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.
But total cholesterol includes both “good” high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, and the “bad” varieties, chiefly low-density lipoprotein and very-low-density lipoprotein . So, if your total cholesterol is in the desirable category, it’s possible that you may have unhealthy levels of HDL and LDL and VLDL . Think of total cholesterol as a first glimpse, a peek. Doctors are not supposed to make any treatment decisions based on this number alone.
Cholesterol levels can be lowered by stress or infection. An injury, cancer, stroke, or heart attack may have the same effect. So, if your cholesterol levels are unusually high or low, your doctor will probably want to repeat the test some weeks later. Abnormal readings may also lead to tests for other medical problems.
HDL cholesterol. HDL wins its laurels as the “good” cholesterol because it sponges up cholesterol from blood vessel walls and ferries it to the liver for disposal. In contrast, LDL deposits the harmful fat in vessel walls.
An HDL level of 60 or above is associated with a lower risk of heart disease, and below 40 is associated with a higher risk.
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 .
General Information And Causes
Cholesterol is a white, waxy substance that is circulated in the blood. It is essential for your good health as it helps to build cell walls and is used in the manufacture of some hormones.
However, when there is more cholesterol circulating in the blood than the body needs, it can build up on your artery walls, eventually leading to narrowing and hardening of the arteries. This process is known as atherosclerosis and increases the risk of heart attack, stroke and other cardiovascular diseases. More than half of New Zealanders admitted to hospital with a heart attack have high cholesterol levels.
This risk of a cardiovascular health event increases when high blood cholesterol is accompanied by other risk factors such as high blood pressure and a family history of heart disease.
Your liver produces most of the cholesterol circulating in your blood. A diet high in saturated fat stimulates the liver to produce more cholesterol so the saturated fat content of the food you eat is likely to have a strong influence on your blood cholesterol levels.
A small proportion of your blood cholesterol is derived from dietary cholesterol â i.e. cholesterol that is already present in animal foods you might consume .
Other factors that may influence your blood cholesterol levels include:
- Genetic susceptibility to high cholesterol
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Cholestrol Hdl Vs Ldl
LDL cholesterol is often referred to as bad cholesterol. If there is too much LDL cholesterol in the blood, it builds up in the walls of the blood vessels, causing them to narrow and stiffen. A buildup of LDL cholesterol reduces blood flow and can increase the risk of a heart attack or stroke.
HDL or good cholesterol can move LDL cholesterol from the blood to the liver, which breaks it down for disposal as waste. HDL cholesterol is called good cholesterol because it lowers the level of cholesterol in the blood. High HDL is linked to a reduced risk of heart attack and heart disease.
What Are The Main Roles Of Hdl Cholesterol
HDL cholesterol has a protective role against diseases of the heart and blood vessels such as heart attacks and strokes. The cholesterol itself is a fat, so its not the cholesterol that is protective, but the HDL lipoprotein as a whole.
HDL has three main effects
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What Are The Types Of Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance found in the cells of the body. You need cholesterol in order to perform different functions in your body, however not all cholesterol is created equal.
High-density lipoprotein cholesterol is considered the good type of cholesterol, while low-density lipoprotein cholesterol is considered the bad type of cholesterol. Total cholesterol is a combined total measure of all the different types of cholesterol in your blood.
How Can I Lower My Ldl Level
There are two main ways to lower your LDL cholesterol:
- Therapeutic lifestyle changes . TLC includes three parts:
- Heart-healthy eating. A heart-healthy eating plan limits the amount of saturated and trans fats that you eat. Examples of eating plans that can lower your cholesterol include the Therapeutic Lifestyle Changes diet and the DASH eating plan.
- Weight Management. If you are overweight, losing weight can help lower your LDL cholesterol.
- Physical Activity. Everyone should get regular physical activity .
- Drug Treatment. If lifestyle changes alone do not lower your cholesterol enough, you may also need to take medicines. There are several types of cholesterol-lowering drugs available, including statins. The medicines work in different ways and can have different side effects. Talk to your health care provider about which one is right for you. While you are taking medicines to lower your cholesterol, you still should continue with the lifestyle changes.
Some people with familial hypercholesterolemia may receive a treatment called lipoprotein apheresis. This treatment uses a filtering machine to remove LDL cholesterol from the blood. Then the machine returns the rest of the blood back to the person.
