Glossary of Terms

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Absolute Blood Cell Count - Measurement of the total number of the white blood cell subtypes (neutrophils, lymphocytes, monocytes, eosinophils, and basophils) based on the percentage of each blood cell type and the total white blood cell (WBC) count. Abnormal absolute counts are seen in severe infections and blood disorders.

A/G Ratio (Albumin/Globulin Ratio) - Albumin and globulin are the primary constituents of the protein found in blood. An abnormal ratio is seen when levels of albumin or globulin are elevated or decreased. Abnormal ratios are seen in various disorders, including kidney and liver diseases.

Albumin, Serum - Albumin is the main protein in human blood and the key to the regulation of the osmotic pressure (the movement of water between the bloodstream and tissues) of blood. This test helps in determining if a patient may have liver disease or kidney disease, or if not enough protein is being absorbed by the body.Albumin is the protein of the highest concentration in plasma.

Albumin transports many small molecules in the blood (for example, bilirubin, calcium, progesterone, and drugs). It is also of prime importance in maintaining the oncotic pressure of the blood (that is, keeping the fluid from leaking out into the tissues). This is because, unlike small molecules such as sodium and chloride, the concentration of albumin in the blood is much greater than it is in the extracellular fluid.

Alkaline phosphatase, Serum (alk phos) - An enzyme made in the liver, bone, and the placenta and normally present in high concentrations in growing blood and in bile and in low concentrations in the blood. Alkaline phosphatase is released into the blood in increased amounts during liver cell injury and during such normal activities as bone growth and pregnancy. Abnormally low levels of alkaline phosphatase are present in a genetic condition and also in hypothyroidism. It is measured in a routine blood test.

Abnormally high blood levels of alkaline phosphatase may indicate disease in bone or liver, bile duct obstruction, or certain malignancies. The enzyme is often elevated in the leukemic cells in chronic myelogenous leukemia. Abnormally low levels of alkaline phosphatase is a genetic condition called hypophosphatasia which results in bone deformities.

AST (SGOT) - Aspartate aminotransferase (AST): Also known as serum glutamic oxaloacetic transaminase (SGOT), AST is an enzyme that is normally present in liver and heart cells. AST is released into blood when the liver or heart is damaged. The blood AST levels are thus elevated with liver damage (for example, from viral hepatitis) or with an insult to the heart (for example, from a heart attack). Some medications can also raise AST levels.

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Basophil - A type of white blood cell that contains (and which can release) histamine and serotonin during the immune response; elevated in allergic reactions and malignancies.

Basophil (Absolute Count) - represents the total number of basophils in blood based on the percentage of basophils present in the differential and the total white blood cell count.

Bilirubin, Total - Bilirubin is a bile pigment normally found in the blood in trace amounts. Increased levels are seen in liver disease and liver cell injury. Bilirubin is also measured in its direct or conjugated form (linked to protein) and in its indirect form.

BUN - A blood urea nitrogen (BUN) test measures the amount of nitrogen in your blood that comes from the waste product urea. Urea is made when protein is broken down in your body. Urea is made in the liver and passed out of your body in the urine. A BUN test is done to see how well your kidneys are working.

If your kidneys are not able to remove urea from the blood normally, your BUN level rises. The BUN test is primarily used, along with the creatinine test, to evaluate kidney function under a wide range of circumstances and to monitor patients with acute or chronic kidney dysfunction or failure.

It also may be used to evaluate a person’s general health status when ordered as part of a basic metabolic panel (BMP) or comprehensive metabolic panel (CMP).

BUN/Creatinine Ratio - Blood urea nitrogen (BUN) and creatinine tests can be used together to find the BUN-to-creatinine ratio (BUN: creatinine). A BUN-to-creatinine ratio can help your doctor check for problems, such as dehydration, that may cause abnormal BUN and creatinine levels.

The BUN/Creatinine ratio is increased in conditions that cause decreased blood flow to the kidneys such as congestive heart failure, dehydration, increased protein levels from gastrointestinal bleeding, and cases of increased dietary protein. The ratio is decreased in malnutrition.

