Why Is It Good
HDL cholesterol is known as good cholesterol because of the functions it performs in the body. By circulating in the bloodstream, it helps remove other forms of cholesterol by absorbing it and carrying it to the liver. The liver can then reprocess the cholesterol for use or send it out of the body as waste.
This process helps keep extra cholesterol from attaching to the lining of the arteries and becoming plaque. Plaque is a mixture of cholesterol and other fatty substances that attaches to the walls of the arteries. Over time, this can build up and cause the opening of the arteries to become narrower a condition called atherosclerosis.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute notes that atherosclerosis is a risk factor for serious complications. Narrow arteries may lead to risk factors for heart disease, such as high blood pressure. Additionally, narrow arteries may be more susceptible to blood clots, which can put a person at risk of severe events such as heart attack or stroke.
The combination of keeping total cholesterol down while keeping HDL cholesterol high may help reduce this risk and prevent cardiovascular disease.
What Are The Types Of Cholesterol
Cholesterol moves throughout the body carried by lipoproteins in the blood. These lipoproteins include:
- Low-density lipoprotein is one of the two main lipoproteins. LDL is often called the bad cholesterol.
- High-density lipoprotein is the other main lipoprotein. HDL is often called the good cholesterol.
- Very-low-density lipoproteins are particles in the blood that carry triglycerides.
Lowercholesterol What Are The Parameters Of Normal Ldl
#goodcholesterol what is a good non hdl cholesterol number . Here are the healthy levels of cholesterol, based on. Cholesterol levels should be measured at least once every 5 years in everyone over age 20. Cholesterol numbers are measured in milligrams per deciliter . The screening test that is usually done is a blood test called a lipid profile.
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What Is An Optimal Cholesterol Ratio
The optimum ratio of total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol is 3.5 according to the American Heart Association. So if your total cholesterol is 200, you would need an HDL of at least 57 to achieve the optimal ratio of 3.5. Anything less than 3.5 is even better, while anything greater than 3.5 is considered a less-than-optimal cholesterol ratio, which increases your risk of cardiovascular disease.
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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What Are Recommended Cholesterol Levels By Age
Lipids are the by-products of common fat we eat. Lipids are classified as triglycerides , diglycerides , and steroids. Cholesterol is a steroid helping in the formation of cell membranes and hormones. Further, this cholesterol is classified as Low-Density Lipoprotein or LDL, and High-Density Lipoprotein or HDL also called good cholesterol. VLDL is another type of cholesterol secreted by the liver into your bloodstream. VLDL stands for Very-Low Density Lipoprotein. Lipoproteins are formed partly by proteins and partly fat. All three types of lipoproteins vary in the proportion that is made of cholesterol, protein, and triglycerides. VLDL has more of triglycerides, LDL more of cholesterol, and HDL more of protein. That is the reason, LDL and VLDL are together known as the bad cholesterol, they both have a significant role in the formation of plaque. Now, plaque is a thick solid sticky mass made of fat, cholesterol, calcium, and other similar substances that get deposited in the arterial lumen interrupting the blood flow.
All in all, both types of bad cholesterol adversely affects your heart health either by getting deposited in the lumen of your arteries or under your skin and in the liver. If the lumen is completely choked, the organ may not get any blood supply. The plaque may burst and move to smaller arteries blocking them completely.
According to the American Heart Association, the following are the age-wise recommended cholesterol levels:
Add These Foods To Lower Ldl Cholesterol
Different foods lower cholesterol in various ways. Some deliver soluble fiber, which binds cholesterol and its precursors in the digestive system and drags them out of the body before they get into circulation. Some give you polyunsaturated fats, which directly lower LDL. And some contain plant sterols and stanols, which block the body from absorbing cholesterol.
1. Oats. An easy first step to lowering your cholesterol is having a bowl of oatmeal or cold oat-based cereal like Cheerios for breakfast. It gives you 1 to 2 grams of soluble fiber. Add a banana or some strawberries for another half-gram. Current nutrition guidelines recommend getting 20 to 35 grams of fiber a day, with at least 5 to 10 grams coming from soluble fiber.
2. Barley and other whole grains. Like oats and oat bran, barley and other whole grains can help lower the risk of heart disease, mainly via the soluble fiber they deliver.
3. Beans. Beans are especially rich in soluble fiber. They also take a while for the body to digest, meaning you feel full for longer after a meal. That’s one reason beans are a useful food for folks trying to lose weight. With so many choices from navy and kidney beans to lentils, garbanzos, black-eyed peas, and beyond and so many ways to prepare them, beans are a very versatile food.
