How Total Cholesterol Is Measured
This is done using a blood test called a lipoprotein panel, which also measures your triglycerides. For this test, you provide a blood sample thats taken after youve fasted for 9 to 12 hours before your test.
Your total cholesterol score is calculated using the equation: HDL level + LDL level + 20% of your triglyceride level.
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Symptoms Of High Cholesterol
Often, there are no specific symptoms of high cholesterol. You could have high cholesterol and not know it.
If you have high cholesterol, your body may store the extra cholesterol in your arteries. These are blood vessels that carry blood from your heart to the rest of your body. A buildup of cholesterol in your arteries is known as plaque. Over time, plaque can become hard and make your arteries narrow. Large deposits of plaque can completely block an artery. Cholesterol plaques can also break apart, leading to formation of a blood clot that blocks the flow of blood.
A blocked artery to the heart can cause a heart attack. A blocked artery to your brain can cause a stroke.
Many people dont discover that they have high cholesterol until they suffer one of these life-threatening events. Some people find out through routine check-ups that include blood tests.
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How To Increase Hdl Cholesterol
Although HDL levels are driven by family genetics, you can improve HDL levels in three key ways:
- If you are a smoker, research clearly shows that quitting smoking can increase HDL.
- Adopting a heart-healthy diet low in fat and high in fiber can also modestly raise your HDL.
- Aerobic exercise can also have positive effects on HDL. Have trouble exercising? Find a buddy research shows it helps motivate you. That exercise can be as simple as increasing the amount of walking you do each week.
Lastly, although primarily used to decrease high LDL, some statin medications may potentially increase HDL levels moderately. Any medical treatment option should be discussed with your doctor. Importantly, high HDL does not protect you from the untoward effects of high LDL.
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What Is Good Cholesterol And Bad Cholesterol
Whenever we hear the word Cholesterol, it is perceived as an alarming situation for our health. But the reality is that our body requires some amount of cholesterol to make hormones, vitamin D and other substances that help us to digest food.
To understand how and why cholesterol is bad for us, we will first have to understand what all constitutes as cholesterol in our body.
HDL, LDL and VLDL are the main factors that decide whether our cholesterol is in control or not, as they are lipoproteins which are a combination of fats and proteins that move through our body. Lets explain this further-
WHAT MAKES CHOLESTEROL GOOD OR BAD?
What Else To Know About Cholesterol
Optimal LDL-lowering therapy alone fails to avert the majority of heart disease. Its well known that lowering LDL cholesterol does, indeed, lower your risk for heart disease. But a sad fact is that despite the effectiveness of statin drugs for reducing heart disease risk, even optimal LDL-lowering therapy alone fails to stop 60% to 70% of coronary heart disease cases. Clearly, theres more to heart disease than LDL cholesterol!
Luckily, by looking beyond just total and LDL cholesterol, you can use your cholesterol ratio from your standard cholesterol test to tell you a lot about your risk for developing heart disease and having a heart attack or stroke. To improve your ratio, either increase your HDL or lower your total cholesterol, or both. Achieving this ratio of 3.5 or less is quite doable for most people using natural healing therapies.
Ingelsson E, Schaefer EJ, Contois JH, McNamara JR, Sullivan L, Keyes MJ, Pencina MJ, Schoonmaker C, Wilson PW, DAgostino RB, Vasan RS. Clinical utility of different lipid measures for prediction of coronary heart disease in men and women. JAMA. 2007 Aug 15 298:776-85.
Zhang L, Qiao Q, Tuomilehto J, et al DECODE Study Group. The impact of dyslipidaemia on cardiovascular mortality in individuals without a prior history of diabetes in the DECODE Study. Atherosclerosis. 2009 Sep 206:298-302.
This post originally appeared in 2012 and is regularly updated.
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How Often Should You Test Your Cholesterol
The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and the American Heart Association recommend that men ages 45 to 65 and women ages 55 to 65 get tested every one to two years.
The test for non-HDL cholesterol isn’t usually part of screening for your total cholesterol, but your healthcare provider may ask you to check these levels if you have high blood pressure, diabetes, or other risk factors for heart disease.
Ldl Cholesterol: ‘bad’ Cholesterol
Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, often referred to as “bad” cholesterol, is the type that tends to deposit on the walls of the arteries. White blood cells combine with the LDL cholesterol, forming artery-narrowing plaque, which restricts blood flow. The optimal level of LDL cholesterol for most people is 100 mg/dL or lower. If you have heart disease, you may need to strive for LDL levels of 70 mg/dL or lower.
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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.
What Do Hdl And Ldl Mean
LDL and HDL are the two main types of cholesterol that make up your total cholesterol.
- HDL , or good cholesterol, may protect the body against narrowing blood vessels
- LDL , or bad cholesterol, may make arterial narrowing worse
There is a third type of cholesterol called VLDL , which is another type of bad cholesterol produced in the liver, and contains a high amount of triglycerides.
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How Cholesterol Moves Around The Body
Cholesterol is a white, insoluble and waxy substance. It is carried around the body by two key transport systems in the blood, which include:
- Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol carries most of the cholesterol that is delivered to cells. It is called the bad cholesterol because when its level in the bloodstream is high, it can clog up your arteries.
- High-density lipoprotein cholesterol is called the good cholesterol, because it helps remove excess cholesterol out of the cells, including cells in the arteries.
Effects Of High Cholesterol Levels
The liver is the main processing centre for cholesterol and dietary fat. When we eat animal fats, the liver transports the fat, together with cholesterol in the form of lipoproteins, into our bloodstream.
Too much cholesterol circulating within LDL in our bloodstream leads to fatty deposits developing in the arteries. This causes the vessels to narrow and they can eventually become blocked. This can lead to heart disease and stroke.
