What is Serum Cholesterol?

Blood analysis helps physicians monitor a patient's serum cholesterol levels.
A serum cholesterol evaluation involves tracking the body's production of good and bad cholesterol.
High levels of cholesterol can contribute to coronary artery disease, which may cause chest pain and discomfort.
High levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol in the blood may lead to clogged arteries.
According to the American Heart Association (AHA), an adult can eat one egg per day without exceeding the recommended cholesterol intake.
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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 06 September 2015
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Serum cholesterol is a term that includes the total level of cholesterol that is found in the bloodstream. Measuring the level of total cholesterol includes identifying all types or classes of cholesterol that are found in the system. This helpful measurement makes it possible to determine if the balance between the HDL or good cholesterol and LDL or bad cholesterol is within acceptable limits.

While tracking the HDL and LDL levels are part of what goes into a serum cholesterol evaluation, they are not the only factors considered. This measurement also involves identifying the current level of Very Low Density lipoprotein content, as well as the Intermediate Density lipoprotein levels. These readings, along with the LDL and HDL cholesterol levels, help to provide a complete picture of the lipids and proteins currently present in the body.


Over time, breaking down the various components that make up the serum cholesterol reading has helped physicians to identify a number of potential health problems and treat them before they become a problem. While the presence of good cholesterol is beneficial to maintaining organ health and providing the body with necessary energy, the presence of bad cholesterol can lead to blockages that may lead to problems with the heart and lungs. For this reason, the medical community has developed standards for what is considered a healthy level of good cholesterol as well as guidelines for what constitutes an excessive amount of bad cholesterol in the blood.

Overall, the total serum cholesterol is not expected to be over 200 milligrams for each deciliter of blood in the system. The bad cholesterol should not make up more than half of that amount. Ideally, many doctors prefer that the ration between good and bad cholesterol be more along the lines of two to one, with the bloodstream containing twice the amount of good cholesterol when compared to the amount of bad cholesterol present.

Simple bloodwork from time to time helps the physician to monitor cholesterol levels in the body and identify trends that can often be corrected with diet. In some cases, a doctor may prescribe medication that is formulated to lower bad cholesterol while promoting the production of good cholesterol. Because the serum cholesterol reading contains a breakdown of all classes of cholesterol present, and the current milligram per deciliter ratio present, it is possible to deal with high cholesterol before major health issues develop.


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Discuss this Article

Post 28

My serum cholesterol is 215.5 mg/dl Please advise me.

Post 27

I am 32 years old. My serum cholesterol is 236 mg/dl; serum H.D.L. is 34 mg/dl; serum L.D.L. is 155 mg/dl; serum V.L.D.L is 47 mg/dl; serum triglycerides are 234 mg/dl; Ratio: HDL: Total cholesterol 1:6.94

HDL : LDL 1:4.55.

Is this good or bad? Please let me know.

Post 25

For those who are concerned with cholesterol level being too high, especially serum, you can consume high levels of oat bran, gums and pectins. They will lower your serum cholesterol level, as well as cutting saturated fats like butter or hydrogenated types of foods. P.S. You should ask your physician for extended advice.

Post 23

My serum total cholesterol level is 5.2 mmol/L(1.0)Low.

Serum LDL cholesterol is 3.5 mmol/L(<3)HIGH.

Mean corpuscules/hemoglobin(MCH)is 32.8 pg (27.0-32.0)high. What does this mean? Please advise.

Post 22

My blood result shows "abnormal."

Serum cholesterol: 5.3

Serum triglycerides: 1.0

Serum HDL cholesterol: 2.1

Serum LDL cholesterol:2.7

Total cholesterol: HDL 2.5

Kindly advise me. Thank you.

Post 20

My father's serum cholesterol is 289. His LDL is 191 and the hdl is 58. Kindly advise.

Post 19

My serum cholesterol is 206. Is it high? What are the remedies?

Post 18

A total cholesterol level of less than 200 mg/dl is considered desirable. 200-239 is borderline. Anyone above 240 is at high risk for coronary artery disease and should seek a doctor for medical advice.

Post 17

I have Serum Cholesterol level of 8.2mmol/l. What does it mean completely and what should i do to reduce it if it is bad at all?

Post 15

I am 45 years old. i had my serum cholesterol tested and it is 280. is it high or low?

Post 14

my serum cholesterol 192 mgs/dl. Is it high? advise me.

Post 12

i have 400.0 mg/dl triglyceride, which is too high.

so please advise me how to get it to a normal level.

The rest of the lipids, such as serum cholesterol, hdl and ldl are at borderline. so kindly advise me how to get it to a desirable level.

Post 11

I’m at age of 31 and the results of my cholesterol screening are as follows:

Cholesterol total, serum – 8.89

Cholesterol LDL, Calc – 6.97

Cholesterol HDL, serum – 0.98

Triglycerides, serum – 2.07

What medicine should I take to reduce the cholesterol level besides a change in my lifestyle (i.e. better diet, more exercise)?

Moderator's reply: Please see your personal physician for all medication questions. Thanks for visiting wiseGEEK.

Post 10

serum cholesterol 6.0; serum HDL cholesterol 1.5; total cholesterol HDL ratio 4.0; serum LDL cholesterol level 3.9. Please explain and advise.

Post 8

my result of serum cholesterol is 4.4 please advise me.

Post 7

I have tested my serum cholesterol and it is 116 mg/dl. Please explain why it's less.

Post 6

my serum cholesterol is 234 mg/d1.hdl-68,ldl-150

vldl-16. advise me.

Post 5

Serum cholesterol: 110 mg/dl and HDL is 34 mg/dl. My LDL is 57 mg/dl; VLDL is 19 mg/dl. My serum triglyceride is 95 MG/DL. Is it good or bad?

Post 4

My Serum cholesterol is 5.1 and my HDL cholesterol is 4.7. What exactly does this mean?

Post 3

my serum total cholesterol is 194.0 mgs/dl. is that normal? Please tell me.

Post 2

what is chol/HDL Chol Ratio?

Post 1

I think my Serum Cholesterol is high. Kindly advise me.

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