HDL cholesterol is essential for the metabolism of fats in the human body. Its decrease can have several consequences.
source for the production of various hormones, vitamins and substances that participate in digestion lipoproteins
Low HDL cholesterol and high LDL cholesterol levels are generally considered a major cardiovascular risk factor for atherosclerosis, according to studies . In this sense, it is essential to ensure an adequate balance of these fats in the blood.
Functions of HDL cholesterol in the human body
act as a chemical transport medium that prevents the accumulation of fat in the circulation
Once loaded with lipids, HDL will travel to the liver, where they will deposit excess cholesterol. In this way, liver enzymes will metabolize it and use it to form new substances. Research confirms that the cholesterol acquired by the liver by HDL is preferentially used to produce bile.
possess anti-inflammatory, anticoagulant, antithrombotic and antioxidant properties
HDL cholesterol is considered a protective factor against various diseases.
How do you know if HDL cholesterol is low?
blood tests allow to determine circulating total cholesterol levels lipid profile
It is recommended to perform this analysis every 5 years in young adults
The desirable value of HDL in men and women is 60 mg/dl or more. On the other hand, concentrations below 40 mg/dl in men or 50 mg/dl in women constitute a risk factor.
low HDL levels are the most common dyslipidemia in Europe.
low HDL cholesterol does not produce any obvious symptoms
Some of the symptoms and signs most associated with this condition are the following:
- Swelling of the hands and feet.
- Gas and abdominal discomfort.
- Overweight or obesity.
- Unexplained fatigue.
- Blurry vision.
- Palpitations .
- Dry mouth.
- In severe cases, some people may experience severe chest pain as a symptom of a heart attack. Or loss of consciousness. In the presence of these manifestations, professional help should be sought immediately.
Causes of low HDL
Most are associated with lifestyle and habits
- sedentary lifestyle
- Chronic alcohol consumption.
- Food rich in trans fats, sugars and processed foods.
metabolic syndrome and diabetes mellitus are common causes of low HDL and high LDL
Tips to raise HDL cholesterol levels
Most of the causes of this dyslipidemia are related to lifestyle.
1. Healthy and balanced diet
Diet is one more piece in the control of cholesterol levels. In this sense, some foods can raise HDL, while others lower it.
It is recommended the consumption of good fats, mono and polyunsaturated,
Oily fish , such as salmon, sardines, tuna, horse mackerel, and mackerel.
Nuts, such as almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts , and peanuts.
Vegetables, such as avocado and olives.
Seeds, such as chia , sunflower, pumpkin, and flaxseed.
Saturated fats and trans fats greatly alter the concentration of HDL in the blood. Therefore, we must reduce or eliminate the consumption of the following foods:
- Fried foods .
- Sausages and processed products.
- Sugary soft drinks .
- Margarine and coconut oil.
- Non-skimmed dairy products.
2. Keep weight under control
losing weight and keeping it close to ideal is essential to raise HDL cholesterol
professionals recommend 30 to 40 minutes of light to moderate aerobic exercise 3-4 times a week.
4. Avoid cigarette
Especially in women
Furthermore, passive exposure also achieves this effect. For this reason, it is advisable to avoid the habit and abandon it gradually.
5. Reduce alcohol intake
moderate alcohol consumption may be beneficial for raising HDL
However, long-term sustained and excessive alcohol consumption favors liver dysfunction and fat retention. Therefore, it is advisable to maintain a moderate intake.
Effects of Medications on HDL Cholesterol Levels
The main alternatives are niacin and fibrates
these drugs do not reduce the risk of heart attacks in people with chronic dyslipidemias
On the other hand, it should be known that certain drugs are capable of reducing good cholesterol levels as an adverse effect:
- Beta blockers.
- Anabolic steroids.
- Progestins in contraceptives.
A key factor in the prevention of cardiovascular diseases:
HDL cholesterol is a form of cholesterol that facilitates the removal of excess fat from the blood. In this way, it is able to prevent the formation of atherosclerotic plaques in the blood vessels. Consequently, it reduces the incidence of cardiovascular diseases.