the doctor prescribes could cause misdiagnoses and problems with prescribed medications, based on false evidence which you gave. In other words, if you did not fast, call your doctor, save him the time and reschedule.

And fast.