The Normal Levels of Blood Cholesterol and How Can it Be Measured
Blood cholesterol can be measured from the sample of an individual’s blood, either from a earlobe prick sample by using a desk-top machine or a finger-prick, or from a blood sample sent to a hospital laboratory.
Normal blood cholesterol level:
The concentration of blood cholesterol is measured in millimoles per liter (mmol). Because of the differences in fat intake, the normal value may vary from country to country from an average of 4mmol or lower in China to around 6 mmol in the U.K. Thus, blood cholesterol levels of an individual can vary from about 3.5 mmol-15 mmol. They can also vary from day to day or from hour to hour.
A person having blood cholesterol level at an average of 5.2 mmol or lower can be considered as normal. But, levels over 5.2 mmol or over 6 mmol are normally regarded as being high.
Measurement of blood fats:
Measurement of blood fats, also known as lipids often include triglycerides. Triglyceride measurement is rarely of practical value, except in special cases of inherited familial hypercholesterolaemia and in diabetes. High triglyceride levels are closely associated with high alcohol consumption and excess weight.
Measurement of triglyceride and cholesterol fractions:
This measurement is comparatively more complex and expensive for the laboratory as well. The accurate levels of HDL Cholesterol and total cholesterol can be measured on any blood sample. While, triglyceride and LDL and VLDL cholesterol can be measured accurately only after fasting for a minimum 12 hours, in which no drinks or food are allowed to be taken other than water.