Healsens - Discover your health risks, get insights for longevity | Product Hunt
Cholesterol package (Total Cholesterol, HDL, LDL, Triglycerides)·
€25 -

Order easily with the Healsens app! View your results directly in the app, obtained through our partner laboratories.

Order with Healsens App
Get the Healsens app

Choose either App Store or the Google Play, then scan the displayed QR code with your phone.

App Store
Google Play

Atherosclerosis

hdl-cholesterol waarde

How To Increase Good Cholesterol

hdl-cholesterol waarde

Dietary strategies to lower levels of bad LDL cholesterol can negatively affect HDL cholesterol, which is quite common, unfortunately. However, it’s important to know how to increase good cholesterol to maintain a healthy heart. Therefore, there are a number of clinical strategies for treating atherosclerosis and boosting HDL cholesterol levels. Let’s take a look at some of these strategies and also explore what foods can help with increasing good cholesterol.

This article was last reviewed by Svetlana Baloban, Healsens, on January 24, 2020. This article was last modified on 5 April 2022.

How does HDL cholesterol affect cardiovascular disease?

We have written more than once about the importance of a healthy lipid profile, if, in the future, you do not want to experience atherosclerosis, coronary heart disease, and stroke. But why did we decide to write specifically about good HDL cholesterol? Let’s start with numbers.

In prospective epidemiological studies, each 1 mg/dL increase in HDL is associated with a 2–3% reduction in risk of coronary heart disease1. This ratio is not affected by the level of bad LDL cholesterol and triglycerides due to the ability of good HDL cholesterol to reverse cholesterol transport. Let’s see what it means.

So, reverse cholesterol transport (RCT) is a pathway through which cholesterol is transported from the artery walls to the liver so it can be excreted from the body. It is through this process that the body reduces the amount of plaque buildup in vessel walls and reverses atherosclerosis. Not surprisingly, data from the Framingham Heart Study showed that people with the highest HDL levels have the lowest risk of developing heart disease2.

RELATED ARTICLES

HDL Normal Range

In Adult Treatment Panel III (ATP III) guidelines, the HDL cut-off for healthy individuals has been increased to at least 40 mg/dl in men and to 50 mg/dl in women3. In general, the following HDL normal range was announced:

<40 mg/dL

≥60 mg/dL

Low HDL cholesterol

High HDL cholesterol

There are several factors that lead to low HDL cholesterol, namely:

  • Overweight and obesity
  • Elevated triglycerides
  • Lack of physical activity
  • Smoking
  • Very high carbohydrate intake (>60% of total energy intake)
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Certain medicines (beta-blockers, anabolic steroids, progestogens)
  • Genetic factors.

In our previous articles, we talked about ways to reduce bad cholesterol. Now it’s time to talk about how to increase good HDL cholesterol. Let’s start with the analysis of drug treatment.

How to increase good HDL cholesterol?

Medication to increase HDL

Nicotinic Acid or Niacin

The most widely used drug to increase HDL levels is nicotinic acid or niacin. Niacin is thought to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease by lowering LDL cholesterol and increasing good HDL cholesterol. Therefore, niacin is often recommended for patients with low HDL cholesterol levels. One study reports that niacin can increase HDL levels by 25-35% at the highest doses4. And if we talk about the situation of atherogenic dyslipidemia, then studies show a strong trend towards a decrease in the risk of coronary artery disease. It should be remembered that atherogenic dyslipidemia is characterized by low levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), high levels of triglycerides, and a high number of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) particles.

Despite the apparent ability of niacin to increase HDL levels and lower LDL, not everything is so rosy. Studies have also shown that niacin can cause serious adverse events. Thus, among participants who received niacin/laropiprant tablets, there was a 55% increase in diabetes control disorders that were considered serious.

Ezetimibe

Another drug that affects reverse cholesterol transport is ezetimibe. In a recent study, ezetimibe was shown to enhance macrophage reverse cholesterol transport in hamsters. However, as with niacin, ezetimibe as a primary agent has not been shown to improve patient outcomes.

The ezetimibe and simvastatin ENHANCE study was designed to show that ezetimibe can reduce the growth of fatty plaques in the arteries5. Patients with genetically high cholesterol were given only statins or ezetimibe plus simvastatin. The doctors then measured their LDL cholesterol levels and examined their arteries to measure plaque growth.

As a result, LDL cholesterol decreased more with combination therapy, it did not improve the condition of the arteries. In fact, after 2 years of therapy, intima-media thickness increased more in the ezetimibe/simvastatin group. However, it is worth noting that patients with high cholesterol due to genetics may not represent the entire population.

One way or another, but further studies of these drugs are currently being conducted. The results will help doctors conclude whether these drugs are an effective strategy for treating atherosclerosis. In any case, for people with high risk for CVD, who have excess weight, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, or a family history of CVD, it is worth discussing medical options with a cardiologist.