NIH: National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute
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How Do I Raise Hdl Cholesterol
- Include in your diet foods that are rich in soluble fiber and omega-3 acids. Among the foods that contain a high content of soluble fiber are brown rice, whole grains, oats, and fruits like apples and grapes. Likewise, foods such as dark green vegetables, sunflower oil, and canola oil are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids.
- Include at least two to three servings of soy products in your diet per day.
- Avoid the use of foods containing trans-fatty acids, such as cookies, cakes, and French fries.
- Limit the intake of high fat dairy products and opt for lower fat options instead.
- Reduce the consumption of alcohol. Consuming a limited amount of wine can be effective to elevate HDL cholesterol levels and your metabolism.
- Perform aerobic exercises such as walking, jogging, and cycling regularly. Also see
How To Calculate Cholesterol Ratios
There are three indicators that describe your heart disease risk with high accuracy. They are all built as ratios of the aforementioned blood results, and are therefore called cholesterol ratios.
Are you wondering what a good cholesterol ratio is? You can use this total cholesterol calculator to find the following values:
- ideal: below 2.0
- good: below 5.0
- too high: above 5.0
If you measure the values in mg/dL, the normal range for the triglyceride HDL ratio is:
- ideal: 2.0 or less
- high: 4.0 â 6.0
- too high: 6.0 or above
For a calculation of this ratio in mmol/L , the normal range of the ratio value is different:
- ideal: 0.87 or less
- high: 1.74 â 2.62
- too high: 2.62 or above
Check out our cholesterol units calculator to fully understand the conversion between mmol/L and mg/dL units.
- ideal: under 3.5
- bad: over 5.0
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Total Cholesterol Hdl Ldl And Triglycerides
Our cholesterol ratio calculator takes into account four basic blood test results. All recommended levels are according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute within the National Institutes of Health.
You only need to input three of your results – they are dependent on each other according to the formula:
total cholesterol = HDL + LDL + 0.2 * triglycerides
- Desirable: Less than 200 mg/dL
- Borderline high: 200 – 239 mg/dL
- High: 240 mg/dL and above
- Optimal: 60 mg/dL and above
- Borderline: 40 – 59 mg/dL
- Risk of heart disease: Less than 40 mg/dL
- Optimal: Less than 100 mg/dL
- Near optimal/above optimal: 100 – 129 mg/dL
- Borderline high: 130 – 159 mg/dL
- High: 160 – 189 mg/dL
- Very high: 190 mg/dL and above
- Normal: Less than 150 mg/dL
- Borderline high: 150 – 199 mg/dL
- High: 200 – 499 mg/dL
- Very high: 500 mg/dL or above
How Is High Cholesterol Diagnosed
A blood test, specifically a lipid panel or lipid profile, will show your total cholesterol levels.
The measured total cholesterol level is made up of your LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and 20% of triglycerides .
For an accurate reading, you should not eat or drink anything between nine and twelve hours before the sample is taken.
In Australia, cholesterol levels are measured in millimoles per litre .
The range below is a guide for a healthy blood cholesterol level.
- Total cholesterol should be between: 3.9 5.5 mmol/L
- HDL should be between: 0.9 2.1 mmol/L
- LDL should be between: 1.7-3.5 mmol/L
- Triglycerides should be between: 0.5 1.7 mmol/L
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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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What Is The Normal Range For Cholesterol Hdl Ratio
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Also question is, is a 2.5 cholesterol ratio good?
If your number is between 60 and 74 mg/dL, your risk for coronary heart disease is below average. Your total-cholesterol-to-HDL ratio can be figured out by dividing your total cholesterol number by your HDL cholesterol number. A ratio below 3.5:1 is considered very good.
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|Type of Cholesterol
|40mg/dL or higher
Keeping this in view, what is normal cholesterol ratio?
Doctors calculate an individual’s cholesterol ratio by dividing their total cholesterol by their high-density lipoprotein level. The optimal ratio is between 3.5 and 1. A higher ratio increases the risk of heart disease.
Is 4.3 a good cholesterol level?
