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How Does Cholesterol Build Up

Ways To Raise Your Hdl Cholesterol

MEDICAL – How cholesterol clogs your arteries (atherosclerosis)

Some diet and lifestyle changes help boost HDL cholesterol levels:

  • Get active. Physical activity can boost your HDL level. Get at least 30 minutes a day of moderate activity, most days of the week.
  • Lose extra weight. If you’re overweight, losing extra pounds can help raise your HDL levels, as well as cut your LDL cholesterol levels.
  • Choose better fats. The healthier choices are monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Youâll find these in plants, nuts, and fish like salmon or tuna. And, like everything you eat, keep your portion sizes small. Fats pack a lot of calories in small amounts.
  • Alcohol in moderation. Drinking moderate amounts of alcohol is linked to higher HDL levels. If you don’t drink now, check with your doctor before you start, since alcohol has some risks not related to cholesterol.
  • Stop smoking. Kicking the cigarette habit can raise your HDL level.
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    What Health Problems Can High Cholesterol Cause

    If you have large deposits of plaque in your arteries, an area of plaque can rupture . This can cause a blood clot to form on the surface of the plaque. If the clot becomes large enough, it can mostly or completely block blood flow in a coronary artery.

    If the flow of oxygen-rich blood to your heart muscle is reduced or blocked, it can cause angina or a heart attack.

    Plaque also can build up in other arteries in your body, including the arteries that bring oxygen-rich blood to your brain and limbs. This can lead to problems such as carotid artery disease, stroke, and peripheral arterial disease.

    Drugs And Lifestyle Changes To Cut The Chance Of Having Atherosclerosis

    Reducing the risk factors that lead to atherosclerosis will slow or stop the process. Ways to lower the amount of cholesterol in your body involve taking cholesterol and blood pressure medications, eating a healthy diet, getting frequent exercise, and not smoking. These treatments won’t unclog arteries. But they do lower the risk of heart attacks and strokes.

    Lifestyle tips

    Here is some advice that can help you improve your cholesterol level and reduce the risks that come with atherosclerosis:

    • Exercise, with or without weight loss, increases “good” HDL cholesterol and reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
    • A diet high in fiber and low in fats can lower “bad” LDL cholesterol.
    • Oily fish and other foods high in omega-3 fatty acids can raise âgoodâ HDL cholesterol.
    • If you know or think your cholesterol is high, or if you have a family history of high cholesterol, talk to your doctor about ways you can lower it.

    Certain drugs can lower cholesterol levels.


    Statins are the most frequently prescribed cholesterol-lowering drugs. They can dramatically lower “bad” LDL cholesterol, by 60% or more. They can also increase HDL. Studies have shown that statins can reduce the rates of heart attacks, strokes, and death from atherosclerosis.

    Statins can also help lower the level of triglycerides. Triglycerides are not cholesterol, but they are fats that contribute to atherosclerosis.

    Statins include:


    Bile acid sequestrants

    Other drugs for lower cholesterol

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    Cholesterol And Your Arteries

    Atherosclerosis is a disease of the blood vessels that carry blood and oxygen from the heart to the rest of the body. The arteries are normally quite flexible, but over many years, the artery walls gradually lose their elasticity. The walls become hardened and stiff due to the build-up of a substance called plaque that is rich in cholesterol. The plaque can restrict the flow of blood, which means parts of the body dont get the oxygen they need. Atherosclerosis can affect arteries anywhere in the body, and may lead to a serious medical emergency, such as a heart attack, stroke or even death.

    Atherosclerosis is also known as arteriosclerosis.

    Stage 3 The Plaque Bursts And A Blood Clot Blocks The Artery


    Narrowing of the artery due to the build-up of plaque makes it harder for blood to flow through the artery. Forcing the blood through a narrower space increases blood pressure in the artery, which can tear open the fibrous cap of the unstable plaque.

    As the cap bursts, the contents of the plaque including cholesterol, fats, and white blood cells are released into the blood. This can trigger the development of a large blood clot which can completely block the already narrowed artery.

