When Is Cholesterol Too Low
Theres no consensus on how low is too low for cholesterol. The Mayo Clinic suggest that LDL cholesterol is very low if less than 40 mg per deciliter of blood. Even then, there are no confirmed risks to very low cholesterol. And, any risks would also have to account for other factors, such as lipid peroxidation, antioxidant status, and other blood lipid levels.
Most doctors still consider a level of 70 mg/dL as the target to help their patients reach by using statins and other medications. Even at this LDL-C level, though, theres still an increased risk of cardiovascular events. So, as with so many things, how low is too low depends on the individual.
How To Lower Cholesterol: Know Your Fats
The American Heart Association recommends that just 25% to 35% of your daily calories come from fats such as those found in fish, nuts, and vegetable oils. For healthy people, saturated fat should comprise no more than 7% of your total calories. On a 2,000 calorie-a-day diet, thatâs about 140 calories worth of saturated fat. If you need to lower your LDL cholesterol, limit saturated fat to 5% to 6% of calories, or about 11 to 13 grams of saturated fat on a 2,000-calorie diet. Reduce trans fats to less than 1% of your total daily calories. This means avoiding fried foods and many junk foods.
Myth: I Dont Need Statins Or Other Medicines For My Cholesterol I Can Manage My Cholesterol With Diet And Exercise
Fact: Although many people can achieve good cholesterol levels by making healthy food choices and getting enough physical activity, some people may also need medicines called statins to lower their cholesterol levels. Guidelinesexternal icon also suggest that other medicines in addition to statins may be needed to help control cholesterol.2
People who may need statins or other medicines to manage cholesterol levels include the following:
- People with familial hypercholesterolemia or people with very high levels of bad cholesterol. FH is a genetic condition that causes very high LDL cholesterol levels beginning at a young age. If left untreated, cholesterol levels will continue to get worse. This greatly raises the risk for heart disease, heart attack, and stroke at a young age.
- People with cardiovascular disease . People with CVD may already have narrowed arteries because of too much plaque. Medicines that lower cholesterol may help reduce the risk for heart attack or stroke.
- People with diabetes.Type 2 diabetes lowers HDL or good cholesterol levels and raises bad cholesterol levels. This combination raises your risk of heart disease and stroke.
Other groups of people may also need medicines to manage their cholesterol, including people who have a high risk for CVD. Always talk to your health care provider about the best ways to manage your cholesterol.
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Can Your Cholesterol Be Too Low
Unlike a lot of men, the writer never worried about cholesterol â until some surprising studies linked low cholesterol to violent behavior.
âBut wait,â I object, telling her that my cholesterol level has always been on the low side. No use. Not once but twice, she jabs the tip of my finger and squeezes out a few drops of blood to test. The numbers remain stubbornly low: barely over 120. The average for most people is around 180.
As usual, I feel an absurd swell of pride at the results of the blood test, as if Iâve just passed an exam with flying colors. Iâve always counted myself lucky. Unlike a lot of men, I donât have to worry about cholesterolâ that notorious clogger of arteries.
Or so I thought. Then, a few months ago I read a headline that made me wonder: Low Cholesterol Linked to Violence, Suicide.
Violence? Suicide? Is it possible that someoneâs cholesterol level might be too low?
How Often Should I Get My Cholesterol Checked
Your provider will tell you how often you need your cholesterol checked. It depends on your:
- Age: The older you get, the more often you need to have your numbers checked.
- Family history: If you have a close biological family member with a history of heart disease, you face a higher risk of heart problems, too. You may need cholesterol tests more often if your family member has high cholesterol or a history of heart attack or stroke.
- Risk factors for heart disease: If youve been diagnosed with heart disease or have risk factors, youll need cholesterol tests more often.
- Sex assigned at birth: People assigned male at birth need more frequent tests starting at a younger age compared with people assigned female at birth.
Children and teens age 19 and younger should get their first test between ages 9 and 11. Then, they should receive a test every five years. Your childs provider may recommend starting at a younger age based on family history.
Here are general guidelines for adults based on sex and age.
People assigned male at birth
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What Is The Most Common Cause Of High Triglycerides
A poor diet is by far the most common cause of high triglyceride levels, says Freeman. I consider high triglycerides as a marker that someone may not be eating as well as they should, he says. Excess calories and sugar are turned into triglycerides before being stored as fat, notes Cleveland Clinic.
Myth: I Cant Do Anything To Change My Cholesterol Levels
Fact: You can do many things to improve your cholesterol levels and keep them in a healthy range!
- Get tested at least every 5 years .1,2 Learn more about cholesterol screenings.
- Make healthy food choices. Limit foods high in saturated fats. Choose foods naturally high in fiber and unsaturated fats. Learn more about healthy diets and nutrition at CDCs nutrition, physical activity, and obesity website.