Diet Plan to Increase HDL

One of the most intriguing areas of research within treating atherosclerosis and heart disease is dietary intervention, including how to increase good cholesterol. Most doctors agree that diet is one of the most effective ways to prevent atherosclerosis, and that making dietary changes can help improve HDL cholesterol levels. This is true in reverse as well. Thus, additional research confirms that a Western diet high in meat, butter and dairy products plays a large role in the high rate of death from cardiovascular diseases.

The most common dietary intervention is the consumption of fish. This is primarily because fish is correlated with an improved omega-3/omega-6 ratio and cardiovascular health. For example, a summary of dietary data showed that saturated fatty acid intake increased good HDL cholesterol without increasing bad LDL cholesterol6.

Other researchers have taken this idea further and even attempted to reverse cardiovascular disease through dietary interventions.

The effect of plant-based nutrition on HDL cholesterol

Vegetables and a vegan diet play a big role in normalizing your lipid profile and prevent atherosclerosis. The American Heart Association have released specific diet guidelines to prevent cardiovascular disease:

  • Eat a variety of fruit and vegetable servings every day. Dark green, deep orange, or yellow fruits and vegetables are especially nutritious. Examples include spinach, carrots, peaches, and berries.
  • Eat a variety of grain products every day.
  • Include whole-grain foods that have lots of fiber and nutrients. Examples of whole grains include oats, whole wheat bread, and brown rice.
  • Eat fish at least 2 times each week. Oily fish, which contain omega-3 fatty acids, are best for your heart. These fish include tuna, salmon, mackerel, lake trout, herring, and sardines.

In addition, studies show that a plant-based diet can help with regression of stenoses. So, in the study, 22 patients with severe coronary heart disease were observed for five years. However, we must also take into account that there is no control group in this study. All participants were volunteers interested in following a plant-based diet.

Another study published in the Atherosclerosis Journal found that green leafy vegetables help restore healthy endothelium.

Another benefit of plant-based diets on our health is their effect on the gut microbiome. The microflora has been found to enhance health by improving digestion, absorption, vitamin synthesis, and reducing gas production. The foods we eat form our own microflora. A recent article in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that choline in eggs, poultry, dairy, and fish produces the same toxic TMAO as carnitine in red meat7. This further explains plant-based protection from heart disease.

So, which dietary changes have the most impact on HDL cholesterol levels? To find this, we turn to research.

Fun Fact

The Norwegian experience between 1938 and 1948 showed a strong relationship between cardiovascular mortality and changes in fat intake in the form of butter, milk, cheese and eggs. Between 1940 and 1945 Germany occupied Norway and the German occupying forces confiscated their livestock. So they restricted the Norwegians in their diet and they switched to a plant-based diet. Also during this period, Norwegians consumed 20% fewer calories than during the period of concern. Sugar consumption also decreased, while fish consumption increased by 200%. All this has led to a sharp drop in mortality from strokes and heart attacks. However, once World War II ended and Norwegians started eating animal products again, their death rate from cardiovascular disease increased.

Almonds and nuts

The effects of almonds are well documented in systematic reviews and meta-analyses of clinical trials. A 100g serving of almonds contains about 50g of healthy fats, most of which (40g) are MUFAs and PUFAs, as well as 4g of saturated fats. Almonds are also a rich source of several minerals as well as vitamins such as calcium, copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, manganese, thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin E.

A clinical study conducted in people with initially low levels of good HDL cholesterol found that a low dose of almonds (10 g/day) can increase HDL cholesterol levels. At the same time, patients were offered to eat only 10 g of almonds every day. The almonds were pre-soaked overnight and peeled off in the morning before eating. Lipid profile measurements were checked at 6 and 12 weeks. As a result, HDL cholesterol was higher by 12-16% of the original8.

Several other studies have demonstrated that almonds not only support good HDL cholesterol levels, but also lower bad cholesterol, which is known as a risk factor for coronary heart disease (CHD)9.

The same conclusion was reached in New Zealand when studying the effect of almonds and hazelnuts in various forms (chopped, chopped and whole) on HDL levels. The result showed a statistically significant decrease in LDL levels along with an increase in HDL levels10. Of all the presented forms, the consumption of whole nuts showed the highest result.

But as for walnuts, they have not shown any effect on levels of good cholesterol11. At the same time, walnuts lowered total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol12.

Olive oil

Olive oil is high in monounsaturated fatty acids as well as vitamins, minerals and polyphenols. The health effects of olive oil, including as part of the Mediterranean diet, have been the subject of much research. Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and improvement in endothelial dysfunction and lipid profile have been reported. Most studies have shown that extra virgin olive oil increased HDL cholesterol levels by almost 50%. In the studies, participants received a daily dose of 25 ml of olive oil. The beneficial effect of olive oil was more pronounced in subjects with established metabolic syndrome or other chronic conditions/diseases13.

