General practitioner checks cholesterol levels in patient test results on blood lipids. Statin pills, stethoscope, cholesterol test and hand of doctor, pointing to increasing its level in concept

Using Cholesterol to Reduce Inflammation

Here’s a crazy concept: you may be able to reduce inflammation by increasing cholesterol.

Now, why would you want to increase cholesterol? Doesn’t high cholesterol contribute to atherosclerosis, high blood pressure, and inflammation?

It most certainly can.

But remember, not all cholesterol is created equal.

First, you’ve got low-density lipoprotein—LDL—cholesterol. This is the bad stuff. It’s the stuff that can accumulate along arterial walls and blood vessels to boost blood pressure, increase the risk for heart disease, and contribute to inflammation.

On the other hand, there is high-density lipoprotein, or HDL cholesterol. It’s the “good” cholesterol you hear about, and it picks up excess cholesterol and transports it to your liver, where it is eventually excreted as waste.

New research has revealed that more HDL may lead to less inflammation.

A recent study published in Circulation, the American Heart Association (AHA) journal, has shown that HDL cholesterol can fight inflammation in blood vessels and help doctors identify patients at higher risk for cardiovascular events.

The research uncovered that HDL could contribute to anti-atherosclerotic function in a number of ways that are not reflected by simple cholesterol measurements. They include:

HDL’s anti-inflammatory abilities were 32% higher in those who had a “healthy” level in their blood.
People were 23 percent less likely to have a cardiovascular event over a 10-year period for every 22% increase in the anti-inflammatory capabilities of HDL in their blood.

How do you get more HDL cholesterol to reduce LDL cholesterol and help reduce the risks of a heart attack or stroke? It’s relatively simple: eat more foods that can boost HDL and limit those that contribute to LDL deposits.

Anti-inflammatory foods like avocado, olive oil, legumes, whole grains, nuts, seeds, fruits, and veggies are good for HDL levels. On the other hand, cutting sugary snacks can help reduce LDL and the inflammation it creates.


Author Bio

About eight years ago, Mat Lecompte had an epiphany. He’d been ignoring his health and suddenly realized he needed to do something about it. Since then, through hard work, determination and plenty of education, he has transformed his life. He’s changed his body composition by learning the ins and outs of nutrition, exercise, and fitness and wants to share his knowledge with you. Starting as a journalist over 10 years ago, Mat has not only honed his belief system and approach with practical experience, but he has also worked closely with nutritionists, dieticians, athletes, and fitness professionals. He embraces natural healing methods and believes that diet, exercise and willpower are the foundation of a healthy, happy, and drug-free existence.

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https://www.ahajournals.org/doi/10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.120.050808

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