High Density Lipoproteins

Written by Helen Glenn Court
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High density lipoproteins play an important role in coronary heart disease. One of two cholesterols in the body, it is more commonly known as HDL, the good cholesterol. It is called this because it inhibits oxidation of LDL, the bad cholesterol, in the bloodstream and thus the build-up in the arteries that leads to heart attack and stroke.

Three factors play the largest role in stimulating levels of high density lipoproteins in the body. First is an active lifestyle with plenty of regular aerobic exercise. Second is a diet low in saturated fats and high in fruits and vegetables, whole grains and legumes. Third is maintaining a height proportionate body weight. Studies indicate that very light alcoholic intake, perhaps several drinks per week, can enhance levels of high density lipoproteins. Smoking, however, reduces them, as does ongoing excess weight and obesity.

If genetics or previous personal history include coronary heart disease, however, diet and exercise will probably not be enough. There are a number of medications, both pharmaceutical and holistic, to help control levels of lipoproteins. It is very important to consult with your physician

Maintaining High Density Lipoproteins

The ideal adult level of high density lipoproteins should be at least 40 mg/dL. Levels closer to 60 mg/dL are considered extremely good. Raising the level of high density lipoproteins by as little as 1 mg/dL is shown to reduce the risk of heart disease by as much as 2 to 4 percent. in patients with a history of known heart disease, treatment usually encourages raising levels by 10 mg/dL.


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