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Calcium - Calcium is a mineral necessary for many important bodily functions, including bone formation, muscle contraction and blood clotting. In addition, calcium is involved in maintaining the stability of nerve cells. Abnormal levels of blood calcium may be associated with bone disease and a variety of other conditions.

Carbon dioxide (CO2, Bicarbonate) - Carbon dioxide is a gaseous waste product made from metabolism. The blood carries carbon dioxide to your lungs, where it is exhaled. More than 90% of carbon dioxide in your blood exists in the form of bicarbonate. Your kidneys and lungs balance the levels of carbon dioxide, bicarbonate, and carbonic acid in the blood.

Carbon dioxide is an elecrolyte. Levels of CO2 are used to evaluate both metabolic and respiratory function. Low levels are seen in uncontrolled diabetes and in conditions of increased aciditiy. High levels of CO2 are seen in conditions of metabolic or respiratory alkalosis.

CBC with Differential/Platelet Count - CBC is a complete blood count test. The Differential measures the percentage of each type of different white blood cell (WBC) you have in your blood. It also reveals if there are any abnormal or immature cells. Platelet refers to the measurement of how many blood cells you have in your blood. Platelets help the blood clot.

The CBC is a screening test is used to diagnose and manage numerous diseases.The CBC is a complete blood count, which measures red blood cells and their indices (cell sizes and hemoglobin content); white blood cells and the amount of each subtype (neutrophils, lymphocytes, etc); and platelets, which are cells involved in blood clotting. The CBC is used to diagnose and monitor many disorders, including anemia, platelet abnormalities, infection, and hematological blood disorders.

Chloride, Serum - Chloride is another electrolyte and is involved in maintaining the normal amount of water and the acid-base balance in body fluids. In general, the serum level of chloride is closely associated with the level of sodium. Abnormal levels may be associated with diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, kidney and adrenal gland.

Cholesterol, Total - Cholesterol is a lipid compound produced in the liver that's normally found in the blood. Increased cholesterol levels are seen in familial lipid disorders and hypothyroidism and are considered a risk factor for heart disease. See also High density lipoproptein (HDL) and Triglycerides.

Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (13) - The Comprehensive Metabolic Panel (CMP) is a group of 13 specific tests. The CMP is a frequently ordered panel that gives your doctor important information about the current status of your kidneys, liver, and electrolyte and acid/base balance as well as of your blood sugar and blood proteins.

C-Reactive Protein - The CRP test measures inflammation in the body. As an inflammatory marker, the CRP level is elevated in connective tissue diseases, infection, heart disease, and other inflammatory conditions.

Creatinine, Serum - Creatinine and creatinine tests measure the level of the waste product creatinine in your blood and urine. These tests tell how well your kidneys are working. The substance creatine is formed when food is changed into energy through a process called metabolism. Creatine produces Creatinine, a molecule of major importance for energy production in muscles

Approximately 2% of the body's creatine is converted to creatinine every day. Creatinine is transported through the bloodstream to the kidneys. The kidneys filter out most of the creatinine and dispose of it in the urine. Although it is a waste, creatinine serves a vital diagnostic function. Creatinine has been found to be a fairly reliable indicator of kidney function.

As the kidneys become impaired the creatinine will rise. Abnormally high levels of creatinine thus warn of possible malfunction or failure of the kidneys, sometimes even before a patient reports any symptoms. It is for this reason that standard blood and urine tests routinely check the amount of creatinine in the blood.

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Dehydroepiandrosterone Sulfate (DHEA) - DHEA is made in the human body and secreted by the adrenal gland. DHEA serves as precursor to male and female sex hormones (androgens and estrogens). DHEA levels in the body begin to decrease after age 30, and are reported to be low in some people with anorexia, end-stage kidney disease, type 2 diabetes (non-insulin dependent diabetes), AIDS, adrenal insufficiency, and in the critically ill. DHEA levels may also be depleted by a number of drugs, including insulin, corticosteroids, opiates, and danazol.

Differential Count - Part of a complete blood count (CBC) the differential or diff count measures the percent of each white blood cell subtype within 100 cells.