Avocado

Avocados are a nutrient-rich source of MUFAs and antioxidants. Several studies have shown that 0.5 – 1 avocado per day improved blood lipid profile[efn_note]Hass Avocado Composition and Potential Health Effects[/efn_note]. Some studies have seen decreases in LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and increases in HDL cholesterol. Other studies have observed only a decrease in triglyceride levels. However, all of these trials were conducted among a small number of people. Let’s hope that larger and longer-term tests will be carried out in the near future.

In addition, there are studies that show avocados also contain a wide range of other nutrients and phytochemicals that may have vascular health benefits beyond cholesterol. In particular, the potassium and lutein in avocados may help normalize blood pressure and help control oxidative/inflammatory stress14. Eating avocados with salads or salsa increases the bioavailability of carotenoids many times over, which can increase potential health benefits. Considering all these factors, adding avocados to your diet seems to make a lot of sense.

Follow us on Facebook|| Instagram || Telegram || Youtube

Eggs

Eggs are a source of cholesterol and choline and may affect plasma lipid concentrations. For healthy individuals, consumption of up to 3 eggs per day results in an overall positive effect on biomarkers associated with cardiovascular disease risk151617. So, in humans, HDL cholesterol increased, while a decrease in the ratio of cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein was observed. But what about people with an unhealthy lipid profile?

In the next study, 28 overweight men aged 40–70 were recruited to assess their cholesterol during an egg diet. Eighteen patients were classified as having metabolic syndrome (MetS). All men followed a carbohydrate-restricted diet during the experiment. All participants were randomly assigned to consume 3 eggs per day (640 mg/day of extra cholesterol from food) or no eggs group (SUB). The SUB group received an 0 egg (0 dietary cholesterol). As a result, in the egg group, HDL cholesterol increased from 1.23 +/- 0.39 to 1.47 +/- 0.38 mmol/l18.

Aerobic exercise

While diet is the most important lifestyle factor in promotingreverse cholesterol transport, there is mixed evidence that regular aerobic exercise improves cholesterol efflux. At the same time, recent studies have demonstrated that in order to get a positive effect, it is necessary to exceed the threshold of exercise dose19. Overall, exercise represents a potential therapeutic approach to improve HDL function and learn how to increase good cholesterol. Preliminary evidence suggests that exercise improves the antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of HDL, which can help reduce the risk of atherosclerosis and heart disease.

» Discover everything about what your cholesterol results mean.

HDL Health Harmony with Healsens

Unlock the potential of your health journey by seamlessly integrating your HDL blood test results into the Healsens app. This personalized platform not only facilitates a clearer understanding of your current status but also empowers you to naturally enhance and monitor your HDL levels over time. “HDL Health Harmony with Healsens” invites you to embark on a wellness expedition, where informed choices and personalized plans lead to sustained improvements.

If you are interested in checking your HDL level, you can easily purchase a blood test kit from Healsens.

1 Download the Healsens App from Google Play or the App Store, depending on your device.

2 Complete the registration process in the app.

3 Go to the “Profile” page via the bottom menu of the application.

4 Tap on the test you need — ”List of Available Tests

5 Find the Cholesterol Pack & Tap on the “Add to Cart” button. Proceed with the ordering process.

» Discover how to check and improve your health with Healsens preventive checkup plan.

Note

If you want to assess your HDL level but are not residing in the Netherlands or have opted for a different laboratory, Healsens cannot upload your blood test results for you. Nevertheless, you have the option to undergo the required tests at any laboratory in your country and manually input the obtained results into the application. Healsens will open more opportunities for you to naturally normalize your blood test results. Furthermore, you gain full access to investigate your health risk assessment based on the provided data.

Unlock your health insights with our smart data analysis – the Free Health Tracker app, your reliable medical record!

Drastically reduce the time to detect chronic diseases & inspire healthy habits



FURTHER READING

Follow us on Facebook|| Instagram || Telegram || Twitter || Youtube

Source: ©️2019 Healsens B.V. All right reserve

How To Increase Good Cholesterol Read More »

Lower your cholesterol

LOWER YOUR CHOLESTEROL

Even with these new ideas that inflammation is the cause of heart disease, cholesterol, and its constituents still account for heart problems in most cases. So this time, we’ll discuss what you can do if your lipid level test results exceed optimal levels. We’ll start by looking at how to lower your cholesterol without pills.

However, before getting down to this fascinating topic, let’s remember what problem we are solving.

☝️ Heart disease is the main cause of death.

☝️ 3.9 million people die from heart attacks in Europe every year1. And the cause of heart disease is the inflammatory process.

