Merck Manual

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Lipoproteins: Lipid Carriers

Lipoproteins: Lipid Carriers



Lipid Content



Formed from fats in food processed by the intestine

Mostly triglycerides

Transport digested fats (as triglycerides) to muscle and fat cells

High-density lipoprotein (HDL)

Formed in the liver and small intestine

About ¼ cholesterol

About 1/20 triglycerides

Removes cholesterol from tissues in the body and transports it to cells that need cholesterol and to the liver for removal

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL)

Formed from VLDL after it delivers triglycerides to fat cells

More than ½ cholesterol

Less than 1/10 triglycerides

Transports cholesterol to various cells

Very low density lipoprotein (VLDL)

Formed in the liver

More than ½ triglycerides

About 1/4 cholesterol

Transports triglycerides from the liver to fat cells