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Eosinophil - A type of white blood cell. Eosinophils often rise above the normal range due to allergic reactions and/or parasitic infections.

Eosinophil (Absolute Count) - The absolute eosinophil count is a measure of the total number of eosinophils present in blood based on the differential measurement of eosinohils and the total white blood cell count. The absolute eosinophil count is increased in allergic and hyersensitivity reactions and in parasitic infections.

Estradiol (Women's Panel) - Estradiol levels are used to help evaluate ovarian function. Estradiol is also sometimes used to monitor menopausal hormone replacement therapy. Its main use has been in the differential diagnosis of amenorrhea (for example, to determine whether the cause is menopause, pregnancy, or a medical problem).

Estradiol (Men's Panel) - often mislabelled a "female" hormone, Estradiol is also present in males; it represents the major estrogen in humans. Estradiol has not only a critical impact on reproductive and sexual functioning, but also affects other organs including bone structure.

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Flag - A "Flag" tells you that your result for a specific test falls outside the "Normal" range of the "Reference Interval." It is recommended that you consult with your physician.

Free Testosterone (Direct) - Free testosterone is the testosterone that is not bound to proteins in your body and is bioavailable or "circulating free" in the blood. About 40 percent of the total testosterone is strongly bound to a protein called sex hormone binding globulin, known as SHBG; about 58 percent is weakly bound to another protein called albumi. The remaining testosterone molecules are free, representing about 2 percent of total testosterone; free testosterone circulates freely in the blood and is more readily available to the body's cells.

Blood levels of SHBG increase with age, so older men may have a higher percentage of bound testosterone and a lower percentage of free testosterone. Bioavailable testosterone includes the non-SHBG bound testosterone or the sum of the testosterone, which is bound to albumin and free (unbound) testosterone.

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Globulin, Total - Globulin is a type of protein used for the production of antibodies. Proteins are made from amino acids and are important parts of all cells and tissues. There are many different kinds of proteins in the body with many different functions. Examples of proteins are enzymes, some hormones, hemoglobin (oxygen transport), LDL (cholesterol transport), fibrinogen (blood clotting), collagen (structure of bone and cartilage), and immunoglobulins (antibodies).

Glucose, Serum - Glucose is the primary energy source for the body. This test measures the sugar level in your blood. High values are associated most often with diabetes mellitus and sometimes with other metabolic diseases.

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HDL Cholesterol (High-density Lipoprotein Cholesterol) - Like LDL, HDL carries cholesterol, as HDL-C. HDL-C is considered the "good" cholesterol because it helps return cholesterol to the liver, where it can be eliminated from the body. As a rule, you want your HDL-C high.

Hematocrit - The measure of packed red blood cells to plasma in the blood reported as a percentage. Low levels (<30%) are seen in anemia and blood loss. A high hematocrit (e.g., 70%) produces problems as well, but is uncommon.

Hemoglobin - Hemoglobin is the iron-containing oxygen-transport in the red blood cells. Hemoglobin transports oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body, such as the muscles, where it transports oxygen molecules.

High - High or H is a laboratory flag used to denote that results are higher than those of the reference range. It DOES NOT necessarily imply you are at risk or have a health problem.

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IGF-BP3 - IGFBP3 belongs to the IGFBP family. IGFBP3 functions as the major carrying protein for IGF1 and IGF2 in the circulation, modulates IGF activity, and inhibits cell growth. IGFBP3 binds IGF-II more than IGF-I. Endothelial IGFBP3 forms a ternary complex with IGF-I or IGF-II and an 85 kD glycoprotein (ALS).

IGFBP3 levels increase in the presence of IGF-I, insulin and other growth-stimulating factors such as growth hormone, epidermal growth factor, and phorbol esters. IGFBP3 may control angiogenesis and cell responses in the corpus luteum by autocrine/paracrine mechanisms.

IGFBP3 also possesses growth-inhibitory and potentiating effects that are independent of IGF and are mediated through specific receptors. As a specific IGFBP3-binding protein, transferrin blocks IGFBP3-induced cell proliferation and IGFBP3-induced apoptosis. (from OMIM 146732, SWISS-PROT P17936, and NCI)

Insulin-Like Growth Factor I - Insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) is mainly secreted by the liver as a result of stimulation by growth hormone (GH). Growth factors are proteins that bind to receptors on the cell surface, with the primary result of activating cellular proliferation and/or differentiation.

Many growth factors are quite versatile, stimulating cellular division in numerous different cell types; while others are specific to a particular cell-type. IGF-1 is important for both the regulation of normal physiology, as well as a number of pathological states, including cancer. The IGF axis has been shown to play roles in the promotion of cell proliferation and the inhibition of cell death (apoptosis).

Insulin-like growth factors are proteins that are bound to carrier proteins in the blood. The name insulin-like growth factor was given to these molecules due to their structural similarities to insulin. They are currently the subject of much research due to their influence on various metabolic processes in the body. Insulin-like growth factor-I (IGF-I) is a polypeptide that increases cell proliferation and sugar uptake by cells.

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LDL Cholesterol Calc - LDL carries cholesterol throughout the bloodstream as LDL-C. LDL-C is called “bad” cholesterol because it's the type that is primarily responsible for health issues. When there is too much LDL cholesterol circulating in the blood, it can lead to potentially serious conditions. In general, you want to keep your LDL-C low.

Lipid Panel and Chol/HDL Ratio - The "Lipid Panel" is a group of tests used to determine risk of coronary heart disease. "Chol/HDL Ratio" refers to your total cholesterol, HDL-cholesterol (often called good cholesterol), LDL-cholesterol (often called bad cholesterol), and triglycerides.

Low - Your result for this test is lower than usually represented in 95% of the population. It DOES NOT necessarily imply you are at risk or have a health problem.

Lymphs - There are different kinds of white blood cells: Lymphocytes and Neutrophils are the major types. Neutrophils are the first to arrive on the scene when there is acute infection from bacteria. Lymphocytes accumulate when there is chronic injury or irritation. White blood cells help fight infections. White blood cells, especially lymphocytes, are the cells that attack bacteria in the blood.

The lymph system is a major component of the body's immune system. They also filter the lymph fluid and remove foreign material, such as bacteria and cancer cells. When bacteria are recognized in the lymph fluid, the lymph nodes produce more infection-fighting white blood cells, which causes the nodes to swell. The lymphatic system includes the tonsils, adenoids, spleen, and thymus.

Lymphs (Absolute) - The Absolute Count is the actual number for each of the 5 white blood cells in your test. This is based on the percentage of White Blood cells in the body. For example, let’s say your total WBC is 5.4; this would mean there was a total of 5, 400 white blood cells in your body for every 1,000 millimeters of blood collected.

Now let’s say that your Neutrophils are 53%. This means that 53% of your 5,400 white blood cells are made up of Neutrophils. So, to get the "absolute" or exact number of Neutrophils within the 5, 400 white blood cells you multiply 5, 4000 X 53% which gives you 2.9 or 2, 900 "absolute" or actual Neutrophils. This can be done to get the "Absolute" number for your Lymphs, Monocytes, Eos, and Basos.

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MCH - The mean corpuscular hemoglobin, or "mean cell hemoglobin" (MCH), is a measure of the mass of hemoglobin contained by a red blood cell. It is reported as part of a standard complete blood count. It is diminished in microcytic anemia's, and increased in macrocytic anemia's.

MCHC - The mean corpuscular hemoglobin concentration, or MCHC, is reported as part of a standard complete blood count. It is used to assess the possibility of different kinds of anemia's.

MCV - The mean corpuscular volume, or MCV, is a measure of the average red blood cell volume (i.e. size) that is reported as part of a standard complete blood count.

In patients with anemia, it is the MCV measurement that allows classification as either a microcytic anemia (MCV below normal range) or macrocytic anemia (MCV above normal range).

Monocytes - A white blood cell that has a single nucleus and can take in foreign material. Monocytes play an important role in killing some bacteria, protozoa, and tumor cells, release substances that stimulate other cells of the immune system.