- Be active every day. The Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends that adults get 150 to 300 minutes of moderate physical activity each week. Learn more about physical activity basics and tips.
- Dont smoke or use tobacco products. Smoking damages your blood vessels, speeds up the hardening of the arteries, and greatly increases your risk for heart disease. If you dont smoke, dont start. If you do smoke, quitting will lower your risk for heart disease. Learn more about tobacco use and ways to quit at CDCs smoking and tobacco use website.
- Talk with your health care provider about ways to manage your cholesterol if any medicines are given to you to manage your cholesterol, take them as they are prescribed. Learn more about medicines to lower cholesterol.
- Know your family history. If your parents or other immediate family members have high cholesterol, you probably should be tested more often. You could have a condition called familial hypercholesterolemia .
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How Can I Lower My Cholesterol Level
The first step in reducing your cholesterol is to maintain a healthy, balanced diet. It’s important to keep your diet low in fatty food.
You can swap food containing saturated fat for fruit, vegetables and wholegrain cereals. This will also help prevent high cholesterol returning.
Other lifestyle changes, such as taking regular exercise and giving up smoking, can also make a big difference in helping to lower your cholesterol.
If these measures don’t reduce your cholesterol and you continue to have a high risk of developing heart disease, your GP may prescribe a cholesterol-lowering medication, such as statins.
Your GP will take into account the risk of any side effects from statins. The benefit of lowering your cholesterol must outweigh any risks.
Read more about how high cholesterol is treated
High Cholesterol: Prevention Treatment And Research
Cholesterol is a natural component in everyones blood. However, when you have too much of this fatty substance, its considered hyperlipidemia, hypercholesterolemia or high blood cholesterola major risk factor for heart attack, heart disease and stroke. About 71 million Americans have high cholesterol.
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Cholesterol Myths And Facts
Cholesterol can be confusing! Learn answers to common questions about blood cholesterol.
What do your cholesterol numbers mean? Can the foods you eat change your cholesterol levels?
Learn the difference between cholesterol myth and fact. Then commit to getting your cholesterol checked this year so you know your numbers and your risk for heart disease and stroke.
Commit to getting your cholesterol checked this year so you know your numbers and your risk for heart disease and stroke.
Low Levels Of ‘bad’ Cholesterol May Have A Downside
When it comes to “bad” cholesterol, lower is usually better for heart disease risk. But a new study suggests it may be possible for cholesterol levels to be too low.
The study researchers found that low levels of “bad” cholesterol, known as LDL cholesterol, were tied to an increased risk of hemorrhagic stroke, which occurs when a blood vessel bursts in the brain.
The findings suggest that, “as is true with many things in nutrition, moderation and balance is key when deciding the optimal target level of LDL cholesterol,” study senior author Dr. Xiang Gao, an associate professor of nutritional sciences at Penn State, said in a statement. “You can’t go to either extreme too high or too low.”
The authors said the findings, which were published yesterday in the journal Neurology, might help further refine recommendations for healthy cholesterol levels. For example, people who are at high risk for hemorrhagic stroke, because of risk factors such as having a family history of the condition, might be better off aiming for cholesterol targets that aren’t quite as stringent as would otherwise be recommended.
Still, the findings will need to be confirmed by further research. Although the new study was large, involving nearly 100,000 people, all of the participants lived in a single city in China, and it’s unclear how well the findings apply to other populations.
People should discuss their optimal cholesterol targets with their doctor, Gao told Live Science.
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How To Lower Your Cholesterol
If youve been told that you have high cholesterol or you just want to prevent it what can you do?
There are several ways to manage it, including:
Medication: Depending on your overall cardiovascular disease risk, you might be treated with a cholesterol-lowering medication, such as a statin. The decision to use a statin is based on a womans overall risk for heart attack and stroke including all these factors and the LDL cholesterol value.
If you already have vascular disease or evidence of atherosclerosis, or if you are at high risk for cardiovascular disease, a statin for prevention is strongly recommended because this treats the plaque in the arteries, and lowers LDL cholesterol, Michos says.
Diet and lifestyle:Diet and lifestyle are very important to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Even for women who are recommended to take cholesterol-lowering medications, a healthy lifestyle helps these drugs work better, says Michos.
Heres how to maintain a lifestyle that promotes healthy cholesterol levels:
Add these to your shopping list:
- Fatty fish such as salmon, trout, mackerel, sardines and albacore tuna
- Nuts, including walnuts, pecans, almonds and hazelnuts
- Olive oil to drizzle lightly over your salads and vegetables
While nobody wants to have high cholesterol, there are plenty of ways to keep it in check. With regular checkups and attention to what you eat, its possible to manage your cholesterol and blood fats to keep your heart healthy, says Michos.
How Quickly Can I Lower My Cholesterol
Your cholesterol levels may lower as quickly as a few weeks to a few months, depending on your treatment plan.
