Will Fasting Hurt Or Help Your Cholesterol Test?

cholesterol on a blue background with magnifier on top
Before taking a cholesterol test, adults are typically told to fast for up to 12, but that may no longer be necessary.

The study, published Nov. 12 in the Archives of Internal Medicine, found the amount of time a person spent fasting prior to a cholesterol test had little impact on the end results.

“This finding suggests that fasting for routine lipid level determinations is largely unnecessary,” wrote the authors.

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A cholesterol test, also called a lipid panel or lipid profile, measures the four types of lipids (fats) found in the blood. It measures low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, sometimes called “bad cholesterol” because high levels of it could lead to plaque buildup in the arteries, potentially causing a heart attack and stroke.