This inflammatory process begins with an excessive amount of LDL (“bad” cholesterol) particles appearing on the walls of the coronary arteries and causing subsequent oxidation. In turn, HDL particles (“good” cholesterol) reduce the risk of heart disease. So, they move excess LDL back to the liver and thus prevent inflammation and oxidation. We already discussed this topic in our article about the lipid profile.

There is yet another independent risk factor for heart disease: triglyceride (unbound fat) levels. Excessive amounts of high glycemic carbohydrates in the diet, as well as alcohol abuse, are common causes of elevated triglyceride levels.

How then can you lower your cholesterol? The first step to normalizing your cholesterol and triglyceride levels is following a healthy diet.

RELATED ARTICLES

How to Lower Your Cholesterol Naturally

Removing trans fats

There are two main types of trans fats in food: naturally-occurring and artificial trans fats. Let’s figure it out. Naturally-occurring trans fats are produced in the guts of some animals. Artificial trans fats (or trans fatty acids), on the other hand, are created in an industrial process. And for this, hydrogen is added to liquid vegetable oils to make them more solid.

It’s worth knowing that trans fats make us fatter than any other food with the same amount of calories. But that’s not all. Researchers at Wake Forest University have found that trans fats increase the amount of fat around the belly2. That happens not only because new fat is added, but also because fat from other areas moves to the abdominal area.

Of course, trans fats raise LDL (bad) cholesterol and lower HDL (good) cholesterol. So it is obvious that it increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.

This is why the American Heart Association recommends reducing foods containing partially hydrogenated vegetable oils. And in November 2013, the FDA tentatively determined that partially hydrogenated oils were no longer considered safe3. Therefore, it is recommended to choose foods where the trans fat content is 0. Let’s find out which foods can contain trans fats!

Unfortunately, trans fats can be found in many foods, such as donuts and pastries, cakes and pie crusts, cookies and frozen pizzas, margarine and other spreads. You can determine the amount of trans fat by looking at the Product Facts label. However, if “0 grams of trans fat” is indicated, it doesn’t mean that there are no trans fats there. According to the rules, they can still contain between 0 and less than 0.5 grams of trans fat per serving. You can also identify trans fats by reading the ingredient list and looking for ingredients called “partially hydrogenated oils.”

Reducing saturated fat

There is nothing more important to a healthy heart than reducing your intake of trans and saturated fats. They are critical to the effectiveness of the diet. And none of the other nutrients in the diet raises LDL levels like saturated fat.

Foods high in saturated fats include:

  • meat pies
  • sausages and fatty cuts of meat
  • fatty beef,
  • lamb,
  • pork,
  • poultry with skin,
  • foods containing coconut or palm oil
  • cakes and biscuits
  • butter, ghee and lard
  • cream
  • hard cheeses
  • other dairy products made from whole or reduced-fat (2 percent) milk

In addition, many baked goods and fried foods can contain high levels of saturated fats. Health advocates have repeatedly suggested the use of policy instruments to influence consumer behavior. For example, in 2011, Denmark even introduced a tax on saturated fat in food. But a year later, this tax was canceled, although studies have shown its effectiveness in changing consumer behavior4.

It should be said that a healthy body is able to maintain normal lipid levels, regardless of cholesterol intake. In other words, our liver does an excellent job of regulating blood cholesterol levels. However, if you passed the test and saw that you need to lower your cholesterol, then, probably, these mechanisms of cholesterol metabolism have begun to work incorrectly.

To prevent this problem, it is recommended to choose foods with less than 10% D.V* saturated fat per serving. The question naturally arises, what are the alternatives to saturated fats?

*For a 1,500-calorie diet, your daily DRI would be: Total fat: 33 to 58 grams. Saturated fat: No more than 15 grams. Cholesterol: No more than 200 to 300 grams.

What then to eat?

To get the nutrients you need, eat a diet that emphasizes:

  • fruits vegetables,
  • whole grains,
  • low-fat dairy products,
  • poultry, fish and nuts,
  • limiting red meat and sugary foods and drinks.
  • Choose lean meats and poultry without skin. And cook them without adding saturated and trans fats.

You should replace foods high in saturated fat with foods high in monounsaturated and / or polyunsaturated fats. This means eating foods made with liquid vegetable oil, but not with tropical oils. It also means eating fish and nuts. You can also try replacing some of the meat you eat with beans or legumes.

Fruits and vegetables aren’t just good for reducing your intake of trans and saturated fats. Soluble fiber, most of which is found in fruits and vegetables, also inhibits fat absorption. And this helps to lower the level of bad cholesterol (LDL). It is useful enrich your menu with legumes, oats (oat bread, porridge, oat bran in smoothies, and bread crumbs), and ground flax seeds, which can be sprinkled on almost anything.