If your levels are very high, your healthcare provider may recommend taking medications at the start of your treatment plan. This may help lower your cholesterol levels more quickly. The sooner you can lower your bad cholesterol levels, the sooner you can lower your risk for plaques to form.
You can also lower your cholesterol through lifestyle and diet changes alone, but it may take three to six months to see results. Talk with your healthcare provider to figure out the best treatment plan for you.
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How Can I Lower My Cholesterol Naturally
For many people, revamping everyday habits can go a long way toward lowering cholesterol without medication. There are a number of lifestyle changes that can be made, and they fall under the categories of diet and exercise, says Dr. Khandwalla.
Eating heart-healthy foods is a great place to start. This means reducing your intake of red meat and full-fat dairy products, both of which contain saturated fats that raise cholesterol. Instead, focus on eating lean proteins chicken, turkey, seafood and adding more soluble fiber to your diet from fruits, vegetables, and oatmeal, according to the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute . Getting aerobic exercise most days of the week can also help lower cholesterol.
Continue Learning About Cholesterol
Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.
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Is Coffee Bad For Triglycerides
Drinking coffeeespecially unfiltered coffeesignificantly contributes to increased levels of total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol , and triglycerides, researchers have reported. The more coffee consumed, the higher the concentrations of LDL-cholesterol and total cholesterol, they found.
Understanding The Highs And Lows Of Cholesterol
You know that too much is dangerous. But what is cholesterol, anyway? Where does it come from? And is it all bad?
Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is found in every cell in the body. Its either made by the body or absorbed from food. Your body needs cholesterol to make important steroid hormones such as estrogen, progesterone and vitamin D. Its also used to make bile acids in the liver these absorb fat during digestion.
So some cholesterol is necessary but bad cholesterol is something you can do without. Excess bad cholesterol in the bloodstream can deposit into the bodys arteries. These deposits are called plaques and result in atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. This is the major cause of heart attacks, strokes and other vascular problems.
Your total cholesterol level is a measure of the total amount of cholesterol circulating in your bloodstream, which includes several components:
- LDL cholesterol: LDL stands for low-density lipoprotein. This is known as the bad cholesterol, which directly contributes to plaque buildup in the arteries. Very low density lipoprotein, or VLDL cholesterol, is another type, which is a precursor to LDL.
- Total cholesterol is VLDL cholesterol plus LDL cholesterol plus HDL cholesterol.
- HDL cholesterol: HDL stands for high-density lipoprotein. Experts think at optimal levels it might help the body get rid of LDL cholesterol.
And guess what? This buildup can start as early as your 20s.
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More Important Than Ldl The Triglyceride/hdl Ratio
by Ford Brewer | Sep 11, 2020 | Plaque, Prediabetes & Diabetes
There are few things that humble me more than my complete and utter buffoonery when it comes to HDL lipidology Peter Attia
Its true of all of us. Thomas Dayspring
Thomas Dayspring is a nationally recognized lipidologist. That means hes an expert on cholesterol, fat, and oil metabolism. And Peter Attia is no slouch in this area. If youd like to spend a few hours hearing cutting-edge concepts in this area, try listening to episodes 20-24 of Attias podcast THE DRIVE.
But be warned that video is very technical. Less than 600 people have started even one of these podcasts. We can only guess how many finished the full 5 hours. I did.
Some information wasnt that new. For example, Attia and Dayspring mentioned that the Framingham study indicates that TG/HDL is 5 times more predictive of heart attack risk than LDL.
They also mentioned that lipoprotein particles pass both cholesterol and fatty acids around like hot potatoes. A few of their concepts also seemed to contradict some basics mentioned later in this article.
Why would I focus this article on such simple concepts?
Because the basics of triglycerides and HDL are critical to health. But the complicated version just isnt understandable, let alone actionable.
I did a simple version of the TG/HDL in a video 3 years ago. It was one of our popular videos.
Many people told me the information saved their lives. Chuck Smith is one of those people.
Research Design And Methods
We performed a retrospective analysis of the medical charts of patients with T1D at the Hospital Universitario Clementino Fraga Filho, in Rio de Janeiro. All patients signed an informed consent and the protocol was approved by the Institutional Review Board. Clinical data, cholesterol, triglycerides, serum glucose and glycated hemoglobin were retrieved. Patients were classified in three groups according to their TG levels: 1) low 2) normal and 3) high TG . None of patients included were engaged in intense physical activity. Chi Square test, Mann Whitney and ANOVA Kruskall Wallis were used to compare groups and Spearman coefficient was used for correlation tests. An alpha < 0.05 was employed and all tests were two-tailed. SPSS 13.0 for Windows was used for statistical analysis.
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Why Cholesterol Matters For Women
Erin Donnelly Michos, M.D., M.H.S.
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.