So far, both doctors and their patients have focused on reducing LDL cholesterol as a key part of their treatment regimen. However, new research at Baylor College of Medicine shows that having too little HDL cholesterol may be more damaging and may even be more predictive of heart disease than LDL. In fact, in people with heart disease, the most common cholesterol problem is too little HDL.
“Even if their total cholesterol and LDL levels are normal, people with reduced levels of HDL have an increased risk of early coronary artery disease,” says Richard N. Fogoros, M.D.
Some good news
Even a slight increase in HDL goes a long way. It’s estimated that for every 1 mg/dl increase in HDL cholesterol, there is a 2% to 4% decrease in your risk of coronary heart disease.
Should you use drugs to raise HDL cholesterol?
Drug therapy has been less successful at raising HDL than at reducing LDL cholesterol. Statins in particular, are often quite poor at increasing HDL levels. While some newer statins may increase HDL, these drugs might not be good for people whose LDL cholesterol and total cholesterol levels are normal because, while raising the HDL, the drug will lower normal LDL and total cholesterol levels.
Before resorting to drugs, first try these proven, natural methods…
Strategies to Increase Your HDL Exercise: Aerobic exercise and strength training can increas