HDL cholesterol: what is it and how do you interpret the results?

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HDL cholesterol: what is it and how do you interpret the results?

HDL cholesterol levels in the blood: what is it?

Among the lipids that circulate in the blood (that is to say: fats), we find the famous cholesterol, of which 30% comes from the diet. This cholesterol is transported into the bloodstream by lipoproteins: HDL (for High Density Lipoprotein or High Density Lipoprotein) and LDL (for Low Density Lipoprotein or Low Density Lipoprotein).

HDL cholesterol is often called "good cholesterol", and for good reason: " these lipoproteins are responsible for returning cholesterol to the liver, which will then be responsible for its elimination. They protect the walls of the blood vessels and prevent cardiovascular pathologies explains Dr. François Blanchecotte, doctor of pharmacy and president of the Union of Biologists (SDB).

To know : HDL cholesterol level in "normal" blood is greater than 0.91 mmol per liter of blood, is 0.35 g per liter of blood.

HDL cholesterol too high: what can be the causes?

" The measurement of cholesterol is performed at each blood testsays Dr. Blanchecotte. However, more attention will be given to those who suffer from diabetes, ofhigh blood pressure, liver failure, certain genetic diseases or familial hypercholesterolemia. "

In general, a high HDL cholesterol level is positive. But according to a study published in August 2018 by researchers at Emory University (in the United States) and presented at the ESC 2018 Congress, an HDL cholesterol level above 0.6 g / L would increase the risk to have a myocardial infarction (heart attack) or to develop a cardiovascular disease (hypertension, stroke, angina pectoris ...) of 50%.

An abnormally high level of HDL cholesterol may be related to the taking of certain drugs: lipid lowering (which serves to lower LDL cholesterol), vitamin C, antiepileptics, insulin, estrogen / progestogen ...

HDL cholesterol too low: what can be the causes?

Too low HDL cholesterol can be related to several things:

  • An unbalanced diet: " this is particularly the case in elderly people with malnutrition "says Dr. Blanchecotte,
  • Digestive malabsorption (for example linked to the installation of a gastric band),
  • Hyperthyroidism,
  • Smoking,
  • Diabetes (type 1 or type 2).

To raise a low HDL cholesterol level, it is first of all to adopt a balanced diet (including rich in "good fats": olive oil, fatty fish ...), to practice a regular physical activity ( at least 30 min a day: brisk walk for example) and fight against stress in everyday life.

Thanks to Dr. François Blanchecotte, Doctor of Pharmacy and President of Union of Biologists (SDB).

Read also :

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⋙ True / False: 10 Cholesterol Cholesterol Ideas

⋙ Does the contraceptive pill affect cholesterol levels?

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