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Blood lipids (or blood fats) are lipids in the blood, either free or bound to other molecules. They are mostly transported in a protein capsule, and the density of the lipids and type of protein determines the fate of the particle and its influence on metabolism. The concentration of blood lipids depends on intake and excretion from the intestine, and uptake and secretion from cells. Blood lipids are mainly fatty acids and cholesterol. Hyperlipidemia is the presence of elevated or abnormal levels of lipids and/or lipoproteins in the blood, and is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
Short- and medium chain fatty acids are absorbed directly into the blood via intestine capillaries and travel through the portal vein. Long-chain fatty acids, on the other hand, are too large to be directly released into the tiny intestine capillaries. Instead they are coated with cholesterol and protein (protein coat of lipoproteins) into a compound called a chylomicron. The chylomicron enters a lymphatic capillary and enters into the bloodstream first at the left subclavian vein (having bypassed the liver).
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