Why Cholesterol Matters For Women
Ah, cholesterol and triglycerides. We hear about them all the time. Even foods that might seem good for you on the surface, like fruit-filled yogurt or bran muffins, can contribute to abnormal levels if they contain too much saturated fat or refined sugar, says Erin Michos, M.D., associate director of preventive cardiology at the Ciccarone Center for the Prevention of Heart Disease.
Whats more, many women are at risk for high cholesterol and dont realize it. Approximately 45 percent of women over the age of 20 have a total cholesterol of 200 mg/dl and above, which is considered elevated but a survey by the American Heart Association found that 76 percent of women say they dont even know what their cholesterol values are, Michos says.
Scarier still: Triglycerides, a type of blood fat typically measured alongside cholesterol, are even more risky in women compared with men. This is a problem because womens cholesterol levels can fluctuate quite a bit after menopause and tend to increase with age, putting us at greater risk of heart disease and stroke. Knowing your cholesterol numbers and how to control them is a big step toward staying healthy.
What Is Considered Low Triglycerides
There isnt an official cutoff for low triglycerides. Most labs will consider any value below 150 mg/dL normal and values below 90 mg/dL as optimal.
If you are healthy and your values are lower than normal, you probably have nothing to worry about on the contrary.
But based on the studies above, in certain conditions, levels that are 50-70% lower than the average healthy persons might signal a more serious course of disease or higher levels of inflammation .
Low Hdl High Triglycerides
Low HDL, High triglycerides is a common cholesterol disorder. However, many people stay focused on LDL cholesterol. Often, they have no clue why they have low HDL, high triglycerides and how to raise HDL cholesterol and lower triglycerides level.
There are three types of cholesterol you should know about:
1. HDL cholesterol, also known as the good cholesterol.
2. LDL cholesterol, also known as the bad cholesterol.
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Normal Range Of Ldl Hdl Ratio : 05
Ideal values of LDL HDL ratio depending on age :
|Age||Ideal LDL HDL ratio value|
|< 5 years|
|> 100 years||0.62696|
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Preventive Steps For High Cholesterol And Heart Health
When you have high cholesterol, staying heart-healthy requires more than a regimen of statins. Even if youre on medication, it is absolutely essential to make lifestyle changes: Stop smoking , drink alcohol only in moderation, eat well, build exercise into your life, and get to a healthy weight, Dr. Rocco says. Smoking cessation alone can boost HDL 5 percent, while for every 7 pounds you lose, youll see a 1 mg increase in HDL. Regular moderate-intensity exercise raises HDL as much as 6 percent, he adds.
Contrary to prior nutritional information, there is not a clear link between dietary intake of cholesterol and increased cardiovascular risk the focus is on lowering saturated fat and trans fat in the diet. The new 2015 dietary guidelines by the U.S. government removed the limitation on cholesterol in the diet.
Features of a Mediterranean diet include:
- Eating primarily plant-based foods
- Limiting red meat
- Limiting full-fat dairy products
- Using olive oil in place of butter
- Enjoying fish and poultry at least twice a week
Adopting this kind of diet, along with exercise, pays off not just in terms of heart disease, but overall, Andersen says. Its really an anti-aging plan.
Consult A Doctor For Your Triglycerides Problem
High Triglycerides and low LDL HDL ratio can be caused by a lot of reasons. If you take Triglycerides and LDL HDL ratio blood tests and the results are higher than 150 mg/dL for Triglycerides and lower than 0.5 Ratio for LDL HDL ratio, your physician may recommend more tests to figure out the problem. You might also get these tests if your physician thinks you have some other disease.
Can Lowering Carbs Actually Improve Tg/hdl Rc And Cv Risk
Yes. There is plenty of evidence showing this. Multiple studies range from clinical trials in animals and humans to meta-analyses. Here are 4 of them:
- The Abbasi study was a human clinical trial using a crossover design. People ate high carbs for 2 weeks, then low carbs for 2 weeks, with a washout period of 2 weeks in between. The high-carb diet doubled TG levels, tripled remnant cholesterol, and lowered HDL by 15% .
- The Wang study is a randomized clinical trial in laboratory mice .
- The Volek study is a meta-analysis. It reviews pre-2005 studies which had already shown that low-carb diets decrease triglycerides and remnant cholesterol while increasing HDL cholesterol level .
- The Ebbeling study was also a human subjects clinical trial. It was done at Harvard. Subjects on a low-carb diet had lower TG and higher HDL cholesterol. Also, researchers showed that low-carb diets were less likely to result in weight rebound due to improved energy expenditure and leptin .
My name is Ford Brewer. My team and I work to prevent heart attack, stroke, cancer, and dementia. Our goal is to help you understand how to prevent major killers and disablers. Most of them are driven by the process of cardiovascular inflammation.
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How Often Should I Get A Cholesterol Test
When and how often you should get a cholesterol test depends on your age, risk factors, and family history. The general recommendations are:
For people who are age 19 or younger::
- The first test should be between ages 9 to 11
- Children should have the test again every 5 years
- Some children may have this test starting at age 2 if there is a family history of high blood cholesterol, heart attack, or stroke
For people who are age 20 or older::
- Younger adults should have the test every 5 years
- Men ages 45 to 65 and women ages 55 to 65 should have it every 1 to 2 years
Why The Test Is Performed
Triglycerides are usually measured together with other blood fats. Often it is done to help determine your risk of developing heart disease. A high triglyceride level may lead to atherosclerosis, which increases your risk for heart attack and stroke.
A very high triglyceride level may also cause swelling of your pancreas .
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Why Is Tg/hdl Important
TG/HDL is important because it is an important predictor of risk for heart disease. It is also a marker of insulin resistance, and insulin resistance is the major cause of prediabetes, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes.
The Womens Ischemia Syndrome Evaluation study studied 544 women referred for CV disease evaluation . The TG/HDL ranged from 0.3 to 18.4. It was a powerful predictor of all mortality and cardiovascular events.
This chart shows the WISE study range of TG/HDL. Individuals with lower TG/HDL had lower CV disease risk.
Normal Cholesterol With High Triglycerides What Is That
When measuring total cholesterol levels, low-density lipoprotein , high-density lipoprotein , and triglycerides are used in the measurement.
For adults, standard cholesterol levels are:
- Less than 200 mg/dL is desirable
- Between 200 – 239 mg/dL is considered borderline
- Over 240 mg/dL is considered high
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Low Triglycerides And High Ldl
According to the American Heart Association, triglycerides are fats made in the body from other nutrients such as carbohydrates. If you eat calories that are not used immediately, they are converted into triglycerides and transported to fat cells to be stored.
Because LDL comes from two sources — the foods you eat and heredity — it is possible to have low triglycerides along with high LDL by eating a healthy diet while your body produces high levels of LDL. The American Heart Association says about 75 percent of your total cholesterol is manufactured in your liver and other cells.
Data Acquisition And Confidentiality
All collected data were anonymized, preventing reidentification. All procedures were conducted in accordance with the legal provisions of the protection of personal data in Spain and according the European Union Regulations 2016/6799 on the physical protection of the treatment of personal data. The study was compliant with the Declaration of Helsinki. It was approved by the Ethics Committee of the University Research Institute Pere Virgili , including the exemption of the requirement for informed consent.
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High Total Cholesterol Normal Ldl High Hdl Normal Triglycerides
In this case, the high total cholesterol is less troublesome since it’s largely due to elevated HDL . The fact that HDL is high and LDL is normal also makes for a favorable HDL:LDL ratio. Although, extremely high levels of HDL cholesterol can be due to genetics. Generally, HDL levels shouldn’t exceed 116 mg/dL for men and 135 mg/dL for women.2
How Can You Naturally Lower Tg And Increase Hdl Levels
The most effective ways to improve your TG/HDL are:
- Lose weight. Body fat used to be considered as an inert energy storage tissue. Now we know it is an endocrine tissue that releases chemicals that cause insulin resistance, prediabetes, and CV risk .
- Eat fewer carbs. Get into a lower carbohydrate diet .
- Exercise. Exercise increases HDL levels and lowers TG levels .
- Take niacin. It is one of the few supplements that lowers TG , increases HDL cholesterol levels , and lowers LDL cholesterol levels .
- Get dietary and supplemental omega-3s .
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Dangers Of Low Triglycerides
Low triglyceride levels are generally not dangerous. In fact, research supports the idea that low triglyceride levels can offer certain health benefits.
In one 2014 study, researchers found that lower non-fasting triglyceride levels were associated with a reduction in all-cause mortality in almost 14,000 study participants.
Another smaller 2017 study found that low triglyceride levels were linked to improved brain function in older adults without dementia.
However, incredibly low triglyceride levels may be linked to other conditions, as mentioned above. Some of these conditions in and of themselves may be dangerous, so it becomes important to treat the underlying condition thats causing low triglycerides.
The Pros And Cons Of Total Cholesterol Hdl Ldl And Triglyceride Testing
Time to get your cholesterol checked. Okay, but which test should you get? It’s not so simple anymore. Here is a rundown of some of the choices and their pros and cons:
Total cholesterol. This is the simplest and least expensive test. The test doesn’t require any sophisticated lab work, either. The simple, do-it-yourself home cholesterol tests measure total cholesterol.
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- Prepare for a doctor’s visit or test
- Find the best treatments and procedures for you
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Normal Range Of Triglycerides : 0
Ideal values of Triglycerides depending on age :
|> 100 years||67.029|
If you want your blood test report to be interpreted by Triglycerides specialist, then you can upload your report. Our Triglycerides expert will provide you with the most accurate interpretation of your blood test results and treatment within 12 hours. Upload blood test report now
Does Ethnicity Matter In Terms Of Tg/hdl
TG/HDL appears to vary by ethnicity. Ratios are higher in Hispanic Americans than non-Hispanic whites and non-Hispanic Blacks .
Thus, many say that we should go target different levels based upon ethnicity. Those same scientists have said that a TG/HDL of 2.0 is diagnostic of prediabetes for African-Americans.
Although the patterns of TG/HDL vary by ethnicity, I do not recommend focusing on this. There are several reasons, such as the fact that ethnicities are often mixed and unknown.
But the biggest reason is that TG/HDL is an indicator of the health of insulin and glucose metabolismthe lower the ratio, the better the patients health. Not to mention that most of the cut points used in research as markers for prediabetes are too high. For example, ratios of 2 and 3 confer risk, no matter what your ethnicity is.
A TG/HDL of 3 confers a higher risk for heart disease, so all of us should focus on this important number. No matter which ethnicity, the goal should be as low as possible. Like I mentioned in the previous section, I do recommend that my patients target 1.5 or less.
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How To Prepare For The Test
You should not eat for 8 to 12 hours before the test.
Alcohol and some medicines can interfere with blood test results.
- Make sure your health care provider knows what medicines you take, including over-the-counter drugs and supplements.
- Your provider will tell you if you need to stop taking any medicines before you have this test.
- DO NOT stop or change your medicines without talking to your provider first.
Does Your Total Cholesterol Number Even Matter
As one of the most ordered lab tests, total cholesterol can provide a high level glance at how your body is handling lipids, or fats. According to the CDC, roughly nine percent of all doctors visits include a cholesterol test.1 So, how should you interpret your total cholesterol value? Is the whole greater than the sum of its parts?
What Is Total Cholesterol
Total cholesterol can be determined in two ways. It can either be directly measured in the blood, or more commonly, it can also be calculated. The calculation takes into account the two main forms of cholesterol HDL and LDL as well as a small fraction of triglycerides. Any one of these three components can skew total cholesterol values. Here’s a brief definition of each:
HDL: High density lipoprotein is a protective form of cholesterol that helps to remove harmful particles from circulation before they can cause damage to blood vessels. This process earned it the nickname “good cholesterol.”
LDL: Low density lipoprotein is a potentially dangerous type of cholesterol that can become oxidized , which can lead to the hardening of arteries. If LDL builds up, it can lead to blockages which can cause serious cardiovascular incidents. LDL is therefore aptly referred to as the “bad cholesterol.”
Triglycerides: A form of stored fat that circulates in the bloodstream usually from excess weight, calories, alcohol, lack of exercise, liver damage, or genetics.
Understanding Cholesterol: Hdl Ldl And Triglycerides
There are two types of grocery shoppersthose who race in with a list in hand and meticulously grab every item on the list before checking out and leaving, and those who meander up and down every aisle, not sure what they want until they see it on the shelf.
But within those two types, theres another shopper you may have seenthe label-reader. This person is health-conscious and examines the nutrition labels of food items before placing them in the cart.
One of the most important categories to check for on a food label is cholesterol.
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance found in your blood. Your body needs some cholesterol, but too much can build up on the walls of your arteries and can lead to heart disease and stroke. Checking your risk for heart disease and stroke is as simple as getting a lipid panel, which tests your blood cholesterol.
There are four important things checked in a lipid panel:
- Total cholesterol
- Low-density lipoproteins
HDL is known as the good cholesterol because it helps remove cholesterol by carrying it back to the liver where it can be eliminated from the body. Its good to have a high HDL number. LDL is known as the bad cholesterol because having too much LDL may cause a buildup of plaque in your blood vessels. Triglycerides are also a type of fat found in your blood. High triglycerides, low HDL, and/or high LDL numbers can increase your risk for heart attack and stroke.
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How Are Triglycerides Different From Cholesterol
Triglycerides and cholesterol are both fatty substances called lipids. But triglycerides are fats cholesterol is not. Cholesterol is a waxy, odorless substance made by the liver. It is used to build cell walls, helps the nervous system and plays an important role in digestion and hormone production.
Low Levels May Be Associated With Worse Outcomes In Some Conditions
In one study, people with heart failure and lower levels were more likely to die from heart complications. The levels associated with risk were around 120 mg/dL on average, while levels of 130-149 mg/dL were considered protective .
Upon further analysis, the researchers concluded that only women with heart failure and low triglycerides may be at an increased risk of dying. According to them, low triglyceride levels may point to more advanced stages of heart failure .
In another study, people with lung scarring had triglycerides under 57 mg/dL, which was about 60% lower than the values of healthy controls .
Similarly, people with autoimmune disease had 50-70% reduced triglyceride levels compared to healthy people in a different study. Researchers suggested that low triglyceride levels might actually be a marker of autoimmunity and an overactive immune response .
Its important to note here that low triglycerides in all of these cases are not causing any of these conditions. They are the effect of these conditions. For example, in heart failure, low triglycerides may be due to liver damage due to diminished oxygen supply or increased levels of inflammation.
There is no proof that low triglyceride levels are harmful in and of themselves.
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