4. Eggplant and okra. These two low-calorie vegetables are good sources of soluble fiber.
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Medication May Be Needed
For some people, diet and lifestyle changes are not enough. High blood cholesterol levels often have a genetic component. Some people inherit altered genes that cause high cholesterol and this cannot usually be changed sufficiently by lifestyle or diet.
If you are at risk of coronary heart disease and your LDL cholesterol level doesnt drop after scrupulous attention to diet, your doctor may recommend medications to force your blood LDL levels down. Cell cholesterol levels, however, remain normal, so lowering blood cholesterol has no effect on most cell metabolic processes.
Some people get muscle aches from statins, which are the most commonly used medication to lower blood cholesterol. However, diet and exercise will still be important, even if you are taking medication. Your doctor may also refer you to a specialist who treats cardiovascular disease.
Medicines To Lower Your Cholesterol Level
Medicines called statins are most often used to lower cholesterol levels. There are other cholesterol-lowering medicines that your doctor might prescribe, like resins, fibrates, and niacin. If you need to take a medicine to lower your cholesterol level, your doctor will help you find the one that works best for you.
Estrogen replacement therapy lowers your bad cholesterol level and raises your good cholesterol level. However, studies have not shown that it lowers the risk of heart disease.
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Risks Of Untreated High Cholesterol
High cholesterol often produces no signs and symptoms, but the health consequences can be severe.
When there is too much cholesterol in the blood, it builds up in the arteries alongside fat and other substances, forming deposits called plaque. The accumulation of plaque narrows the arteries and reduces and slows the blood flow to the heart. If the blood supply to any part of the heart becomes blocked, a heart attack can occur.
What Are Cholesterol Levels
- LDL cholesterol is often referred to as “bad” cholesterol because too much of it can build up in your arteries and form plaques, which increases the risk of heart disease .
- HDL cholesterol is often referred to as “good” cholesterol as it carries cholesterol to the liver to be broken down and excreted.
Since your total cholesterol is a combination of your LDL cholesterol and your HDL cholesterol, ideally you want to keep your LDL levels low and your HDL levels high. There are many factors that can influence your cholesterol, including, diet, exercise, weight, genetics, and other health conditions.
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Why Age Is A Factor
The recommended ranges for your cholesterol will vary based on age and gender. As people get older, cholesterol levels rise naturally. For example, people who have gone through menopause may have higher LDL and lower HDL cholesterol levels.
The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children’s cholesterol levels be checked between ages 9 and 11.
However, children with certain risk factors, such as those whose parents or grandparents have had heart attacks or been diagnosed with blocked arteries at age 55 or earlier in males or 65 or earlier in females, should be tested for cholesterol between ages 2 and 10.
What Is High Cholesterol
Cholesterol is a waxy substance that is made by the liver and obtained through the diet. It can be found in the fats in your blood. High cholesterol is when you have high amounts of cholesterol in the blood.
Cholesterol is essential in order for your body to continue building healthy cells, however having high cholesterol can increase your risk of heart disease. This is because it can lead to a build-up of fatty deposits in your blood vessels, which overtime can make it difficult for enough blood to flow through your arteries and consequently to your heart.
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What Makes Good Cholesterol High
Some hormones, such as estrogen or thyroid hormone, increase HDL concentrations. Exercise and moderate alcohol consumption are associated with higher HDL, too, according to research. The right food choices can lower your LDL levels, which improves your HDL to LDL ratio. Learn more about your cholesterol ratio here.
How Often Should You Get Your Cholesterol Checked
The AHA recommends that everyone age 20 or older have their cholesterol checked every four to six years. After age 40, your doctor should assess your risk and determine how often you need to be tested. The U.S. National Library of Medicine says men over 45 and women over 55 should be tested every one to two years.
Be sure to speak with your doctor about testing your cholesterol. High cholesterol is often caused by poor lifestyle choices, according to the Mayo Clinic. Your doctor will look at all your risk factors and determine how closely your cholesterol needs to be monitored.
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Is My Cholesterol Ratio Healthy
There are several types of cholesterol tests, sometimes called a lipid panel. One test measures a person’s total cholesterol level. A healthy total cholesterol is less than 200 mg/dL, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine. But if a person has high HDL cholesterol , it can cause elevated cholesterol overall. This is why measuring different types of cholesterol is so important.
