Home Tags Posts tagged with "good cholesterol"

good cholesterol


According to a recent study, some people with high levels of supposedly “good” cholesterol are at much greater risk of heart disease.

A bloodstream tussle takes place between “bad” cholesterol dumping fatty material in the arteries and good cholesterol taking it away.

The Cambridge University study published in Science showed more “good” cholesterol was not always better.

It is thought the findings may help find new ways to protect the heart.

Eating olive oil, fish and nuts raises levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) – which is more commonly known as “good” cholesterol.Good cholesterol study

HDL is one of the things doctors test for when predicting your risk of a heart attack.

However, repeated trials that raise HDL with drugs have flopped, leading doctors to think something else is going on.

Some insight has come from studying rare mutations that leave people with high levels of good cholesterol.

Trials showed people with a mutation in a gene called SCARB1, which affects one-in-1,700 people, had very high levels of good cholesterol.

They also had an 80% increased risk of heart disease – that is roughly the same increased risk as for smoking.

Further experiments showed the mutation was preventing HDL from dumping the fat it had collected in the liver for processing.

There have been huge efforts put into drugs to raise HDL in the hope they have the same impact as statins, which lower the bad cholesterol.

While the researchers have questioned the importance of boosting levels of HDL cholesterol, they insist it still remains a valuable tool for predicting the risk of a heart attack.


According to a medical team at Cleveland Clinic, good cholesterol, or HDL, also has a nasty side that can increase the risk of heart attacks.

HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol normally helps to keep arteries clear and is good for heart health.

But the team at the Cleveland Clinic showed it can become abnormal and lead to blocked blood vessels.

Doctors say people should still eat healthily, but that the good cholesterol story is a more complex tale than previously thought.

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is “bad” because it is deposited in the walls of arteries and causes hard plaques to build up that can cause blockages, resulting in heart attacks and stroke.

HDL cholesterol is “good” because the cholesterol is instead shipped to the liver.

HDL cholesterol also has a nasty side that can increase the risk of heart attacks

HDL cholesterol also has a nasty side that can increase the risk of heart attacks

The evidence shows that having a high ratio of good to bad cholesterol is good for health.

However, researchers at the Cleveland Clinic say trials aimed at boosting levels of HDL have “not been successful” and the role of good cholesterol is clearly more complicated.

In their study, published in the journal Nature Medicine, doctors showed how HDL cholesterol could become abnormal.

One of the researchers, Dr. Stanley Hazen, said HDL cholesterol was being modified in the walls of the artery: “In the artery walls it is acting very differently to in the circulation. It can become dysfunctional, and contributes to the development of heart disease.”

Small quantities of the abnormal HDL seep back into the bloodstream and this can be detected.

Tests on 627 patients showed that levels of abnormal HDL in the blood could be used to predict the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Dr. Stanley Hazen added: “This data does not change the message of eat healthily.”

Instead, he said the findings would be used to develop new tests for abnormal HDL cholesterol and research on drugs to help block its formation.