What Affects My Cholesterol Levels
A variety of things can affect cholesterol levels. These are some things you can do to lower your cholesterol levels:
- Diet. Saturated fat and cholesterol in the food you eat make your blood cholesterol level rise. Saturated fat is the main problem, but cholesterol in foods also matters. Reducing the amount of saturated fat in your diet helps lower your blood cholesterol level. Foods that have high levels of saturated fats include some meats, dairy products, chocolate, baked goods, and deep-fried and processed foods.
- Weight. Being overweight is a risk factor for heart disease. It also tends to increase your cholesterol. Losing weight can help lower your LDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. It also raises your HDL cholesterol level.
- Physical Activity. Not being physically active is a risk factor for heart disease. Regular physical activity can help lower LDL cholesterol and raise HDL cholesterol levels. It also helps you lose weight. You should try to be physically active for 30 minutes on most, if not all, days.
- Smoking.Cigarette smoking lowers your HDL cholesterol. HDL helps to remove bad cholesterol from your arteries. So a lower HDL can contribute to a higher level of bad cholesterol.
Things outside of your control that can also affect cholesterol levels include:
Diet To Reduce Cholesterol
Making a few changes to the diet you follow on a daily basis can reduce cholesterol levels to a great extent. Why resort to drug therapy, when you can achieve the same results by going on a TLC diet instead? A TLC or Therapeutic Lifestyle Change Diet is a diet low in trans and saturated fats and high in soluble fibres and proteins. The TLC diet is an effective way to reduce cholesterol levels. If you get on this diet, you are supposed to consume less than 7% of your total calorie requirement from saturated fats and intake dietary cholesterol below 200 milligrams. You are encouraged to up your fruit, whole grain, vegetable, poultry, fish, lean meat and low-fat dairy product intake as part of the TLC diet.
Individuals on the TLC diet are advised to only consume as many calories as they require, to avoid unnecessary weight gain. You are asked to maintain a healthy weight on this diet. Soluble fibers, which have LDL-lowering capabilities are advised for consumption as part of the diet.
Cholesterol reducing foods such as high fibre food, I.e. bran, oatmeal, olive oil, pear, apples and food with plant sterol additives are healthy food items that you should include in your daily diet to keep the problem at bay. Ideally, one must follow a balanced diet to ensure no unnecessary weight gain so that you can keep your cholesterol levels down. Learn more about the ideal diet plan for you here.
What Is Ldl Cholesterol
Cholesterol is carried through the blood on two types of proteins called lipoproteins. These lipoproteins include LDL , which is sometimes referred to as bad cholesterol, and HDL , or what is typically referred to as good cholesterol.
The science over good and bad cholesterol has shifted quite a bit recently, so how can you be sure that youre not putting your health in danger? Read on for everything you need to know about LDL backed by the most recent science.
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Inhibitors Of Human El
Recently, GlaxoSmithKline reported a series of EL irreversible inhibitors featuring a sulfonylfuran urea core identified in a high-throughput screening campaign . A lead optimization effort was undertaken to improve the potency and selectivity, leading to inhibitors with improved LPL selectivity . O’Connell et al. more recently reported the synthesis of alkyl, aryl, and acyl-substituted phenylboronic acids that inhibit EL, many with near equal potency against both EL and LPL, but several compounds exhibited moderate to good selectivity for EL . Clearly, the development of highly EL-selective inhibitors is desired. The discovery of such a molecule would provide a novel means by which to specifically raise HDL-C.
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
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What Happens During A Cholesterol Test
A health care professional will take a blood sample from a vein in your arm, using a small needle. After the needle is inserted, a small amount of blood will be collected into a test tube or vial. You may feel a little sting when the needle goes in or out. This usually takes less than five minutes.
Cholesterol tests are usually done in the morning, as you may be asked to refrain from eating for several hours prior to the test.
You may also be able to use an at-home kit to test for cholesterol. While instructions may vary between brands, your kit will include some kind of device to prick your finger. Youll use this device to collect a drop of blood for testing. Be sure to follow the kit instructions carefully.
Also, be sure to tell your health care provider if your at-home test results shown your cholesterol level is higher than 200 mg/dl.
What Are The Different Types Of Cholesterol In My Blood And What Is The Significance Of Each
Dr. Eckel answers the question: ‘What Are The Different Types Of Cholesterol?’
— Question: What are the different types of cholesterol in my blood, and what is the significance of each?
Answer: Cholesterol is carried in the blood in a transport vehicle called lipoprotein. And there are basically three kinds of lipoproteins that carry cholesterol, at least after you fasted for 12 hours. One is the very low density lipoprotein, or VLDL.
The second is the low density lipoprotein, or LDL. And the third is the good cholesterol, or HDL cholesterol. These lipoproteins relate the risk for heart disease, mostly LDL on the bad side and HDL on the good side.
