Hdl Is The Good Cholesterol
HDL is the type of cholesterol we think of as “good.” A higher HDL level is actually healthier. HDL helps take cholesterol out of your bloodstream by carrying it to the liver, where it’s used or removed from circulation. So a higher HDL means you may have a lower risk of heart attack and stroke, depending on other aspects of your overall health and lifestyle. A healthy HDL is 60 milligrams per deciliter or higher.
Good Cholesterol Vs Bad Cholesterol: What You Need To Know
While most of us know that having high cholesterol doesnt necessarily boost heart health, is it really as bad as it sounds? Truth be told, cholesterol isnt simply good or bad, its somewhere in between. In fact, cholesterol is actually essential for your body in healthy doses. Its used to build and maintain cells and hormones, like estrogen, steroids and vitamin D, as well as supporting digestion. ;
Cholesterol or the fatty substance found in your cells is divided up into two different types: HDL and LDL . Heres what you need to know about both:
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance found in blood cells throughout the body. Also known as a lipid, cholesterol is the main type of fat found in your blood and body tissues, as well as triglycerides.
When there are high amounts of lipids, including both triglycerides and cholesterol, this can lead to fat deposits or plaque build-up in your arteries. Overtime, this causes the arteries to narrow, which increases blood pressure, as well as risk for blood clots and heart disease.
While both types of cholesterol are essentially the same, there is one key way in which they differ where they go within the body.
As an essential building block for cells, your body actually creates all the cholesterol it needs to function. However, most people get high amounts of cholesterol from external sources, like diet. The primary causes of high cholesterol include:
Hdl Cholesterol: ‘good’ Cholesterol
Not all cholesterol is bad. High-density lipoprotein cholesterol is considered “good” cholesterol because it actually works to keep the LDL, or “bad” cholesterol from building up in your arteries. The higher the HDL, the better. HDL levels of 60 mg/dL and higher can help reduce your risk for heart disease. Conversely, HDL levels of 40 mg/dL and lower are considered a high risk-factor for developing heart disease.
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Key Lifestyle Actions To Lower Non
- Eat far fewer saturated fats ; trans fats ; and dietary cholesterol. Food high in dietary cholesterol include egg yolks and organ meats.
- Eat far more fiber-rich foods .
- Eat vegetable proteins in place of meat and poultry.
- Eat fewer refined sugars and refined grains .
- Exercise regularly: 1) Aerobic exercise daily, a minimum of 30 minutes and optimally 60 to 90 minutes, alternating moderate-intensity days with vigorous-intensity days; 2) Full-body resistance routine two to three times weekly; and 3) Stretching exercises daily to greatly enhance your overall flexibility and ability to exercise more freely.
- Lose excess weight, especially weight around the middle.*
- If the above are insufficient, try plant sterols
- If necessary, talk to your doctor about medications.
* Excess body weight is defined as a BMI greater than 25. More important is improving your body composition; and reducing abdominal girth. Of particular concern are men who are more than 40 around the waist and women who are more than 35.; Belly fat and a poor body composition are key contributing factors for not only elevated cholesterol but also diabetes, hypertension, and other cardiovascular-related diseases.
What Do Hdl And Ldl Stand For
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Whats The Difference Between Hdl Ldl And Vldl
Cholesterol is a lipoprotein made of fat and protein. It is divided into three categories: high-density lipoprotein , low-density lipoprotein , and very low-density lipoprotein , and each impacts your body differently. HDL is considered good cholesterol as it helps move bad cholesterol from other parts of your body to your liver for removal. LDL is considered bad cholesterol because high levels can lead to the buildup of plaque in your arteries, said Chiadika. VLDL is considered bad cholesterol as well but it mainly carries triglycerides, the most common type of fat in your body. Excess levels can also contribute to health complications such as heart disease.
Hdl Versus Ldl Cholesterol
There are two main types of cholesterol: high-density lipoprotein and low-density lipoprotein . Lipoproteins are made of fat and proteins. Cholesterol moves through your body while inside lipoproteins.
HDL is known as good cholesterol because it transports cholesterol to your liver to be expelled from your body. HDL helps rid your body of excess cholesterol so its less likely to end up in your arteries.
LDL is called bad cholesterol because it takes cholesterol to your arteries, where it may collect in artery walls. Too much cholesterol in your arteries may lead to a buildup of plaque known as atherosclerosis. This can increase the risk of blood clots in your arteries. If a blood clot breaks away and blocks an artery in your heart or brain, you may have a stroke or heart attack.
Plaque buildup may also reduce blood flow and oxygen to major organs. Oxygen deprivation to your organs or arteries may lead to kidney disease or peripheral arterial disease, in addition to a heart attack or stroke.
Centers for Disease Control , over 31 percent of Americans have high LDL cholesterol. You may not even know it because high cholesterol doesnt cause noticeable symptoms.