Follow us on Facebook|| Instagram || Telegram || Youtube

Quit smoking

Smokers are two to four times more likely to develop a heart attack than non-smokers5. There are 4,000 toxic substances in tobacco and tobacco smoke, many of which accelerate the processes leading to heart attacks. Cigarette smoking significantly increases the overall level of inflammation in the body6 and dramatically affects the growth of free radicals that accelerate the oxidation of LDL7. In addition, smoking increases the heart rate (HR)8, which accelerates wear and tear on the arteries. We could go on, but we’d rather just recommend not smoking and avoiding secondhand smoke.

Normalize weight

Being overweight is associated with a wide range of health problems, as well as several other risk factors for heart disease. Overweight is becoming a major factor in the development of metabolic syndrome9, type II diabetes, and hypertension10. Obesity significantly increases the risk of heart attacks, according to the extensive Framingham Study. Tens of thousands of people have been observed in this study for over 40 years11. But that’s not all! Being overweight is a major risk factor for increased inflammation in the body12. This is another argument for normalizing weight.

As we discussed above, optimal weight plays a key role in heart disease prevention. Meanwhile, losing even five kilograms of weight can significantly reduce the risk of heart attacks. So, losing weight will help lower LDL, total cholesterol and triglyceride levels. At the same time, it can help you raise your good HDL cholesterol levels.

One study found that adults who took part in a 12-week exercise program, had their LDL cholesterol levels dropped by 18 points and total cholesterol dropped by 26 points13.

Follow us on Facebook|| Instagram || Telegram || Youtube

Exploring Food Supplements to Help Lower Your Cholesterol Levels

Omega-3 & Fresh Fish

Certain food supplements may also have a positive effect on lipid profile recovery. So the 2017 study showed positive results when supplemented with omega-3 supplements14. At the same time, it was found that the best results were achieved in the group with fresh fish. So, people consumed 250 g farmed trout fish two times a week for dinner and lunch for 8 weeks. For omega-3s, the dosage was 2 g / day of omega-3 capsules. During the study, the total cholesterol levels dietary-fish group decreased by 53.84 mg / dL (12.7 mg / dL in omega-3 group).

Pic 1

Meanwhile, the method of preparing fish does not play a role and it turns out to be more significant how much fish has consumed1516. And finally, fish is generally recommended as a part of a healthy diet and it is considered to be a key component of a cardio-protective diet17. Moreover, it is an important source of various nutrients, such as protein, n-3 fatty acids, vitamin D, iodine, and selenium.

If you do plan on taking omega-3 fatty acids, please discuss this with your doctor. Especially if you are taking blood-thinning medications.

Flaxseed

Flaxseed contains considerable amounts of α-linolenic acid, phenolic compounds, and lignans, which each have the capacity to reduce circulating lipid concentrations18. So, a meta-analysis of sixty-two randomized controlled trials with a total of 3772 participants suggested that flaxseed supplementation can reduce total serum cholesterol, triglyceride, and LDL in unhealthy subjects with high baseline lipids level19. At the same time, the addition of flaxseed is useful if you are already taking medications to normalize your lipid profile. In a study, participants took 28 g of flaxseed for 10 weeks.

Alpha-Lipoic Acid

Some other research has proven that adding alpha-lipoic acid can enhance lipid profile parameters, except HDL cholesterol levels20.

Calcium and Calcium+D

Positive results were achieved in the study of effects produced by calcium and calcium+D supplements on excess weight patients21. The results showed a decrease in triglycerides, total cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol.

Red Yeast Rice

Red yeast rice (RYR), also called red fermented rice or red mold rice, is used as a dietary supplement to lower cholesterol levels2223. It contains varying amounts of natural monacolin K, which is a structural homolog to lovastatin, and shows properties comparable to synthetic statins. So, the research demonstrated that red yeast rice might be able to reduce cardiac events and provide positive effects on cardiovascular outcomes in a fashion similar to that of prescription statin therapy.

The safety profile of RYR supplements is highly similar to that of statins24. That is why RYR is widely used in prescriptions, as well as an alternative medicine and a food supplement, in Asia, the United States, and European countries.

So, we have described natural ways to lower your cholesterol. Of course, there are effective drug treatments for lowering lipid levels. These include statins among others.

This article was last reviewed by Svetlana Baloban, Healsens, on January 24, 2020. This article was last modified on July 24, 2021.

Unlock your health insights with our smart data analysis – the Free Health Tracker app, your reliable medical record!