    Depending on where the blockage occurs, the blood clot can cause a medical emergency, such as a heart attack or a stroke .

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    Stage 1 Plaque Builds Up In An Artery

    The inside lining of a healthy artery is normally smooth to make it easy for blood to flow. However, if the inner lining of the artery becomes damaged for example, due to high cholesterol, high blood pressure or smoking it allows plaque to start accumulating within the artery wall.

    Over time, a tough, fibrous cap or scar forms over the top of the plaque, so that the mixture of bad cholesterol, fats , calcium and white blood cells is kept separate from the blood.

    The growth of the plaque can narrow the artery, which reduces the flow of blood through the artery.

    When Should My Cholesterol Levels Be Tested

    Your GP may recommend that you have your blood cholesterol levels tested if you:

    • have been diagnosed with coronary heart disease, stroke or mini stroke , or peripheral arterial disease
    • have a family history of early cardiovascular disease
    • have a close family member who has a cholesterol-related condition
    • are overweight

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    How Quickly Can Cholesterol Levels Change

    The Cholesterol Levels in the blood is not only affected by the daily diet, but also depends on the speed at which the body manufactures and eliminates LDL cholesterol, and heart disease is caused by the amount of LDL cholesterol in the blood. The body can make the cholesterol the body needs without having to get extra from food.

    There are reasons

    for high and low cholesterol. Many factors determine whether your LDL cholesterol level is high or low, including:

    • Heredity
    • pressure


    There are genetic genes in the body that control the rate at which LDL cholesterol is manufactured and eliminated, thus affecting the level of LDL cholesterol. And familial hypercholesterolemia is a special hereditary high cholesterol condition, 1 in 500 people suffer from it, leading to the occurrence of early heart disease.

    Eating habits

    There are two substances in food, which will increase LDL cholesterol

    • Saturated fat: A type of fat mainly derived from animals.
    • Cholesterol: It also comes from animal food.

    Eating too many foods containing saturated fat and cholesterol is the main reason for high cholesterol and high heart disease rate because saturated fat can increase the level of Low cholesterol more than any other food. Therefore, reducing the consumption of saturated fat and cholesterol-rich foods is very important to reduce blood cholesterol levels.



    Regular exercise can lower LDL cholesterol levels.

    Age and gender



    Superfoods That Are Great For Your Heart:

    Fats, Oils, and Grease Buildup in Sewer Line
  • Salmon This fish contains a lot of omega-3 fatty acids which aid in lowering the risk of atherosclerosis and arrhythmias. The American Heart Association® recommends eating fish at least twice a week.
  • Tomatoes This vegetable is a good source of the antioxidant lycopene and heart-healthy potassium. It is believed that lycopene helps to reduce inflammation and cholesterol which can help to decrease the incidence of heart attack or stroke.
  • Oatmeal Helps to reduce cholesterol levels because it is high in soluble fiber. Fiber acts like a sponge in the intestines during digestion and soaks up cholesterol before it is absorbed into the bloodstream.
  • Nuts Almonds, macadamia nuts, pistachios, walnuts, and peanuts all contain vitamin E which helps to lower cholesterol. They also contain fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. Make sure to choose low salt options.
  • Dark green vegetables Vegetables such as spinach, kale, and broccoli are high in fiber and act as antioxidants in the body. They also contain iron, calcium, folate, and vitamins C and K.
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    Only About 20% Of The Cholesterol In Your Bloodstream Comes From The Food You Eat Your Body Makes The Rest

    Cholesterol has a bad reputation, thanks to its well-known role in promoting heart disease. Excess cholesterol in the bloodstream is a key contributor to artery-clogging plaque, which can accumulate and set the stage for a heart attack. However, the role of cholesterol in your body is not all negative.

    To fully explain cholesterol, you need to realize that it’s also vital to your health and well-being. Although we measure cholesterol production in the blood, it’s found in every cell in the body. The Harvard Special Health Report Managing Your Cholesterol explains cholesterol as a waxy, whitish-yellow fat and a crucial building block in cell membranes. Cholesterol also is needed to make vitamin D, hormones , and fat-dissolving bile acids. In fact, cholesterol production is so important that your liver and intestines make about 80% of the cholesterol you need to stay healthy. Only about 20% comes from the foods you eat.