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Pcsk9 As A Therapeutic Target For Dyslipidemia
The establishment of a link between PCSK9 and cholesterol metabolism was rapidly followed by the discovery that selected mutations in the PCSK9 gene caused autosomal dominant hypercholesterolemia , suggesting that the mutations confer a gain of function by increasing the normal activity of PCSK9. This was supported by an experiment in which wild-type and mutant PCSK9 were expressed at high levels in the livers of mice hepatic LDLR protein levels fell dramatically in mice receiving either the wild-type or the mutant PCSK9 . No associated reductions in LDLR mRNA levels were observed, indicating that overexpression of PCSK9, whether mutant or wild type, reduces LDLR through a posttranscriptional mechanism.
The Composition Of Ldl Cholesterol: Why It Matters
While it was traditionally thought that high LDL cholesterol as a whole was bad and a predictor of heart disease complications, new research, including a 2019 study from Ohio University, suggests that the real predictor of complications may be a particular subclass of LDL.
LDL is comprised of three subclasses of low-density lipoproteins, A, B, and I. According to researchers, one subclass subclass B was found to be the most damaging and a much better predictor of potential heart attacks than the total measurement of LDL.
While this type of research is new and evolving, if you are concerned about your LDL numbers and the possibility of complications, talk with your doctor.
If youve been diagnosed with high LDL, the good news is that there are ways to lower it to a healthier range.
If your doctor is concerned about your LDL levels, they may prescribe medication, such as:
Each drug has its own side effects, so its important to talk with your doctor about why theyre prescribing a specific medication and what the possible side effects might be.
Your doctor will also likely recommend specific lifestyle changes regardless of whether youre prescribed medication.
If your lipid test shows high or borderline-high LDL levels, your doctor will most likely recommend some lifestyle changes that can make a positive impact on your cholesterol as a whole based on your specific situation.
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Cholesterol Comes In Several Forms Each Of Them Acts Differently
Low-density lipoprotein or bad cholesterol can be tough on the heart because excess values in your blood conduce to gather in the arteries.
An increase of cholesterol may narrow the veins, reducing or cutting off blood movement to the heart or the brain and enhancing the hazard of heart attack and stroke. So the lower your LDL cholesterol is, the more helpful.
Your LDL cholesterol level can increase if you eat too much full fat found in foods such as:
- Egg yolks
Trans fat usually located in supplying baked goods and stick margarine prepared with partly hydrogenated vegetable oils also raises LDL cholesterol.
Restricting how much you eat of these types of meals is one way to improve LDL cholesterol in check.
High-density lipoprotein , or healthy cholesterol, looks to better defend the heart by redirecting cholesterol from veins to the liver, where its split down and removed from the body, the American Heart Association notes.
If your HDL levels are extremely low, your chance for heart illness runs up. Staying physically working, willing not to smoke, and maintaining a healthy weight are right steps to boost HDL cholesterol.
Triglycerides are a different type of fat seen in the blood. They are presented in the body, found in fatty foods and made from other food energy sources, such as carbohydrates.
Transport Of Cholesterol Between The Liver And Peripheral Tissues
The liver synthesizes cholesterol from acetyl-CoA . The cholesterol pool in liver cells also receives the dietary cholesterol, which is contained in the chylomicron remnants that are formed through the extraction of triacylglycerol from chylomicrons by lipoprotein lipase .
Liver cells package esterified cholesterol, together with triacylglycerol, into particles of very low density lipoprotein . Like chylomicrons, VLDL interacts with lipoprotein lipase and thereby turns into intermediate and then low density lipoprotein .
LDL is taken up by cells in the periphery through endocytosis, which is mediated by the LDL receptor.71 Excess cholesterol is exported from the cell by an active transporter and delivered to high density lipoprotein , which then carries it back to the liver. Cholesterol transport by HDL is facilitated by lecithin-cholesterol acyltransferase .
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Can You Get Rid Of Cholesterol Deposits
Researchers are working on ways to eliminate plaque from coronary arteries. One method that has been proposed involves using combinations of medicines in healthy people aged 25 to 55 years. It is suggested that getting the levels of cholesterol down very low will allow arteries to clear up and heal up.
Several researchers believe that the way to reverse heart disease, and to prevent it in the first place, is found in a whole food, plant-based diet. Studies have been done that have shown that limiting nutrition to whole foods that are plant-based have been successful in reducing blood cholesterol and even, in some cases, lessening plaque buildup.
Why Do We Need Cholesterol
Cholesterol plays an essential role in how your body acts. There is cholesterol in all cell in your body, and its essential in your brain, tissues, and skin.
Cholesterol has three leading roles:
- It is part of the outer layer, or lamina, of all your bodys cells
- Used to produce vitamin D and steroid hormones which keep your bones, teeth, and muscles healthy
- Used to make bile, which improves to digest the fats you eat
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A Look At The Numbers
If your age is 20 or older, have your cholesterol checked at least every five years, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute recommends.
The approved cholesterol test is called a lipid profile. It estimates your total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides after you fast for 9 to 12 hours.
An ideal LDL cholesterol level is smaller than 100 mg/dL. But just how low your LDL aim should depend on your heart disorder risk, including whether you previously have the disorder.