Drastically reduce the time to detect chronic diseases & inspire healthy habits



FURTHER READING

Follow us on Facebook|| Instagram || Telegram || Twitter || Youtube

Source: ©️2019 Healsens B.V. All right reserve

LOWER YOUR CHOLESTEROL Read More »

LIPIDENPROFIEL

LIPID PANEL BLOOD TEST: MONITORING AND SUSTAINING HEALTHY

Detecting any kind of blood vessel problems before they lead to a catastrophe is life-saving. This is what we call early detection – the primary purpose of creating our platform. It was estimated by WHO that 17,9 million people died from cardio-vascular cases in 2016, which accounts for 32% of all global deaths1. Of these deaths, 85% resulted from either a heart attack or a stroke. In more than half of these cases, diseases were clinically silent. Till the very day when heart attacks took away their lives they didn’t feel any pain in their chest, nor any heartbeat disorder, which could point to any heart problems. That is why today we will talk about monitoring and sustaining healthy lipid levels and the importance of doing so for healthy living. So, a lipid panel blood test helps to assess the four major risk factors for cardiovascular diseases: total cholesterol levels, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol and triglycerides.

This article was last reviewed by Svetlana Baloban, Healsens, on January 4, 2022. This article was last modified on 9 May 2023.

Many tragedies can be avoided due to the existence of a few simple, safe and inexpensive lab tests. These tests are able to detect a cardiovascular disease long before it results in a heart attack or a blood stroke. Detect it when it is possible to prevent almost any disorders. Luckily, for taking the recommended medical tests neither big money nor doctors’ prescriptions or permissions are needed.

So, an effective program of early diagnosing is based on a combination of several blood tests, namely homocysteine levels and CRP lab tests, and radiological methods, including calcium score and coronary ultrasonography, which might be added into your Preventive Medicine health checklist.

The American Heart Association recommends that everyone over age 20 get a lipid panel blood test so you know what your levels are and can do something about them if you need to. The National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) recommends that adults have their cholesterol checked every 4-6 years2.

Cholesterol Definition

Cholesterol is the form of fat we need to make outer membranes of our body cells stable. However, doctors have noticed for many years that people with high cholesterol levels suffer from cardiovascular diseases more often.

RELATED ARTICLES

In fact, they have discovered recently that different forms of cholesterol (“good” and “bad” cholesterol) also play a role. High levels of total cholesterol, high levels of bad cholesterol or low levels of good cholesterol adversely affect the cardiovascular system. For example, LDL or “bad” cholesterol can stick to blood vessel walls. For many years it can be a major factor in artery obstruction and more specifically in hardening of arteries, the process known as atherosclerosis.

Narrow arteries of your heart can get spontaneous blood clots, causing heart attacks and strokes. And high levels of triglycerides in the blood are associated with higher risks of cardiovascular diseases (CVD), even though the exact reason for this is not clear.

Preventive guidelines for a lipid panel blood test among young adults differ, but experts agree on the need to screen young adults who have other risk factors for coronary heart disease: obesity, smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, and family history.

Less than half of young adults who have these risk factors don’t get cholesterol screening even though up to a quarter of them have elevated cholesterol3.

Lipid Panel Results

Total Cholesterol Levels

Following the recommendations by the US National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) total cholesterol concentration should fall below 200 mg/dL (5.17 mmol/L). 200 – 239 range will be the upper limit, any numbers higher than 240 indicate a risk of cardio-vascular diseases twice as high as that indicated by numbers lower than 200. As a general rule, the higher the cholesterol levels, the higher the risk of cardiovascular disease, although cholesterol is not the only risk factor. However, some new scientific evidence suggests that the optimum total cholesterol should lie within the range of 160 to 180 mg/dL (4.6 mmol/L). This data is supported by some investigation, showing that lowering total cholesterol to these indexes may decrease the risk of cardiovascular cases. If your cardiac computed tomography (CT) or carotid artery ultrasound detected problems, you need to bring your total cholesterol down to these optimum levels.

Fact

More than 102 million American Adults (20 years or older) have total cholesterol levels at or above 200 mg/dL, which is above healthy levels. More than 35 million of these people have levels of 240 mg/dL or higher, which puts them at high risk for heart disease.

Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol or LDL Lab Test Results

LDL stands for lowdensity lipoproteins. It is sometimes called the “bad” cholesterol because a high LDL level leads to a buildup of cholesterol in your arteries. An extra LDL, along with other substances, forms plaque. The plaque builds up in your arteries; this is a condition called atherosclerosis.

To define your own optimum LDL cholesterol you have to consider all risk factors from those listed below:

Serious risk factors:

If you found to have one or more serious risk factors, you are in the group of high risk and it’s time to come to grips with the fact that you have to lower your LDL-C levels.

NCEP recommends the maximum level of LDL cholesterol for this high-risk group is 100 mg/dL (2.58 mmol/L).

Key risk factors:

  • Age: older than 45 for men, and older than 55 for women
  • Cigarette smoking
  • Cases of premature heart disease or cardiovascular disease cases among close relatives (parents, siblings, or children) (older than 55 for men or older than 65 for women)
  • High arterial blood pressure (140/90 or higher, or if drugs are taken to normalize blood pressure)
  • HDL levels below 40
  • Calcium score higher than 25 procentile (this is an extra recommendation – it is not listed in NCEP).

If you have one or less key risk factors, then according to NCEP, your LDL levels must be lower than 160 mg/dL (4.14 mmol/L). At the same time if you have 2 or more risk factors, then you should keep your LDL levels below 130, and below 100 would be even better. People who belong to the high-risk group of getting a heart attack or a stroke recommended keeping LDL levels below 100. Some recent studies show (indicate) positive results when the numbers are kept under 70.

Follow us on Facebook|| Instagram || Telegram || Youtube

High-density lipoprotein cholesterol or HDL Lab Test results

HDL (high-density lipoprotein), or “good” cholesterol, absorbs cholesterol and carries it back to the liver. The liver then flushes it from the body. But the antiatherogenic properties of HDL cholesterol do not end there. Thus, HDL cholesterol has antioxidant properties and shows an anti-inflammatory effect4. In addition, HDL has the ability to increase glucose uptake by skeletal muscle and stimulate insulin secretion by pancreatic beta cells5.

So, high levels of HDL cholesterol can lower your risk for heart disease and stroke. HDL level below 40 mg/dL (or 1.03 mmol/L) is the main risk factor of cardiovascular disease. If HDL level is higher than 60 mg/dL, cholesterol of this type performs barrier function.

HDL Results Tracking in Healsens App

At the same time, HDL levels below 40mg /dL among men and below 50 mg/dL among women are the symptom of (indicate, point to) metabolic syndrome, which in its turn, is also a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

Note that there are several reasons for low HDL cholesterol. Thus, type 2 diabetes is commonly accompanied by a low level of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol. This contributes to the increased cardiovascular risk associated with this condition. In addition, overweight, obesity, smoking, elevated triglycerides (TG), and physical deficiency are among the main factors of low HDL.

As for physical activity, then a recent meta-analysis has provided some insights into how much exercise is required6. So, an increase in HDL concentration was apparent only in people who exercised for at least 120 minutes each week.

Triglycerides Lab Test results

Triglycerides are the main criteria indicating levels of fat in the blood. The high content of triglycerides combined with low HDL levels is considered a characteristic of metabolic syndrome. Often high levels of triglycerides result from high consumption of sugar-containing products and high glycemic index. The general population’s ideal triglyceride level is less than 150 mg/dL or less than 1.7 mmol/L7 by FDA. Anything over 500 mg/dL is considered very high. At this level, there is a high risk of developing pancreatitis (inflammation of the pancreas). This condition can lead to permanent tissue damage. It is usually accompanied by abdominal pain, which can be very severe.

Guidelines for triglyceride levels in healthy adults are:

  • Normal: under 150 mg/dL
  • Borderline high: 150-199 mg/dL
  • High: 200-499 mg/dL
  • Very high: 500 mg/dL or higher

HDL and triglycerides are metabolically connected and are often inversely related: As triglycerides go up, HDL goes down — and vice versa. But that isn’t always so. People can have “isolated” high triglycerides without low HDL levels, and research is now showing that high triglycerides are an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease, no matter what the HDL is8.

Lipid Panel Blood Test With Additional  Additional Classes

Some labs provide advanced cardiovascular and lipid panel blood test that go beyond typical cholesterol testing to uncover risk factors for early heart disease.

As you can see there are two new components are added to this test: Lp(a) and ApoB. Lp(a) (also called Lipoprotein(a) is a lipoprotein subclass. Genetic studies and numerous epidemiologic studies have identified Lp(a) as a risk factor for atherosclerotic diseases such as coronary heart disease and stroke. It is similar to low – density lipoprotein (LDL, the “bad” cholesterol) in that it contains a single apolipoprotein B protein along with cholesterol and other lipids. This test measures the amount of Lp(a) in the blood to help evaluate a person’s risk of developing cardiovascular disease (CVD).

ApoB and ApoA-I are the two major apolipoproteins involved in lipid transport and in the processes causing atherosclerosis and its complications. ApoB is the main protein found in the low-density lipoproteins (LDL). Apo B increases this clogging, so your Apo B level may be a better indicator of cardiovascular risk than even LDL cholesterol.

Using the VAP Test tas Lipid Panel Blood Test

So, VAP test or Vertical Auto Profile provides even more detailed information about lipid levels as opposed to conventional examination, since this lab test directly assesses LDL levels. Traditional tests on the other hand measure only total cholesterol, HDL and triglyceride levels, and then use them to calculate LDL levels using these numbers. However, this is not the only advantage of VAP test, as this test gives additional information about the size and a current number of LDL particles, as well as tells about the number of less dangerous, large and spongy A-particles, and more dangerous small and dense LDL B-particles present in your body. Light and spongy A-particles easily push off the artery walls. On the other hand, small and dense B-particles are destructive and easily penetrate artery walls. An elevated number of small B-particles is often found among patients suffering from diabetes or metabolic syndrome.    

Components of Lipid Panel Blood Test

  • HDL2 and HDL3  subfractions
  • Pattern A or B LDL
  • VLDL cholesterol
  • Non-HDL
  • apoB100-calc
  • LDL-R (real)
  • Lp (a)
  • IDL
  • Remnant lipoprotein

Cholesterol VLDL

Very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) cholesterol is a type of fat in the blood. It is considered one of the “bad” forms of cholesterol, along with LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. This is because high levels of cholesterol can clog arteries and lead to a heart attack.

Normal VLDL cholesterol levels range from 2 to 30 mg/dL (0.1 to 1.7 mmol/L).

Because VAP measures additional lipoprotein classes, such as Lp(a), IDL, and subclasses of HDL, LDL, and VLDL, it can identify patients at high risk for coronary heart disease who cannot be identified using the standard lipid panel blood test. In addition, the VAP method is compliant with the National Cholesterol Education Program’s Adult Treatment Panel III guidelines.

Thus, if your lipid levels don’t meet the norms, you should take this test more often, say every four or six months, until you achieve the results you wish.

What to do if your lipid profile is outside the healthy range?

Self-treatment with a balanced diet and regular physical activity can help lower the levels of lipoproteins. If your lipid profile needs correction, consider the following recommendations to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases:

  • Quit smoking if you smoke. Smoking is a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases. The risk of coronary heart disease, stroke, heart failure, or peripheral vascular disease is two to six times higher in smokers compared to non-smokers.
  • Follow dietary recommendations to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, such as the “five-wheel” approach. The most important nutrients influencing this risk are saturated fatty acids (which increase LDL cholesterol levels compared to unsaturated fatty acids), salt (which raises blood pressure), and fiber (which reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases). Vegetables, fruits, fish, and unsalted nuts also lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
  • Allocate at least 150 minutes per week to moderate-intensity exercises such as walking or cycling. Integrate physical activity into your daily life. Increasing the duration, frequency, and/or intensity of exercises will provide additional health benefits.
  • Include strength and bone-strengthening workouts at least twice a week, especially for older adults.
  • Avoid excessive sitting (more than eight hours a day).
  • Maintain a harmonious psycho-emotional state.

Regarding medications, your doctor may prescribe statins such as simvastatin, lovastatin, atorvastatin, and rosuvastatin. These are well-studied drugs that not only lower LDL cholesterol levels but also have a positive impact on blood vessels.

Your doctor will strive to achieve specific cholesterol levels, typically LDL cholesterol levels below 2.6 mmol/L. Additionally, any side effects will be carefully evaluated. If side effects occur, an alternative medication or a reduction in statin dosage may be offered.

People who couldn’t reach their goals for cholesterol levels taking statins may need high doses or additional medications. Other non-statin drugs include ezetimibe and, less commonly, fibrates or niacin.

Additionally, you can consider some beneficial food supplements. They can also dramatically lower your cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Looking ahead we can say that nutritional supplements work independently and can be used with statins. But we’ll expand on that that in the following articles.

And finally, if you are not ready to start statin therapy or want to understand your risks and potential benefits, there are additional tests. We are talking about such medical research as the calcium index of the coronary arteries or computed tomography of the heart. It is worth clarifying that intimal thickness assessment is no longer recommended for CVD risk assessment. So, for example, atherosclerotic plaques can occur in the absence of thickening of the intima-media9.

Unlock your health insights with our smart data analysis – the Free Health Tracker app, your reliable medical record!

Drastically reduce the time to detect chronic diseases & inspire healthy habits



FURTHER READING

Follow us on Facebook|| Instagram || Telegram || Twitter || Youtube

Source: ©️2019 Healsens B.V. All right reserve

LIPID PANEL BLOOD TEST: MONITORING AND SUSTAINING HEALTHY Read More »

Get the Healsens app

Choose either App Store or the Google Play, then scan the displayed QR code with your phone.

You have successfully subscribed to the newsletter

There was an error while trying to send your request. Please try again.

Healsens Digital Preventive Healthcare will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing.

Мы пока работаем над сравнением цен на анализы различных лабораторий. Спасибо за интерес и оставайтесь с нами на связи!

Поздравляем! Вы успешно подписались!

Произошла ошибка. Попробуйте еще раз

Healsens Digital Preventive Healthcare will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing.

We're working to make this feature workable. Thanks for your interest! Subscribe to be the first user and get a 10% discount

You have successfully subscribed to the newsletter

There was an error while trying to send your request. Please try again.

Healsens Digital Preventive Healthcare will use the information you provide on this form to be in touch with you and to provide updates and marketing.