Monocytes (Absolute) - The Absolute Count is the actual number for each of the 5 white blood cells in your test. This is based on the percentage of White Blood cells in the body. For example, let’s say your total WBC is 5.4; this would mean there was a total of 5, 400 white blood cells in your body for every 1,000 millimeters of blood collected.

Now let’s say that your Neutrophils are 53%. This means that 53% of your 5,400 white blood cells are made up of Neutrophils. So, to get the "absolute" or exact number of Neutrophils within the 5, 400 white blood cells you multiply 5, 4000 X 53% which gives you 2.9 or 2, 900 "absolute" or actual Neutrophils. This can be done to get the "Absolute" number for your Lymphs, Monocytes, Eos, and Basos.

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Neutrophils - Neutrophils are a type of white blood cell that is responsible for much of the body's protection against infection. Neutrophils are produced in the bone marrow and released into the bloodstream to travel to wherever they are needed. Large numbers of immature forms of neutrophils, called neutrophilic band cells, are produced by the bone marrow when the demand is high.

Neutrophils (Absolute) - The Absolute Count is the actual number for each of the 5 white blood cells in your test. This is based on the percentage of White Blood cells in the body. For example, let’s say your total WBC is 5.4; this would mean there was a total of 5, 400 white blood cells in your body for every 1,000 millimeters of blood collected.

Now let’s say that your Neutrophils are 53%. This means that 53% of your 5,400 white blood cells are made up of Neutrophils. So, to get the "absolute" or exact number of Neutrophils within the 5, 400 white blood cells you multiply 5, 4000 X 53% which gives you 2.9 or 2, 900 "absolute" or actual Neutrophils. This can be done to get the "Absolute" number for your Lymphs, Monocytes, Eos, and Basos.

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Platelets - Platelets refer to the measurement of how many blood cells you have in your blood. Platelets help the blood clot.

Potassium, Serum - Potassium is another blood electrolyte and is involved with the functioning of nervous tissue and in heart and muscle contraction. Abnormal levels may indicate diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, kidney and adrenal gland.

Progesterone - Progesterone levels vary throughout the menstrual cycle and can be used to help recognize and manage some causes of infertility. Progesterone can be measured to determine whether or not a woman has ovulated, to determine when ovulation occurred, and to monitor the success of induced ovulation.

Prostate-Specific Ag, Serum - Prostate-specific antigen (PSA) is a protein produced by the cells of the prostate gland. The PSA test measures the level of PSA in the blood. It is normal for men to have low levels in their blood; however, prostate cancer or benign (not cancerous) conditions can increase PSA levels.

PSA levels alone do not give doctors enough information to distinguish between benign prostate conditions and cancer. However, the doctor will take the result of the PSA test into account when deciding whether to check further for signs of prostate cancer.

Protein, Total, Serum - Protein tests measure the amounts and types of protein in the blood. Proteins are constituents of muscle, enzymes, hormones, transport proteins, hemoglobin, and other functional and structural elements of the body.

Albumin and globulin make up most of the protein within the body and are measured in the total protein of the blood and other body fluids. Thus, the serum (blood) protein components test measures the total protein, as well as its albumin and globulin components in the blood.

A standard reference range is not available for this test. Because reference values are dependent on many factors, including patient age, gender, sample population, and test method, numeric test results have different meanings in different labs. Your lab report should include the specific reference range for your test. It is strongly recommended that you discuss your test results with your doctor.

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RBC - An RBC count is a blood test that tells how many red blood cells (RBCs) you have. RBCs contain hemoglobin, which carries oxygen. How much oxygen your body tissues receive depends on how many RBCs you have and how well they work.

RDW - The red blood cell distribution width, or RDW, is a measure of the variation of red blood cell width that is reported as part of a standard complete blood count. Usually red blood cells are a standard size of about 6-8μm. Certain disorders, however, cause a significant variation in cell size.Higher RDW values indicate greater variation in size. Normal range in human red blood cells is 11 - 15%.