As a general guide, total cholesterol levels should be 5mmol/L or less for healthy adults or 4mmol/L or less for those at high risk. However LDL levels should be 3mmol/L or less for healthy adults or 2mmol/L or less for those at high risk. âThis is your total cholesterol level divided by your HDL level.
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|under 150 mg/dL
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If Your Ratio Of Triglycerides To Hdl Cholesterol Is High How Can You Lower It
One of the most powerful solutions Ive found for promoting a healthy triglyceride to HDL cholesterol ratio is an extract from the citrus bergamot orange grown in the Calabria area of Italy. Research has shown it helps to lower triglycerides and increase HDL cholesterol levels. Another important benefit is that it helps to reduce blood glucose levels.
The research that turned me on to this nutrient was conducted by Italian pharmacobiologists in 2011. In their trial, they documented significant reductions in triglycerides and blood sugar, along with a solid boost for the group taking the extract from the citrus bergamot orange. Plus, lifestyle changes can also help your triglyceride to HDL cholesterol ratio.
Why High Cholesterol Matters
High cholesterol puts you at risk for heart disease and stroke, leading causes of death in the U.S. High levels of LDL cholesterol can contribute to plaque buildup on the walls of the arteries, narrowing the arteries and restricting blood flow. If some of this plaque breaks off and gets stuck in a narrowed artery, it can block the artery and cut off blood supply to the heart or brain, resulting in heart attack or stroke.
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Cholesterol Levels For Men And Women
HDL levels differ for men and women
Women naturally have higher HDL cholesterol levels than men due to differences in the genes. Women should aim for an HDL cholesterol level above 1.2mmol/L while men should aim for above 1mmol/L.
Cholesterol levels can rise during pregnancy
During pregnancy, both cholesterol and triglyceride levels can significantly rise. We don’t recommend getting a cholesterol test during pregnancy because your results won’t be accurate. Our advice is to wait until at least 6-8 weeks after your baby is born or after you stop breastfeeding to get a cholesterol test. This means you don’t need to worry unnecessarily. Find out more about pregnancy and blood fats.
Cholesterol levels rise during the menopause
Women may also find their cholesterol levels rise during the menopause.
Treating High Hdl Cholesterol
If you don’t have any symptoms or other heart disease risks, you might not need any treatment for high HDL cholesterol. You may be able to lower your HDL by drinking less alcohol and eating a low-fat diet. It might also help to change your medication if you take a statin or another drug that raises HDL levels.
Stay on top of your cholesterol levels with regular blood tests. Ask your doctor how often you need cholesterol screening based on your risks.
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How Can You Prevent High Cholesterol Levels And Coronary Heart Disease
Prevention methods are very much the same as treatment methods. First, dont smoke. If you do smoke, make plans to quit now. Find ways to add physical activity to each of your days. Take steps to keep your weight in a healthy range. Eat well. Consider following the Mediterranean diet. It is the only diet proven to reduce the risk of heart disease. Take care of any other medical conditions you might have by following your healthcare providers advice and instructions. Learn to really relax and calm down.
Cholesterol Chart For Adults
Your doctor may recommend a plan of treatment for high cholesterol that includes lifestyle modifications and potentially medication. This will vary based on factors like other medications you may be taking, your age, sex, and general health.
Here are some medications more commonly prescribed for high cholesterol:
- Statins.Statins lower the LDL cholesterol levels by slowing the production of cholesterol by the liver.
- Bile acid sequestrants.Bile acid sequestrants are substances used in digestion. These resins can reduce cholesterol levels in the blood by binding to bile acids and removing them, forcing the body to break down LDL cholesterol to create bile acids instead.
- Cholesterol absorption inhibitors.Cholesterol absorption inhibitors can block the absorption of cholesterol from the diet, sometimes in conjunction with statins.
- Bempedoic acid.Bempedoic acid helps to stop an enzyme in the liver, ATP citrate lyase, from making cholesterol. This drug is often combined with statins for increased benefit for those with familial hypercholesterolemia, an inherited condition that can cause early heart disease.
- PCSK9 inhibitors. Also used frequently with familial hypercholesterolemia, PCSK9 inhibitors, which are injected drugs, help the liver absorb and remove more LDL cholesterol from the blood.
Medications can also be used to treat contributing factors to cholesterol like triglycerides. These may be used in addition to some of the medications above.
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