Written on March 7, 2023 by Theresa Vuskovich, DMD. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.
Table of contents
Very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) is a form of bad cholesterol often overlooked during routine blood tests [1,2]. However, VLDL plays a significant role in the development of heart disease . As a result, it's important to know the VLDL cholesterol normal range. This article explains VLDL and how you can lower your VLDL levels.
VLDL is produced by your liver and transports triglycerides to your tissues [1-3]. Triglyceride and cholesterol are the two types of fats in your blood . Triglycerides are the primary form of fat in your blood. When you eat too many calories, your body stores the extra calories as triglycerides in your adipose tissue (i.e., body fat).
Cholesterol is another type of fat in your blood. Your body uses cholesterol to create cells and some hormones. Your liver produces cholesterol, and you also get cholesterol from eating animal products. The blood transports lipids, which are essential for the body to function properly. The body transports lipids by forming lipoproteins (a combination of proteins and lipids).
There are four types of lipoproteins (fat combined with protein) in your blood [4-6,8]:
Proteins help lipids circulate in your blood. Lipids are not water-soluble, and your blood plasma is approximately 90% water . Your body packages lipids and proteins together to ensure lipids can travel freely in your blood. A lipoprotein's density is directly related to its protein content . Chylomicrons have the least protein and the lowest density of all lipoproteins.
Triglycerides in your blood come from two sources: your diet and your liver. Triglycerides from your diet are transported by chylomicrons, whereas VLDLs transport triglycerides created by the liver . Having high levels of VLDL is considered bad because excess triglycerides in the blood increase your risk of heart disease .
Hypertriglyceridemia is a condition caused by high triglyceride levels . When your triglyceride levels are high, you are at a greater risk of heart disease . Hypertriglyceridemia is a form of dyslipidemia, meaning your body has an unhealthy lipid profile.
Hypertriglyceridemia is caused by :
Familial hypertriglyceridemia (type IV familial dyslipidemia) is a genetic disorder caused by excessive production of VLDL from the liver. [6,9] The condition is rare and is caused by multiple alterations in genes (polygenic) [6,9]. Having familial hypertriglyceridemia increases your risk of heart disease [6,9].
VLDL levels are not directly measured during a blood test. VLDL levels are calculated based on the amount of triglycerides in your blood. Your VLDL is calculated as 20% of your triglyceride levels.
A normal triglyceride level is less than 150 mg/dL (1.7 mmol/L) . Consequently, 30 mg/dL is the maximum healthy level of VLDL. A normal VLDL range is between 2 and 30 mg/dL.
You can lower your VLDL level by lowering your overall triglyceride and cholesterol levels [10-12]. Here are five steps to maintain a healthy lipid balance [10-12]:
Many people are unaware they have a lipid imbalance. The only way to know if you have high lipid levels is to take a blood test .
Everlywell offers a cholesterol and lipid blood test you can take in the comfort of your home. If you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or a family history of heart disease, it is essential to know your cholesterol and lipid levels.
Your cholesterol and lipid blood test results will reveal your total cholesterol, HDL, calculated LDL, and triglyceride levels. An easy-to-understand online report lets you know whether your levels are optimal. Everywell encourages you to share your results with your healthcare provider.
Virtual care visits via Everlywell let you connect with a healthcare provider from anywhere. Making an appointment with Everlywell's online scheduler for virtual care visits is easy.