According to MayoClinic.com, cholesterol is a contributing factor in the fatty deposits collecting within the blood vessels, which can be a precursor to heart attack and heart failure.

Cholesterol comes from two sources: food and the body. The AHA explains that the liver and other body cells are responsible for making 75 percent of the total cholesterol in the body, while the other 25 percent comes from food.

LDL cholesterol is commonly referred to as the "bad" cholesterol. When too much of it is circulating in the blood, it can cause atherosclerosis. LDL cholesterol is manufactured naturally by the body, but due to genetics, some people produce excess amounts of it. Eating saturated fats, trans fats and dietary fats can increase the LDL cholesterol levels, too. If a person has inherited this tendency to produce additional LDL cholesterol, lifestyle modifications might not be enough to offset the increased risks.

The American Heart Association recommends that every person over the age of 20 should have a fasting lipoprotein profile done every five years.

Healthy LDL cholesterol readings are from less than 100mgm/dL to 129mgm/dL.

But knowing whether you have a cholesterol or triglyceride reading that requires treatment is about more than knowing about a single level, such as the LDL cholesterol. Your physician understands this, which is why a lipoprotein profile, which measures cholesterols and triglycerides, is the recommended blood test.

Copyright 2012, Internet Broadcasting. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed