There are proteins found in blood (known as lipoproteins) that encage fat particles (cholesterol), and carry them throughout the bloodstream. This family of proteins consists of five members: chylomicrons, very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL), intermediate-density lipoprotein (IDL), and, the two most recognizable members, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). You probably know this family of cholesterol-carrying proteins from your blood work reports. Generally, LDL and HDL are reported as specific numbers, while “total triglycerides” addresses the sum of the remaining lipoprotein levels.
While statin drugs may help reduce LDL levels, some only reduce risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD) by a mere 25%. Statins rarely address the other side of the cardiovascular equation — which is increasing HDL levels. Clinical research shows that increasing HDL can play a critical role in reducing your risk for CVD. To put this in more quantifiable terms: Increasing HDL by 1 mg/dL is said to reduce the risk of CVD by almost 3%. However. reducing LDL by 1 mg/dL has only been shown to reduce the risk of CVD by 1%. This may come as a shock, since most of the media focus on cholesterol points towards statins and the reduction of LDL cholesterol. However, increasing your HDL cholesterol is what could save your life.
September 23, 2010 By Casie Terry