The only way to find out if your cholesterol is high is through a blood test that measures cholesterol in milligrams per deciliter of blood . When you get your cholesterol numbers checked, youll receive results for:
To treat high cholesterol, doctors often recommend these lifestyle changes:
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How Is High Cholesterol Treated
There are several ways to lower high blood cholesterol , including lifestyle changes or medication, or both. Your healthcare provider will work with you to determine which therapy is best for you.
Healthcare providers like to start with the least invasive treatments when possible, such as lifestyle changes. Youll be advised to:
- Avoid tobacco. If you do smoke, quit. Smoking is bad for you in many ways, and reducing your level of good cholesterol is one of them.
- Change the way you eat. Limit the amount of trans fats and saturated fat. Eat heart-healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, poultry, fish and whole grains. Limit red meat, sugary products and dairy products made with whole milk.
- Get more exercise. Try to get about 150 minutes of physical activity every week, or about 30 minutes per day for most days of the week.
- Keep a healthy weight. If you need to lose weight, talk to your healthcare provider about safe ways to do this. Youll see results even before you reach your ideal weight. Losing even 10% of your body weight makes a difference in your cholesterol levels.
- Reduce the effect of negative emotions. Learn healthy ways to deal with anger, stress or other negative emotions.
- Control blood sugar and blood pressure. Make sure you follow your healthcare providers instructions for blood sugar levels, especially if you have diabetes, and for keeping blood pressure in the healthy range.
- Atorvastatin .
- Simvastatin .
- Pitavastatin .
What Can Affect My Ldl Level
Things that can affect your LDL level include
- Diet. Saturated fat and cholesterol in the food you eat make your blood cholesterol level rise
- Weight. Being overweight tends to raise your LDL level, lower your HDL level, and increase your total cholesterol level
- Physical Activity. A lack of physical activity can lead to weight gain, which can raise your LDL level
- Smoking.Cigarette smoking lowers your HDL cholesterol. Since HDL helps to remove LDL from your arteries, if you have less HDL, that can contribute to you having a higher LDL level.
- Age and Sex. As women and men get older, their cholesterol levels rise. Before the age of menopause, women have lower total cholesterol levels than men of the same age. After the age of menopause, women’s LDL levels tend to rise.
- Genetics. Your genes partly determine how much cholesterol your body makes. High cholesterol can run in families. For example, familial hypercholesterolemia is an inherited form of high blood cholesterol.
- Medicines. Certain medicines, including steroids, some blood pressure medicines, and HIV/AIDS medicines, can raise your LDL level.
- Other medical conditions. Diseases such as chronic kidney disease, diabetes, and HIV/AIDS can cause a higher LDL level.
- Race. Certain races may have an increased risk of high blood cholesterol. For example, African Americans typically have higher HDL and LDL cholesterol levels than whites.
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What About Medications
Our emphasis at Pritikin on a healthy lifestyle does not imply that all individuals should stop medications to improve cholesterol and triglyceride numbers, clarifies Dr. Danine Fruge, Medical Director at the Pritikin Longevity Center.
We simply wish to say that we have a responsibility to ourselves to adjust and modify the things that we can. If lifestyle modification does not sufficiently improve lipid levels, medication is clearly appropriate and for some people essential. But it is far better to begin changing our lifestyles so that we can prevent plaque build-up.
Moreover, a healthy Pritikin lifestyle gives us much more than what any pill can give us. With Pritikin living, were also losing weight, looking better, feeling better, becoming more physically fit, and lessening the risk of cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, arthritis, impotence, cognitive decline like Alzheimers, and many other conditions.
We encourage you to try the Pritikin Program, recommends Dr. Fruge. A Pritikin lifestyle helps not only our cholesterol numbers look good, it helps virtually all of us look good..
How To Compute Non
Most standard lipid panels nowadays include your non-HDL number, but if your panel does not, its easy to figure out.
Heres the formula:
Non-HDL cholesterol is: Total cholesterol minus HDL cholesterol. So if your total cholesterol is 190 and your HDL cholesterol is 40, your non-HDL cholesterol is 150.
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What Is This Test
This group of tests measures the amount of cholesterol and triglycerides in your blood.
Cholesterol and triglycerides are fats . This panel measures:
Total cholesterol is a measurement of both good and bad cholesterol. LDL cholesterol moves cholesterol into your arteries. HDL cholesterol moves cholesterol out of your arteries. A high HDL cholesterol number lowers your risk for coronary heart disease. A high LDL cholesterol number raises your risk for coronary heart disease.
The American Heart Association recommends that all adults older than 20 have a lipid profile once every 4 to 6 years as long as your risk for cardiovascular disease stays low. You may need to have your blood tested more often if you have risk factors for heart disease or stroke. Talk with your healthcare provider.
Are Home Cholesterol Testing Kits Accurate
The answer is yes if the tests are labeled CDC-certified. This means that the contents have been approved by the Cholesterol Reference Method Laboratory Network, a group that works with test makers, laboratories and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to make sure tests are accurate.