    If you eat only 200 to 300 milligrams of cholesterol a day , your liver will produce an additional 800 milligrams per day from raw materials such as fat, sugars, and proteins.

    Since cholesterol is a fat, it can’t travel alone in the bloodstream. It would end up as useless globs . To get around this problem, the body packages cholesterol and other lipids into minuscule protein-covered particles that mix easily with blood. These tiny particles, called lipoproteins , move cholesterol and other fats throughout the body.

    Risk Factors For Plaque

    Plaque build-up in the arteries is inevitable, but many risk factors may lead to atherosclerosis. Several of these risk factors can be controlled and help delay or prevent atherosclerosis, while others cant be controlled.

    The following risk factors should be carefully monitored.

    • High cholesterol level
    • Hypertension: A blood pressure of 140/90 mm Hg over time is considered high if it remains at that level or goes above it
    • Smoking: Blood vessels not only narrow as a result of smoking, but smoking also raises cholesterol levels and blood pressure
    • Insulin resistance: When the body can’t use its insulin properly, it builds up a resistance that may lead to diabetes
    • Being overweight or obese
    • Older age: Atherosclerosis risk increases with age, especially with unhealthy lifestyle choices. In men, the risk increases after age 45. In women, the risk increases after age 55
    • Family history of early heart disease: Atherosclerosis risk increases if your father or brother was diagnosed with heart disease before 55 years or if your mother or sister was diagnosed with heart disease before 65 years

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    Complications From Plaque Buildup In Arteries

    One major complication of plaque buildup in the arteries is the risk that part of the plaque will rupture. If this happens, a will form at the site. This is your bodys natural reaction to try to heal the area where the rupture occurred. However, the clot can then block the blood flow through the artery. The lack of blood flow can starve your body and organs of vital oxygen and nutrients, which can cause a or .

    In addition to this risk of , there are other complications that can result from plaque buildup in your arteries. These complications include:

    How To Unclog Arteries: Diet

    How to Reverse Plaque Buildup in Arteries

    If youre looking for foods that clean arteries and veins, you need to think about foods that will reduce the amount of LDL in the bloodstream. LDL stands for Low-Density Lipoprotein and is the type of cholesterol that gets deposited in your artery walls. LDL can be reduced with drugs such as statins, but it can also be managed through a healthier diet and lifestyle.

    Some foods that can help clean arteries include:

    • Olive oil
    • Watermelon
    • Turmeric

    Knowing how to unclog arteries means understanding which foods and micronutrients look after your cardiovascular system. Another way to manage this is via supplements.

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    What Are Hdl Ldl And Vldl

    HDL, LDL, and VLDL are lipoproteins. They are a combination of fat and protein. The lipids need to be attached to the proteins so they can move through the blood. Different types of lipoproteins have different purposes:

    • HDL stands for high-density lipoprotein. It is sometimes called “good” cholesterol because it carries cholesterol from other parts of your body back to your liver. Your liver then removes the cholesterol from your body.
    • LDL stands for low-density lipoprotein. It is sometimes called “bad” cholesterol because a high LDL level leads to the buildup of plaque in your arteries.
    • VLDL stands for very low-density lipoprotein. Some people also call VLDL a “bad” cholesterol because it too contributes to the buildup of plaque in your arteries. But VLDL and LDL are different VLDL mainly carries triglycerides and LDL mainly carries cholesterol.

    Q: Can Statins Actually Reverse Plaque Buildup

    A: Yes. There have been several clinical studies many of them done here at Cleveland Clinic that show statins can reverse plaque buildup.

    Cleveland Clinic is a non-profit academic medical center. Advertising on our site helps support our mission. We do not endorse non-Cleveland Clinic products or services.Policy

    Two statins in particular, atorvastatin, which is sold under the brand name Lipitor, and rosuvastatin, which is sold under the brand name Crestor, are the strongest statins.

    Clinical studies using ultrasound in the coronary arteries have shown that when you are on high doses of these medicines, even if you have plaque buildup already, you can stabilize the plaque on statin therapy.

    If your LDL cholesterol is lowered below 70 mg/dL, you can even see a regression in the plaque by up to 24%. So having really a low LDL cholesterol level can help stabilize any plaque buildup you have, and prevent further plaque progression.

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    Effects Of High Cholesterol

    When a person has high levels of LDL, they are often referred to as having high cholesterol. This condition can increase the risk of developing several health problems.

    Cholesterol can build up in the arteries, which are the major blood vessels in the body. They can become narrower, as a result, which restricts the supply of blood and oxygen to the organs.

    Narrowing of the arteries can also increase the risk of blood clots.

    If blood flow to the heart is restricted, it can increase the risk for coronary heart disease. This includes angina, heart attacks, and heart failure.

    If blood flow to the brain is restricted, it can increase the risk of stroke.

    The Link Between Cholesterol And Heart Attack Risk

    Diabetes and cholesterol | How it works | Diabetes UK

    While high cholesterol is a risk factor for heart attack, theres plenty you can do to lower it.

    Everyday Health

    Cholesterol gets a bad rap, but the truth is, we need it to function well. Cholesterol is an important building block for the cells of our body, says Bruce Andrus, MD, a member of the American College of Cardiologys Prevention Council and codirector of the Lipid Clinic at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center in Lebanon, New Hampshire.

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    Work With Your Doctor On A Lower Cholesterol Plan

    Lowering your cholesterol doesnt mean going it alone. Your primary care doctor is a helpful partner along your journey.

    Your doctor can work with you to create an action plan just for you one that combines diet, exercise and other lifestyle changes to help you lower and manage your cholesterol.

    For example, losing weight and quitting smoking can be big helpers for lowering cholesterol. Quitting smoking can raise your good HDL cholesterol levels, and losing weight can lower your bad LDL cholesterol levels significantly.

    But these two tasks arent easy. Fortunately, your primary care doctor can be a great resource to help you get started and find practical ways to stick with it. Plus, help with quitting smoking and losing weight may already be covered if you have health insurance.

    Whether you want to quit smoking, lose weight or just learn more about how your personal health would benefit from lower cholesterol levels, regular check-ins with your doctor are key. They can also perform cholesterol tests the only way to actually measure cholesterol to check your progress and help you make adjustments based on the results.

    The Key Is Lowering Ldl And Making Lifestyle Changes

    High blood levels of cholesterol encourage the formation and growth of vascular plaques that put you at risk for . So, can we reduce plaque buildup? “Making plaque disappear is not possible, but we can shrink and stabilize it,” says cardiologist Dr. Christopher Cannon, a Harvard Medical School professor.

    Plaque forms when cholesterol lodges in the wall of the artery.

    Image: Thinkstock

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    Do Children Have Damaged Blood Vessels And Cholesterol Patches

    The answer to this question is yes. It is estimated that 94,00 children between the ages of 1 to 19 are under medical care for high cholesterol. The majority of those children have inflammation in their blood vessels caused by glycation of sugars, oxidation and inflammation from the food they have been given to eat and their environment.

    The solution to ending damage in your blood vessels is to reduce inflammation by reducing oxidation by reducing glycation by sugar in your diet.

    What Are The Main Roles Of Cholesterol In The Body

    What Is Arterial Plaque?

    Cholesterol in the body has five vital functions:

    • Aids in the production of Vitamin D which is essential for strong bones and healthy teeth. Vitamin D is responsible for maintaining normal levels of calcium and phosphorus.
    • Assists in producing bile acids that aid in the digestion of fats ingested through eating.
    • Facilitates the production of hormones, especially steroid hormones produced by the adrenal and sex glands. These include testosterone, progesterone, estradiol, aldosterone, corticosterone, and others.
    • It is an essential structural component as it aids in the production, support, and protection of cell membranes.
    • It is vital for neurological function and brain development as it allows neurons to communicate with each other and exchange electrical signals within the central nervous system. The brain is the most cholesterol-rich organ in the body with up to 25% of the bodys total cholesterol being found here.

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