- With Mayo Clinic cardiologist
Thomas Behrenbeck, M.D., Ph.D.read biographyclose window
Thomas Behrenbeck, M.D., Ph.D.Thomas Behrenbeck, M.D.
Dr. Thomas Behrenbeck is a native of Germany, where he received his medical education at the Westfalian Wilhelm University in Munster and became board certified in internal medicine and cardiology.
He also received a Ph.D. in biophysics and physiology at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Behrenbeck joined the Mayo Clinic staff in 1990 and is currently an associate professor at Mayo Medical School and an academic faculty member at the Westfalian Wilhelm University. He is the past chair of the Cardiovascular Medicine & Surgery NetWork of the American College of Chest Physicians.
Dr. Behrenbeck is a noninvasive cardiologist, specializing in cardiovascular (CV) imaging modalities (echocardiography, nuclear cardiology and CT), coronary artery disease and prevention of coronary artery disease. His research interests are the application of imaging technology to early recognition and treatment of atherosclerosis. He is passionate about patients' involvement in their health issues.
"The Internet and patient education present ideal synergies in the ever-growing field of knowledge in cardiology," he says.
- VLDL cholesterol: Is it harmful?
- Arcus senilis: A sign of high cholesterol?
Tests and diagnosis (3)
- Cholesterol test kits: Are they accurate?
- Cholesterol level: Can it be too low?
- Cholesterol ratio: Is it important?
Treatments and drugs (6)
- High cholesterol in children: How is it treated?
- After a flood, are food and medicine safe to use?
- Niacin overdose: What are the symptoms?
- see all in Treatments and drugs
Lifestyle and home remedies (4)
- Eggs: Are they good or bad for my cholesterol?
- Pomegranate juice: Can it lower cholesterol?
- MUFAs: Why should my diet include these fats?
- see all in Lifestyle and home remedies
Alternative medicine (2)
- High cholesterol treatment: Does cinnamon lower cholesterol?
- Does prickly pear cactus have health benefits?
- Healthy heart for life: Avoiding heart disease
- Fasting diet: Can it improve my heart health?
VLDL cholesterol: Is it harmful?
What is VLDL cholesterol? Can it be harmful?
from Thomas Behrenbeck, M.D., Ph.D.
Very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) cholesterol is a type of lipoprotein. Although you may hear about VLDL, your VLDL level usually isn't reported to you as a part of a routine cholesterol screen.
There are several types of cholesterol, each made up of lipoproteins and fats. Each type of lipoprotein contains a mixture of cholesterol, protein and a type of fat (triglyceride), but in varying amounts.
Of the lipoprotein types, VLDL contains the highest amount of triglyceride. Because it contains a high level of triglyceride, having a high VLDL level means you may have an increased risk of coronary artery disease, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke. Higher amounts and large VLDL particles are also associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure and stroke.
There's no simple, direct way to measure VLDL cholesterol, which is why it's normally not mentioned during a routine cholesterol screening. VLDL cholesterol is usually estimated as a percentage of your triglyceride value. A normal VLDL cholesterol level is between 5 and 30 milligrams per deciliter.Next question
Arcus senilis: A sign of high cholesterol?
- VLDL cholesterol. Lab Tests Online. http://labtestsonline.org/understanding/analytes/vldl/tab/glance. Accessed March 31, 2012.
- Berger JS, et al. Lipid and lipoprotein biomarkers and the risk of ischemic stroke in postmenopausal women. Stroke. 2012;43:00.
- Paynter NP, et al. Lipoprotein subclass abnormalities and incident hypertension in initially healthy women. Clinical Chemistry. 2011;57:1178.