Blood test

Normal total cholesterol level in the blood

Blood test
Normal total cholesterol level in the blood

What is the normal cholesterol level in the blood?

Adults: 120- 200 mg/dl
Children: 115-170 mg/dl

In the International System of Units (SI), cholesterol in the blood is measured in mmol/L. The normal cholesterol levels in the blood in the SI are:

Adults: 3.1-5.17 mmol/l
Children: 2.97-4.39 mmol/l

Why normal levels can differ across different labs?

Each laboratory must establish its own normal ranges for AST (aspartate aminotransferase) in the blood. These ranges depend on the makeup of the local population, the technologies used and the accuracy of the measurement. There may be also slight differences in the normal levels, according to age, gender, race or ethnic origin, geographic region, diet, type of sample and other relevant status.

Your doctor will study the results along with your medical record, screenings, physical condition, symptoms and any other relevant information about your situation.

What is the role of cholesterol in the blood?

Cholesterol is a type of fat essential for the body’s cells. Cholesterol is part of the cell membrane, nerve fibers and bile salts. Cholesterol is also the precursor of sexual hormones.

For this reason, cholesterol is present in the bloodstream to be used by the cells when it is required.

Cholesterol originates from the diet. Then, cholesterol is metabolized in the liver that secretes it into the bloodstream. An excess of cholesterol is carried back to the liver for excretion into bile.

What is the cholesterol blood test for?

Cholesterol is used as a cardiovascular risk factor. The higher the cholesterol in the blood is, the higher probability to suffer a cardiovascular disease (heart attack) or a cerebrovascular disease (stroke).

If the cholesterol in the blood is high, it is probable the build-up of an atheromatous plaque impeding blood flow. An atheromatous plaque, also called atheroma, is an accumulation of cholesterol and other lipid compositions that forms on the inner wall of vessels, which can finally narrow an artery.

The lipid profile is a group of assays to determine the risk of developing a cardiovascular disease. The lipid profile includes the measurement of cholesterol (total, HDL-cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol) and triglycerides.

A high level of cholesterol in the blood (hypercholesterolemia) increases the risk for developing a cardiovascular disease. A normal or a low level of cholesterol (hypocholesterolemia) in the blood prevents cardiovascular disease. However, a very low level of cholesterol in the blood is a risk factor for suffering primary intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH).

Where can I find more information about cholesterol level in the blood?

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Which values are considered a normal cholesterol level in the blood?

The following values are considered to be normal values:

IMPORTANT: These levels are expressed in mg/dl. They are an example of a healthy man of about 45 years old with no known disease and not taking any medication. The ranges can be different depending on the laboratory or on your personal circumstances.

Total cholesterol
120 mg/dl121 mg/dl122 mg/dl123 mg/dl124 mg/dl125 mg/dl126 mg/dl127 mg/dl
128 mg/dl129 mg/dl130 mg/dl131 mg/dl132 mg/dl133 mg/dl134 mg/dl135 mg/dl
136 mg/dl137 mg/dl138 mg/dl139 mg/dl140 mg/dl141 mg/dl142 mg/dl143 mg/dl
144 mg/dl145 mg/dl146 mg/dl147 mg/dl148 mg/dl149 mg/dl150 mg/dl151 mg/dl
152 mg/dl153 mg/dl154 mg/dl155 mg/dl156 mg/dl157 mg/dl158 mg/dl159 mg/dl
160 mg/dl161 mg/dl162 mg/dl163 mg/dl164 mg/dl165 mg/dl166 mg/dl167 mg/dl
168 mg/dl169 mg/dl170 mg/dl171 mg/dl172 mg/dl173 mg/dl174 mg/dl175 mg/dl
176 mg/dl177 mg/dl178 mg/dl179 mg/dl180 mg/dl181 mg/dl182 mg/dl183 mg/dl
184 mg/dl185 mg/dl186 mg/dl187 mg/dl188 mg/dl189 mg/dl190 mg/dl191 mg/dl
192 mg/dl193 mg/dl194 mg/dl195 mg/dl196 mg/dl197 mg/dl198 mg/dl199 mg/dl
200 mg/dl       
foto de Dr. Javier Muga Bustamante
Written by

Dr. Javier Muga Bustamante

Last update: 24/04/2020


  • Concise Book of Medical Laboratory Technology: Methods and Interpretations. 2nd Edition. 2015. Ramnik Sood. ISBN: 978-93-5152-333-8. Pag. 481.
  • Tietz. Fundamentals of Clinical Chemistry. Carl A. Burtis, Edward R. Ashwood, David E. Bruns, Barbara G. Sawyer. WB Saunders Company, 2008. Pag 402. ISBN: 978-0-7216-3865-2.
  • Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE). Version 5.0.Published: November 27, 2017. U.S. Department of health and human Services. Disponible en:

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