Many Functions. Hdl cholesterol has many functions. Often thought of as protective, it brings cholesterol from the artery wall back to the liver. It also acts as an anti-oxidant, and an anti-inflammatory agent. It may be involved in helping the artery wall dilate , and may also be involved in fighting some infections. Hdl may also deliver cholesterol to organs that need it during stress. Can be very complex.
Housekeeper. The hdl-c is like the garbage collector of the blood. It removes cholesterol from places it should not be, and carries it back to the liver. I tell my patients that the ldl's are the elephants in your parade, and the hdl's are the pooper-scoopers!
Good cholesterol. Known as the good cholesterol, HDL carries cholesterol to your liver to be cleared/removed from the body, thereby lowering your cholesterol level. For men, the recommended level is > 40 mg/dl, for women, it's > 50 mg/dl.