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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. Its 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 dont 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.
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Will I Still Be Able To Get Life Insurance If My Cholesterol Is High
Life insurance premiums are dependent on several factors, including cholesterol reading. General health status is one factor in determining rates for an individuals life coverage policy some people might need lower minimums because they have certain conditions that could lead to premature death, like cancer or heart disease. Cholesterol numbers are used to determine risk class in life insurance.
The ratio of total cholesterol over HDL is a common measure taken by underwriters, and it should be five or less for an applicant to receive their desired coverage. Fill in the quote form above to compare life insurance quotes to find a policy suited to your requirements
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Cholesterol: The Good The Bad And The Lipoprotein
Our bodies make and use cholesterol to aid in digestion, and to produce vitamin D and hormones. Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is found in many of the foods we eat, such as egg yolks, fatty meats, dairy products, and saturated oils. Too much cholesterol can cause plaque to build up on the walls of your arteries which can narrow blood flow. This may eventually lead to coronary artery disease or other health complications. Simbo Chiadika, MD, a cardiologist with UT Physicians, explains why.
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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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.
Myth: All Cholesterol Is Bad For You
Fact: Some types of cholesterol are essential for good health. Your body needs cholesterol to perform important jobs, such as making hormones and building cells. Cholesterol travels through the blood on proteins called lipoproteins. Two types of lipoproteins carry cholesterol throughout the body:
- LDL , sometimes called bad cholesterol, makes up most of your bodys cholesterol. High levels of LDL cholesterol raise your risk for heart disease and stroke.
- HDL , or good cholesterol, carries cholesterol back to the liver. The liver then flushes it from the body. High levels of HDL cholesterol can lower your risk for heart disease and stroke.
When your body has too much LDL cholesterol, it can build up in the walls of your blood vessels. This buildup is called plaque. As your blood vessels build up plaque over time, the insides of the vessels narrow. This narrowing can restrict and eventually block blood flow to and from your heart and other organs. When blood flow to the heart is blocked, it can cause angina or a heart attack.
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Plant Sterols Can Lower Cholesterol Levels
Plant sterols are found naturally in plant foods including sunflower and canola seeds, vegetable oils and in nuts, legumes, cereals, fruit and vegetables. Some margarine and milks have concentrated plant sterols added to them. Margarines enriched with plant sterolslower LDL cholesterol in most people if the correct amount is eaten .
What Factors Affect Cholesterol Levels
A variety of factors can affect your cholesterol levels. They include:
- Diet: Saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol in the food you eat increase cholesterol levels. Try to reduce the amount of saturated fat, trans fat and cholesterol in your diet. This will help lower your blood cholesterol level. Saturated and trans fat have the most impact on blood cholesterol.
- Weight: In addition to being a risk factor for heart disease, being overweight can also increase your triglycerides. Losing weight may help lower your triglyceride levels and raise your HDL.
- Exercise: Regular exercise can lower total cholesterol levels. Exercise has the most effect on lowering triglycerides and raising HDL. You should try to be physically active for 30 minutes on most days of the week.
- Age and sex: As we get older, cholesterol levels rise. Before menopause, women tend to have lower total cholesterol levels than men of the same age. After menopause, however, womens LDL levels tend to rise and HDL can drop.
- Heredity: Your genes partly determine how much cholesterol your body makes. High blood cholesterol can run in families.
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Why Is It Good
Due to the fact that cholesterol cannot dissolve in the blood, it counts on lipoproteins to transport it to and from cells. Good cholesterol is responsible for sweeping the artery-clogging bad cholesterol from the blood stream and taking it to the liver, adrenals, ovaries, and testes. In essence, HDL cholesterol is the good cholesterol since it gets rid of bad cholesterol from the body. Because of this, HDL cholesterol is responsible for lowering the hardening of the arteries, which decreases your risk of heart attack or heart disease.
Research has likewise found that having a low HDL level increases your chances of amnesia and dementia.
How Is The Total Cholesterol Or Blood Cholesterol Test Done
A blood test is a routine test. A phlebotomist is a person whose job is to draw blood. Blood is usually drawn from the vein in your arm. You will sit down and the phlebotomist will wrap a rubber band around your upper arm so that the vein in your elbow sticks out. Then they will use a needle to puncture the vein and remove blood. The blood is sent to the lab to be examined.
Youve probably been at health fairs where testing is offered. In that case, the person performing the test takes a drop of blood from your finger. The finger-stick test uses a small blade to poke a hole in the tip of your finger to get the blood.
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What Affects Cholesterol Levels
There are a variety of factors that can affect cholesterol levels. Some risk factors are within your control, while others are not:
- Genetics: These factors include familial hypercholesterolemia and a family history of heart disease.
- Sex: Males often have higher levels of LDL. After menopause, a woman’s LDL levels can also increase.
- Weight: People who are overweight or obese are at increased risk of having high cholesterol.
- Sedentary lifestyle: Lack of physical activity can increase the risk of overweight and obesity and, in turn, increase cholesterol levels.
- Diet: Overall diet quality can affect cholesterol in a negative way, including eating too many saturated and trans fats and not enough fiber.
- Age: Your body’s ability to clear cholesterol can be impacted as you age.
- Race and ethnicity: There are different rates of high cholesterol based on race/ethnicity and sex, with the highest rates among males in Hispanics and the highest rates among females in non-Hispanic Whites.
- Smoking: Smoking can increase your bad cholesterol and lower your good cholesterol.
- Other medical conditions: Having a previous history of high cholesterol, heart disease, or diabetes can increase your risk of developing high cholesterol.