What can low hdl mean for you? What is HDL and why are decreased levels significant in relation to heart disease?
Cholesterol is a fatty substance that is transported to and from body cells by lipoproteins. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) circulates in the blood, but it can slowly build up in the walls of the arteries that feed the heart and brain. A high level of LDL cholesterol (160 mg/dL and above) can mean an increased risk of heart disease.
Low hdl cholesterol is also dangerous. Medical experts believe that high-density lipoprotein (HDL) helps to carry cholesterol away from the arteries and back to the liver, where it is passed from the body. It is also thought that HDL removes excess cholesterol from plaques and can slow their growth. HDL is the “good guy” because a high level seems to protect against heart attack.
It can be seen, then, why having low hdl (less than 40 mg/dL in men; less than 50 mg/dL in women) would increase risk.
Remember, cholesterol and other fats cannot dissolve in the blood. Lipoproteins play a crucial role in regulation of them. If you have low hdl cholesterol levels, your risk of heart attack and stroke is greater because you are not excreting these substances as you should be.
What can you do to raise low hdl? Regular physical activity may prove beneficial for some people.
HDL cholesterol less than 35mg/dL is a risk factor, even if your total cholesterol is within limits. The first step in raising low hdl cholesterol levels is in making lifestyle changes.
Quitting smoking, engaging in regular aerobic exercise, and losing excess weight can raise low hdl.
Soluble fiber, as found in whole grains (oats, oat bran, and brown rice) and in fruits such as apples, grapes, and pears, and in legumes and lentils can help, if you are trying to raise low hdl cholesterol. Omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and in cold-pressed flaxseed oil, in safflower, sunflower, and canola oil, can offer protective benefits.
Eating soy products may also help when attempting to raise low hdl. Tofu or texturized vegetable protein can be incorporated into sauces or soups.
Avoid sugar, flour, potatoes, and white rice if you have low hdl cholesterol and are attempting to raise it. Studies prove that it drops dramatically when blood sugar is affected by carbohydrates.
Additionally, a natural supplement containing vitamins, minerals, and herbal extracts can make a significant difference in relation to heart health. Certain key ingredients have outperformed statin drugs in clinical trials, while proving far safer for those taking them.
Policosanol is an exciting substance that lowers undesirable LDL while raising low hdl levels in patients. Studies have shown a correlation between vitamin E and lower rates of ischemic heart disease. Selenium is a trace mineral that can be used in a preventive manner for atherosclerosis and stroke. D-limonene, a compound found in orange peel oil, has also been found to reduce harmful cholesterol.
Natural supplements support cardiovascular health, utilizing scientifically formulated ingredients that help the body to reduce undesirable cholesterol while raising heart-friendly low hdl cholesterol.
It is important to obtain medical advice before embarking on any treatment in relation to blood cholesterol imbalances or when attempting to raise low hdl levels.
Athlyn Green is an avid health enthusiast with an interest in natural remedies for treatment of health disorders. She has contributed to Low HDL Cholesterol , a section of http://www.healthy-cholesterol-guide.com dedicated to natural treatments for high cholesterol and heart disease prevention.