If anemia is observed, RDW test results are often used together with MCV results to figure out what the cause of the anemia might be. It is mainly used to differentiate between iron deficiency anemia, in which RDW is elevated, and other microcytic anemias. It may denote hereditary spherocytosis. An elevated RDW, i.e. red blood cells of unequal sizes, is known as anisocytosis.

Reference Interval - Reference Interval refers to the "normal range" of what 95% of the population would receive on any given test . One number is "High" the other is "Low (for example 4.0 - 10.5)."

A test number that is above or below any Reference Interval would be considered outside the "Normal" range. This does not necessarily imply your are at risk or have a health problem.

Result - The "Result" column is "YOUR" personal number for a specific test. If your number falls within the "Reference Interval" it would be considered "Normal."

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Sodium, Serum - Sodium is an electrolyte and plays an important role in maintaining the normal amount of water and the acid-base balance in body fluids. Within the cells, sodium is involved in nerve stimulation. Serum sodium levels higher or lower than normal may be caused by various conditions, including diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, kidney and adrenal gland.

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T. Chol/HDL Ratio - The ratio of total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol is the most useful measure of cardiovascular risk. Most health professionals consider a ratio of 4 (or under) to be very low risk. For example, a person with a total cholesterol of 200 and HDL of 50 is at lower risk for heart disease than someone with a total level of 180 and HDL of 30.

Testosterone, Free and Total - Testosterone circulates in the blood in three forms: (1) About 40 percent of testosterone is bound tightly to a protein called sex hormone binding globulin (SHBG), and is not available to body tissues for action. (2) About 58 percent is weakly bound to another protein called albumin and is available to many tissues for action. (3) About two percent circulates freely in the bloodstream.

Determination of low testosterone may require more than one blood test. A normal total testosterone reading may not necessarily indicate that a man has normal levels of free testosterone. For example, some men with increased levels of SHBG and low blood levels of free testosterone may have normal levels of total testosterone. Therefore, labs often measure the total testosterone levels and its components.

Testosterone, Serum - Testosterone: A "male hormone" -- a sex hormone produced by the testes that encourages the development of male sexual characteristics, stimulates the activity of the male secondary sex characteristics, and prevents changes in them following castration. Testosterone is the most potent of the naturally occurring androgens. The androgens cause the development of male sex characteristics, such as a deep voice and a beard; they also strengthen muscle tone and bone mass. High levels of testosterone appear to promote good health in men, for example, lowering the risks of high blood pressure and heart attack.

Testosterone In Women - Testosterone is important for maintaining lean muscle mass, assertiveness, and bone density. It is also important for warding off depression, increasing libido, and maintaining the health and sensitivity of the vaginal tissues. The difference is that women only need about a tenth of the circulating testosterone as do men. A woman's testosterone is highest around age 20 and slowly declines till it is half as high in her 40s.

Triglycerides - Triglycerides, like cholesterol, are another lipid carried by a lipoprotein. High triglycerides, like high cholesterol, can be dangerous to your health. People with high triglycerides often have high total cholesterol. As with LDL cholesterol, lower is better for triglycerides.

TSH - TSH is the abbreviation for Thyroid Stimulating Hormone. It is produced by the pituitary gland at the base of the brain. TSH promotes the growth of the thyroid gland and stimulates it to produce more thyroid hormones. If there is an excessive amount of thyroid hormones, the pituitary gland stops producing TSH, reducing thyroid hormone production. This process helps maintain a relatively constant level of thyroid hormones circulating in the blood.

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VLDL Cholesterol Calc - Very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) cholesterol is one of the three major types of blood cholesterol combined with protein. VLDL cholesterol contains the highest amount of triglyceride. VLDL cholesterol is considered "bad" cholesterol because elevated levels may be associated with an increased risk of coronary artery disease.

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WBC - A WBC count measures your number of white blood cells. White blood cells are the body's "defense system" against germs and foreign invaders. There are different kinds of white blood cells: Lymphocytes and Neutrophils being the major types. Neutrophils are the first to arrive on the scene when there is acute infection from bacteria. Lymphocytes accumulate when there is chronic injury or irritation.

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