HDL “good” cholesterol improves blood glucose levels by enhancing skeletal muscle function and reducing obesity: Study

HDL cholesterolHDL “good” cholesterol improves blood glucose levels by enhancing skeletal muscle function and reducing obesity. Rates of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease are higher among type 2 diabetics, and one of the strongest predictors of cardiovascular disease in these patients is low circulating levels of HDL cholesterol. The researchers determined that HDL cholesterol levels must be improved for proper skeletal muscle function.

The researchers observed that without ApoA-I, the major protein component of HDL cholesterol, the ability to burn calories is reduced in skeletal muscles. They also found that HDL cholesterol and ApoA-I enhance the use of glucose and calories inside muscle cells. When the researchers noted greater protection against hyperglycemia and age-related symptoms in animal models once the levels of ApoA-I and HDL cholesterol were raised.


Lead researcher Dr. Susanna Hofmann said, “Our results link for the first time low HDL cholesterol with impaired use of glucose and burning of calories in type 2 diabetes. ApoA-I analogues are now clinically tested for the prevention and regression of atherosclerosis. Based on our findings described herein, these analogs may offer underappreciated potential for therapeutic opportunities in diabetes. Most importantly, our results are highly relevant for women with type 2 diabetes. Their risk for cardiovascular diseases compared to men with type 2 diabetes is significantly increased, because these women have low concentrations of HDL cholesterol and ApoA-I.”

Tips to manage HDL cholesterol and blood glucose levels

Recommendations for managing HDL cholesterol and blood glucose levels are quite similar, as both can be controlled through healthy eating and regular exercise, in other words, a healthy lifestyle. Here are some tips you can incorporate into your daily life for better cholesterol and glucose control.

  • Exercise regularly
  • Lose some weight
  • Take a look at your genetics – sometimes cholesterol issues are inherited
  • Promote good gut bacteria with probiotic-rich foods
  • Reduce stress
  • Quit smoking
  • Reduce your intake of dietary saturated fats
  • Limit your intake of simple carbohydrates
  • Keep alcohol consumption to a minimum

By sticking to a healthy lifestyle and following your prescribed treatment plan, you can have greater success in boosting your HDL cholesterol and controlling your diabetes.