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What are Lipids?

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What are Lipids?


Lipids are fatty compounds that perform a variety of functions in your body. They’re part of your cell membranes and help control what goes in and out of your cells. They help with moving and storing energy, absorbing vitamins, and making hormones. Having too much of some lipids is harmful. A lipid panel can tell you if you have normal levels.

Lipids are useful chemical compounds in all of your body’s cells.

What are lipids?

Lipids are chemical compounds (elements that make a chemical bond) in your body that help with some of its functions. These are fatty or waxy substances your body makes that don’t dissolve in water.

Examples of lipids

Cholesterol is a lipid in your blood. Your body needs it to help you take in fats and vitamins and make hormones. Cholesterol and triglycerides avoid water, so they can’t travel through blood themselves. This is why they combine with proteins to make lipoproteins that can move throughout your body.

You’ll recognize some lipids by their nicknames: HDL (high-density lipoproteins) and LDL (low-density lipoproteins).

Your liver and small intestine make HDL, which carries cholesterol into lipoproteins or your liver. Your liver converts it to bile acid so you can get rid of it. HDL (the “good” cholesterol) also fights inflammation, blood clots and oxidation.

Your liver makes VLDL (very low-density lipoproteins), which takes triglyceride from your liver to other cells. When VLDLs drop off triglycerides and cholesterol, they get denser and become LDL or the “bad” cholesterol. LDLs can stick to your artery walls and make it harder for blood to get through your arteries.

What do lipids do?

Various lipids have different functions. These include:

  • Triglycerides transport and store energy.

  • Steroid hormones send messages in cells.

  • Bile salts from cholesterol help digest fat.

  • Fatty acids metabolize to create energy.

  • Phospholipids and cholesterol make biological membranes. Phospholipids are like gatekeepers that let some molecules into your cells but require others to come in with proteins.


Because LDL can stick to your arteries, it’s important to have regular blood screenings. If your LDL levels are abnormally high, our Endocrinologist, Dr. Repas, may be the healthcare provider you want to see. Offering LDL Apheresis and management of chronic hormone diseases, Campbell County Medical Group Endocrinology & Diabetes Management offers specialized care to our patients.

Talk to your primary care provider and see if a referral to Endocrinology is right for you. For more information, visit our website at or call 307.688.6000.
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