Thursday, March 10, 2011

How You Can Maintain a High Level of HDL

The following factors may help elevate levels of "good" cholesterol (High-Density Lipoprotein).[1]

Diet. Doctors at John Hopkins recommend a diet low in saturated fat and rich in the polyunsaturated fatty acids found in foods such as oils (olive, canola, soy and flaxseed), nuts (almonds, peanuts, walnuts and pecans), and cold-water fish (salmon and mackerel), and shellfish. Consumption of carbohydrates should be restricted because high glycaemic products, such as processed cereals and breads, are associated with lower HDL levels. A diet rich in soluble fibre may also help raise HDL levels.[11]

Obesity. HDL-C may also decline with obesity, while every kilogram of weight lost raises a patient's HDL levels by an average 0.35 milligrams per deciliter. A reasonable weight loss goal, they suggest, for overweight or obese patients is 1 pound, or 0.45 kilograms, per week, with a target body mass index of less than 25. [2]

Regular aerobic exercise for 30 minutes at least 5 times a week can raise HDL-C modestly. [3]

Smoking has been associated with low HDL-C as well as increased oxidative stress, endothelial injury, and a range of vascular and other adverse sequelae.[4-8] Conversely, smoking cessation has been associated with significant increases (approximately 4 mg/dL) in HDL-C.[9]

Moderate alcohol use is associated with increased HDL-C in a dose-dependent fashion (where "moderate" is defined as no more than one to two drinks per day irrespective of type of alcohol consumed). However, the potential risks here may outweigh the benefits in people with liver or addiction problems.

Fish oils (omega-3 fatty acids). Increase the consumption of cold-water fish (eg, salmon) rich in polyunsaturated fats may help to raise HDL-C. Capsules containing omega-3 fatty acids (docosahexaenoic acid + eicosapentaenoic acid) are available as supplements.[10] CLICK HERE for related report

CLICK HERE for a report on HDL and Colon Cancer


1. Shah PK, Kaul S, Nilsson J, Cercek B. Exploiting the vascular protective effects of high-density lipoprotein and its apolipoproteins: an idea whose time for testing is coming, part II. Circulation. 2001;104:2498-2502.

Wilsgaard T, Arnesen E. Change in serum lipids and body mass index by age, sex, and smoking status: the Tromso study 1986-1995. Ann Epidemiol. 2004;14:265-73. Abstract

Spate-Douglas T, Keyser RE. Exercise intensity: its effect on the high-density lipoprotein profile. Arch Phys Med Rehab. 1999;80:691-695.

4. Burke A, Fitzgerald GA. Oxidative stress and smoking-induced vascular injury. Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2003;46:79-90.

5. Barua RS, Ambrose JA, Srivastava S, DeVoe MC, Eales-Reynolds LJ. Reactive oxygen species are involved in smoking-induced dysfunction of nitric oxide biosynthesis and upregulation of endothelial nitric oxide synthase: an in vitro demonstration in human coronary artery endothelial cells. Circulation. 2003;107:2342-2347.

6. Izerman RG, Serne EH, van Weissenbruch MM, de Jongh RT, Stehouwer CD. Cigarette smoking is associated with an acute impairment of microvascular function in humans. Clin Sci (Lond). 2003;104:247-252.

7. Puranik R, Celermajer DS. Smoking and endothelial function. Prog Cardiovasc Dis. 2003;45:443-458.

8. Papamichael C, Karatzis E, Karatzi K, et al. Red wine's antioxidants counteract acute endothelial dysfunction caused by cigarette smoking in healthy nonsmokers. Am Heart J. 2004;147:E5.

9. Maeda K, Noguchi Y, Fukui T. The effects of cessation from cigarette smoking on the lipid and lipoprotein profiles: a meta-analysis. Prev Med. 2003;37:283-290.

Calabresi L, Villa B, Canavesi M, et al. An omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acid concentrate increases plasma high-density lipoprotein 2 cholesterol and paraoxonase levels in patients with familial combined hyperlipidemia. Metabolism. 2004;53:153-158. Abstract

H. Wu, K. M Dwyer, Z. Fan, A. Shircore, J. Fan, and J. H Dwyer. Dietary fiber and progression of atherosclerosis: the Los Angeles Atherosclerosis Study. Am J Clin Nutr, December 1, 2003; 78(6): 1085 - 1091.

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