Benefits of Statins Greater Than Previously Thought:
Cholesterol-lowering statins should be prescribed
to a wider circle of people who are at risk of having a heart attack
or stroke, according to researchers.
Cholesterol Test for Adults With Severe Coronary Artery Disease:
test, called Cholesterol 1,2,3, can help measure the amount of cholesterol
in the skin using the palm of the hand.
Levels of "Good" Cholesterol Increase Risk of Dementia
say low blood levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol
increase the risk of dementia in the elderly
due to hardening of the arteries.
Cut Risk of Heart Disease in Postmenopausal Women:
Researchers say treatment with a cholesterol-lowering statin
drug can significantly reduce the risk of heart disease and even
death in postmenopausal women including those taking hormone replacement
Compounds in Diet Help Cut Cholesterol Absorption:
Researchers say phytosterols found in vegetable oils appear
to be effective even when consumed at the trace amounts found in
a normal diet.
Helps Obese Diabetics Improve Cholesterol Levels: Researchers
say patients with Type 2 diabetes who were given Xenical lost weight,
and had improvement in blood glucose (glycemic) control and cholesterol
That Lower Cholesterol May Increase Risk of Polyneuropathy: Researchers
say patients who taking statins were found to be four to 14 times
more likely to develop polyneuropathy than the control group.
Cooking Oil Results in Weight Loss and Lower Cholesterol Levels:
A Canadian biotechnology company produced an oil that is oxidized
very quickly and burned as energy rather than stored as body fat.
Compound Made From Tree Resin May Lower Cholesterol: Researchers
say sap from the guggul tree, used for centuries as a dietary supplement
in India, blocks a receptor known as FXR that interrupts cholesterol
and Mexican Americans Less Likely to Take Cholesterol Drugs: Researchers
say African and Mexican Americans are less likely than whites to
have their cholesterol levels checked and are less prone to take
cholesterol-reducing drugs even when instructed to do so by a doctor.
Drug Helps People Raise "Good Cholesterol" by 34 Percent:
say the drug called a CETP inhibitor also helped participants in
the study lower their LDL ("bad") cholesterol by 7 percent
Produces Big Increases in "Good Cholesterol" in Some Women:
say a gene variation appears to result in dramatic increases in
"good cholesterol" when these women take estrogen therapy.
Flavored Drink Has Health Benefit of Oatmeal: The
drink formulation contains a soluble dietary fiber, found naturally
in oats, that has the same health benefit as oatmeal in reducing
the risk of coronary heart disease and stroke.
Say Low Cholesterol May Not Benefit Seniors: Hawaiian
researchers have cast new doubt on the benefits of reducing blood
cholesterol in the elderly, saying that new research suggests that
low cholesterol levels may do more harm than good for people over
70 years old.
Levels of "Good Cholesterol" May Cut Stroke Risk for Seniors
by Half: A
high level of high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, or "good
cholesterol," may cut by almost half the risk of stroke among
seniors, blacks and Hispanics, according to a Columbia University
plays an important part in deciding a person's chance or risk of
getting coronary heart disease (CHD). The higher your blood cholesterol
level, the greater your risk. That's why high blood cholesterol
is called a risk factor for heart disease.
When you have
too much cholesterol in your blood, the excess builds up on the
walls of the arteries that carry blood to the heart. This buildup
is called "atherosclerosis" or "hardening of the arteries." It narrows
the arteries and can slow down or block blood flow to the heart.
The higher your blood cholesterol, the greater your chance of this
can benefit from lowering his or her blood cholesterol. Lowering
cholesterol slows the fatty buildup in the arteries, and in some
cases can help reduce the buildup already there.
have had success in lowering their blood cholesterol levels. From
1978 to 1990, the average blood cholesterol level in the U.S. dropped
from 213 mg/dL to 205 mg/dL.
is a waxy substance found in all parts of your body. It helps make
cell membranes, some hormones, and vitamin D. Cholesterol comes
from two sources: your body and the foods you eat. Blood cholesterol
is made in your liver. Your liver makes all the cholesterol your
body needs. Dietary cholesterol comes from animal foods like meats,
whole milk dairy foods, egg yolks, poultry, and fish. Eating too
much dietary cholesterol can make your blood cholesterol go up.
from plants, like vegetables, fruits, grains, and cereals, do not
have any dietary cholesterol.
Just like oil
and water, cholesterol and blood do not mix. So, for cholesterol
to travel through your blood, it is coated with a layer of protein
to make a "lipoprotein." Two lipoproteins you may have heard about
are low density lipoprotein (LDL) and high density lipoprotein (HDL).
carries most of the cholesterol in the blood. Remember, when too
much LDL-cholesterol is in the blood, it can lead to cholesterol
buildup in the arteries. That is why LDL-cholesterol is called the
helps remove cholesterol from the blood and helps prevent the fatty
buildup. So HDL-cholesterol is called the "good" cholesterol.
Your blood cholesterol
level is influenced by many factors. These include:
- What you
eat--High intake of saturated fat, dietary cholesterol, and excess
calories leading to overweight can increase blood cholesterol
levels. Americans eat an average of 12 percent of their calories
from saturated fat, and 34 percent of their calories from total
fat. These intakes are higher than what is recommended for the
health of your heart. The average daily intake of dietary cholesterol
is 220-260 mg for women and 360 mg for men.
overweight can make your LDL-cholesterol level go up and your
HDL-cholesterol level go down.
activity--Increased physical activity lowers LDL-cholesterol and
raises HDL-cholesterol levels.
genes partly influence how your body makes and handles cholesterol.
- Age and
Sex--Blood cholesterol levels in both men and women begin to go
up around age 20. Women before menopause have levels that are
lower than men of the same age. After menopause, a woman's LDL-cholesterol
level goes up--and so her risk for heart disease increases.
All adults age
20 and over should have their blood cholesterol (also called "total"
blood cholesterol) checked at least once every 5 years. If an accurate
HDL-cholesterol measurement is available, HDL should be checked
at the same time. If you do not know your total and HDL levels,
ask your doctor to measure them at your next visit. Total and HDL-cholesterol
measurements require a blood sample that is taken from your arm
or finger. You do not have to fast for this test.
If you have
had your total and HDL-cholesterol checked, check the chart to see
how they measure up. Blood cholesterol levels of under 200 mg/dL
are called "desirable" and put you at lower risk for heart disease.
Any cholesterol level of 200 mg/dL or more increases your risk;
over half the adults in the United States have levels of 200 mg/dL
or greater. Levels between 200 and 239 mg/dL are "borderline-high."
A level of 240
mg/dL or greater is "high" blood cholesterol. A person with this
level has more than twice the risk of heart disease compared to
someone whose cholesterol is 200 mg/dL. About one out of every five
American adults has a high blood cholesterol level of 240 mg/dL
cholesterol, the lower your HDL, the higher your risk for heart
disease. An HDL level less than 35 mg/dL increases your risk for
heart disease. The higher your HDL level, the better.
In certain cases,
it may be necessary to have your LDL-cholesterol checked, too, because
it is a better predictor of heart disease risk than your total blood
cholesterol. You will need to fast. That means you can have nothing
to eat or drink but water, coffee, or tea, with no cream or sugar,
for 9 to 12 hours before the test..
If your LDL-cholesterol level is high or borderline-high and you
have other risk factors for heart disease, your doctor will likely
plan a treatment program for you.
eating plan low in saturated fat and cholesterol and increasing
your physical activity is usually the first and main step of treatment.
Some people will also need to take medicine.
information provided by: The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute,
National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892