A ratio is simply a comparison between two numbers. A cholesterol ratio compares a person’s HDL cholesterol to the total cholesterol in the body, according to the Mayo Clinic.
How to Calculate Cholesterol Ratio
This number is found by dividing the total amount of cholesterol by the HDL number. For example, if a person has an overall cholesterol level of 225 mg/dL and an HDL of 80 mg/dL, his or her cholesterol ratio is 2.8-to-1, also written as 2.8:1 or simplified to cholesterol ratio 2.8.
A healthy cholesterol level is no more than 5:1, according to the University of Rochester Medical Center. But the lower the ratio, the better. A ratio of 3.5:1 or lower is considered very good.
However, Robert Eckel, MD, professor of medicine, emeritus, at the University of Colorado, Anschutz Medical Campus, former president of the American Heart Association and president of the American Diabetes Association, doesn’t think cholesterol ratios are the most accurate way to determine a person’s risk for cardiovascular disease.
Whats A Healthy Cholesterol Level
- LDL cholesterol for adults should be below 100 mg/dL.
- HDL cholesterol for men should be over 40 mg/dL.
- HDL cholesterol for women should be over 50 mg/dL.
- Total cholesterol should be between 125 and 200 mg/dL.
Cholesterol levels typically increase with age, which means that it becomes increasingly important to monitor cholesterol levels and take steps to manage your cholesterol as you get older.
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Who Should Get One And How Often
Everyone should get regular cholesterol checks, although the optimal frequency depends on age and certain health risk factors.
The American Heart Association recommends cholesterol testing for most adults every 46 years , starting at the age of 20 years. This testing will continue as long as they have a low risk of stroke or heart attack. After the age of 40 years, a doctor will calculate a persons risk and may suggest more frequent testing.
Some people have an increased risk of developing high cholesterol and may need additional testing. These individuals include:
- people with a family history of heart disease or high cholesterol
- anyone who had high cholesterol levels in a previous test
- people with type 2 diabetes
lower LDL cholesterol levels than males on average, but their levels may increase after menopause.
Children should also undergo cholesterol tests. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend testing a childs cholesterol levels once at age 911 years and again between the ages of 17 and 21 years.
Cholesterol testing generally does not take place during puberty because hormones can alter the results of the test.
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 varies.
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Is Coffee Bad For Cholesterol
While coffee does not contain cholesterol, it can affect cholesterol levels. The diterpenes in coffee suppress the body’s production of substances involved in cholesterol breakdown, which causes cholesterol to increase. Specifically, coffee diterpenes may cause an increase in total cholesterol and LDL levels.
If Cholesterol Is Necessary Why Do We Have To Worry About How Much We Have
Having enough cholesterol to meet your needs is important. Having too much cholesterol can cause problems. If your cholesterol levels are high, the condition is called hypercholesterolemia. If your cholesterol levels are low, the condition is called hypocholesterolemia. It is not common to have cholesterol levels that are too low, but it can happen.
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Does Age Make A Difference To Recommended Cholesterol Levels
No, recommended cholesterol levels do not change based on age. It was once thought that high cholesterol becomes less of a problem as one ages. However, there is now good evidence that lowering high cholesterol is of benefit even in the elderly.
Previously, there was also concern that some cholesterol-lowering drugs like statins may interfere with ones cognitive function and that this might be more of an issue in the elderly. This has now been debunked. Nevertheless, it is worth starting with a low dose and gradually increasing to avoid any potential side effects.
What Is The Difference Between Good Cholesterol And Bad Cholesterol
Good cholesterol is known as high-density lipoprotein . It removes cholesterol from the bloodstream. Low-density lipoprotein is the bad cholesterol.
If your total cholesterol level is high because of a high LDL level, you may be at higher risk of heart disease or stroke. But, if your total cholesterol level is high only because of a high HDL level, youre probably not at higher risk.
Triglycerides are another type of fat in your blood. When you eat more calories than your body can use, it turns the extra calories into triglycerides.
Changing your lifestyle can improve your cholesterol levels, lower LDL and triglycerides, and raise HDL.
Your ideal cholesterol level will depend on your risk for heart disease.
- Total cholesterol level less than 200 is best, but it depends on your HDL and LDL levels.
- LDL cholesterol levels less than 130 is best, but this depends on your risk for heart disease.
- HDL cholesterol levels 60 or higher reduces your risk for heart disease.
- Triglycerides less than 150 milligrams per deciliter is best.
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