Blood Cholesterol vs Serum Cholesterol: How to Tell The Differences

Do you ever wonder about cholesterol? Today, we’re going to talk about a fascinating subject that confuses people: the differences between blood cholesterol and serum cholesterol.

These two terms are important when it comes to heart health and preventing cardiovascular diseases.

But what exactly do they mean?

Don’t worry, we’ll break it down for you in simple terms.

By the end of this article, you’ll have a clear picture of blood cholesterol and serum cholesterol and how they affect your health. Let’s get started!.

What is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol has been blamed for causing heart problems. However, it’s actually a complicated part of how our bodies work. But what is it exactly?

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that is found in every cell of our body. It makes hormones, vitamin D, and bile acids that helps us digest food.

Cholesterol is made by our liver, but we can also get it from certain foods we eat, like salmon, walnuts and avocado.

So how do we differentiate between blood cholesterol and serum cholesterol? Well, let’s find out!.

Blood Cholesterol vs Serum Cholesterol

Blood Cholesterol

Blood cholesterol is the total amount of cholesterol, that includes different types of cholesterol: LDL cholesterol, which is called the “bad” cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, which is known as the “good” cholesterol, and VLDL cholesterol.

Blood cholesterol levels are measured through a blood test called a lipid profile:

  • LDL Cholesterol. High levels can contribute to the buildup of plaques in the arteries, leading to a condition known as atherosclerosis.
  • HDL Cholesterol. It removes LDL cholesterol from the blood, reducing the risk of heart disease.
  • VLDL Cholesterol. Carries triglycerides throughout the body.
Serum Cholesterol

Serum cholesterol, on the other hand measures cholesterol levels in the liquid part of the blood after it has formed a clot. It doesn’t include any blood cells or clotting factors present.

Serum cholesterol is measured using the same lipid profile test, to determine blood cholesterol levels.

Blood vs Serum Cholesterol: Key Differences

Blood cholesterol and serum cholesterol differ in composition and measurement:


Blood cholesterol refers to all the cholesterol that is found in your bloodstream, as well as the blood cells. Cholesterol comes in different types, such as LDL, HDL, and VLDL.

Serum cholesterol is different from blood cholesterol. It only includes the cholesterol that is found in the liquid portion of the blood after it has clotted.


Blood cholesterol levels are usually measured through a lipid profile test, which gives information about the total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels.

Serum cholesterol levels are also determined using lipid profile test, but it focuses on the cholesterol content in the liquid portion of the blood.

Clinical Significance

Both blood and serum cholesterol levels are valuable indicators of a person’s cardiovascular health.

Monitoring these levels regularly can help detect possible dangers for heart disease.

High levels of LDL cholesterol and VLDL cholesterol, along with low HDL cholesterol, are linked with an increased risk of heart disease, and needs attention to reduce the health risks.


Knowing the difference between blood cholesterol and serum cholesterol is essential for keeping your heart healthy.

Blood cholesterol refers to all types of cholesterol in your bloodstream, like LDL, HDL, and VLDL.

Conversely, serum cholesterol only considers the cholesterol in the liquid part of the blood after it clots.

By checking these cholesterol levels through a blood test, you can understand your heart health better.

High LDL and VLDL cholesterol, along with low HDL cholesterol, might increase the risk of heart disease, so it’s important to take some steps to lower these levels and improve a healthier heart.

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