For home tests, you will still need to fast for 12 hours and to obtain blood for testing. Some kits come with packages for mailing to a lab for results. Other kits have a monitor so you can get the results at home. The cost of such home kits vary.
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Can I Stabilize These Plaques
Yes. Thats the really good news. With a healthy lifestyle and, if needed, cholesterol-lowering medications, you can stabilize plaques and improve the entire health of the inner walls of your arteries.
Lowering cholesterol levels will help you stabilize the plaque in your arteries walls.
Regular exercise and a diet like the Pritikin Eating Plan, very low in saturated fats, trans fats, and cholesterol, and very high in fruits, whole grains, beans, and vegetables, can dramatically lower the amount of cholesterol entering plaque.
More than 100 studies have documented that the Pritikin Program helps our arteries in many other ways as well. We lose excess weight, for example, and reduce insulin levels, normalize blood pressure, reduce inflammatory markers like C-reactive protein, and bring down blood sugar levels all good things for our arteries.
How To Lower Ldl Cholesterol
Lifestyle and diet changes are the main ways to prevent or lower high LDL. A trial of eating a low-fat diet, regular aerobic activity, maintaining a healthy weight, and smaller waist circumference is an appropriate first step. It is best to set a timeline to achieve your goals with your doctor. In some cases, if those lifestyle changes are not enough, your physician may suggest a cholesterol lowering medication, such as a statin. If you are considering over-the-counter herbal or ayurvedic medications for cholesterol, please discuss those with your physician first as well.
Rarely, very high LDL is genetic and passed down in families. This is called familial hypercholesterolemia and is caused by a genetic mutation that decreases the livers ability to clear excess cholesterol. This condition can lead to very high LDL levels, and heart attack or stroke at a young age in multiple generations. Those individuals may require special medical treatment for prevention and treatment of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease.
Remember, knowledge is the first step. If you dont know your cholesterol levels, get tested. That will give you and your physician a starting point for lifestyle changes and medications if needed. In the meantime, adopt a heart-healthy lifestyle, and do it with friends and family no matter their ages. Theres no time like the present to prevent heart disease.
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Major Lipids In The Human Body
Lipids are a heterogeneous group of compounds which are relatively insoluble in water and soluble in non-polar solvents. Triglycerides , cholesterol, and phospholipids are the major lipids in the body. They are transported as complexes of lipid and proteins known as lipoproteins.
TGs : TGs are formed by combining glycerol with three molecules of fatty acid. TGs, as major components of VLDL and chylomicrons, play an important role in metabolism. When the body requires fatty acids as an energy source, the hormone glucagon signals the breakdown of the TGs by lipase to release free fatty acids. TGs are water-insoluble, non-polar neutral fats. These are not the structural components of biological membranes. TGs synthesis and storage mostly occurs in liver and adipose tissue. Free fatty acids and glycerol must be activated prior to the synthesis of TGs into acyl-coA and glycerol-3-phosphate respectively.
Phospholipids: Phospholipids are TGs that are covalently bonded to a phosphate group by an ester linkage. Phospholipids perform important functions including regulating membrane permeability and in maintaining electron transport chain in mitochondria. They participate in the reverse cholesterol transport and thus help in the removal of cholesterol from the body. They are involved in signal transmission across membranes and they act as detergents and help in solubilization of cholesterol.
How To Lower Your Cholesterol
Your doctor can measure your cholesterol levels using a blood test. A high cholesterol level means you might be at risk of heart disease and stroke. You wont necessarily have any symptoms of having high cholesterol, so you doctor might test it regularly to keep an eye on your levels.
A cholesterol test looks at the amount of both HDL and LDL cholesterol in your body. It will also show your triglyceride level, which is a type of fat in your bloodstream, as high triglyceride levels can also indicate a higher risk of heart disease.
If youve had a test showing you have high cholesterol levels, lifestyle changes might help you to lower your levels. Reduce your cholesterol by:
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How Do I Know What My Hdl Level Is
A blood test can measure your cholesterol levels, including HDL. When and how often you should get this 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
What Does Ldl Cholesterol Do
LDL is considered the bad cholesterol. It carries cholesterol to your arteries, where it may collect in the vessel walls and contribute to plaque formation, known as atherosclerosis. This can lead to decreased blood flow to the heart muscle , leg muscles , or abrupt closure of an artery in the heart or brain, leading to a heart attack or stroke. Over a third of the US population has high LDL cholesterol. Diagnosis is made via blood testing, so if you dont check, you wont know.
For LDL, the lower the number the better. A good goal to keep in mind is less than 130 mg/dL if you dont have atherosclerotic disease or diabetes. It should be no more than 100 mg/dL, or even 70mg/dL, if you have any of those conditions or high total cholesterol. Its very important to set your own target cholesterol levels with your doctor. Obesity, a large waist circumference, a sedentary lifestyle, or a diet rich in red meat, full-fat dairy, saturated fat, trans fats, and processed foods can lead to high LDL cholesterol.
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