Your HDL level should be 40 mg/dL or more chief, though it should be at least 60 mg/dL to serve you lower your chance for heart disease. And your triglycerides should be less than 150 mg/dL.
How To Get Tested
Your doctor or another health professional may order a test that includes your VLDL cholesterol level. There is no direct way to measure VLDL cholesterol, so it is usually calculated based on triglyceride levels. The test is done by drawing a sample of blood at a doctors office or other medical facility such as a medical clinic, laboratory, or hospital. The sample is then sent to a laboratory to be analyzed.
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How Do You Prepare For A Cholesterol Test
In most cases, youll need to fast for nine to 12 hours before the test. Make sure you tell the person drawing your blood how long it has been since you ate or drank anything that wasnt water.
There are some cases when a cholesterol test is done without fasting. This is true for tests done at health screenings and may be true for people younger than 20 or for people who are unable to fast.
Some medical societies believe that fasting is not necessary to get a true picture of lipid levels in the blood, while other associations stand by the belief that fasting gives a better idea of a persons heart disease risk. You should be clear on whether or not you need to fast, and for how long, before you go for the blood test.
Healthy Eating Tips To Lower Cholesterol
As well as sticking to a varied and healthy diet, try these tips to help you manage your cholesterol:
- Limit takeaway foods to once a week .
- Limit salty, fatty and sugary snack foods to once a week .
- Eat plenty of vegetables aim for 5 serves of vegetables every day. .
- Choose wholegrain breads, cereal, pasta, rice and noodles.
- Snack on plain, unsalted nuts and fresh fruit .
- Include legumes such as chickpeas, lentils, split peas), beans into at least two meals a week. Check food labels and choose the lowest sodium products.
- Use spreads and margarines made from healthy unsaturated fats instead of those made with saturated fat .
- Use healthy oils for cooking some include canola, sunflower, soybean, olive , sesame and peanut oils.
- Use salad dressings and mayonnaise made from oils such as canola, sunflower, soybean, olive , sesame and peanut oils.
- Include 2 or 3 serves of plant-sterol-enriched foods every day .
- Have 2 to 3 portions of oily fish every week. Fish may be fresh, frozen or canned.
- Include up to 7 eggs every week.
- Select lean meat and limit unprocessed red meat to less than 350g per week.
- Choose reduced fat, no added sugar milk, yoghurt, or calcium-added non-dairy food and drinks.
- Limit or avoid processed meats including sausages and deli meats .
If you are having trouble with your cholesterol levels, a dietitian can help you to eat healthily for your specific needs.
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Cholesterol Levels: What You Need To Know
How do we diagnose high cholesterol?
Lipoprotein panel is a type of blood test that can measure cholesterol levels. Before the test, the patient may need to fast for 9-12 hours. The test gives information about different types of cholesterol:
- otal cholesterol: It shows the total amount of cholesterol in the blood. It includes both low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol.
- LDL cholesterol: It transports cholesterol particles throughout the body. LDL cholesterol is often called the bad cholesterol because it builds up in the walls of the arteries, making them hard and narrow.
- HDL cholesterol: It picks up excess cholesterol and takes it back to your liver.
- Non-HDL: This number is total cholesterol minus HDL. Non-HDL includes LDL and other types of cholesterol such as very lowdensity lipoprotein .
- Triglycerides: Another form of fat in the blood that can increase your risk for heart diseases, especially in women, is triglycerides.
Questions For Your Doctor About Test Results
Your doctor is in the best position to answer questions about your VLDL cholesterol level and what the results of your test mean for your health. These are some questions you can ask to get detailed information about your VLDL cholesterol results:
- What is my VLDL cholesterol level?
- Did you measure other types of cholesterol? If so, what were the results?
- Do I have risk factors for cardiovascular disease?
- Do you recommend I have another cholesterol test? If so, when?
- Are there any other tests needed to evaluate my cardiovascular health?
- What are the next steps in my care? Do I need to make any lifestyle changes or take any medications to reduce my risk of developing heart disease or other health conditions?
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How Do I Know If My Cholesterol Is Too High
There are no signs or symptoms when it comes to high cholesterol. The only way to screen for it is through a blood test called a lipoprotein profile which measures your total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, and triglyceride levels. Everyone over the age of 20 should get screened for cholesterol levels every five years. Many people do not know they are affected until a life-threatening event occurs, said Chiadika.
When screening for cholesterol, the numbers below are recommended for an average adult:
- Total cholesterol level less than 200 milligrams per deciliter is best 240 mg/dL is considered high.
- LDL cholesterol levels less than 100 mg/dL is best, but this depends on your risk for heart disease.
- HDL cholesterol levels 60 mg/dL or higher reduces your risk for heart disease.
- Triglycerides less than 150 is best.
For children, the numbers below are acceptable:
- Total cholesterol level less than 170 mg/dL over 200 mg/dL is high.
- LDL cholesterol levels less than 110 mg/dL is best over 130 mg/dL is high.
Treatment options to lower cholesterol vary based on each individual persons needs, risk factors, and goals. Speak with your doctor to determine what works best for you.
UT Physicians is the clinical practice of McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston .