Too Much Good Cholesterol Not Good For Health: What Is The Desirable Cholesterol Level?
There are two kinds of cholesterol: High-density Lipoprotein (HDL) and Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL). The former is considered to be good cholesterol and the latter is considered to be bad cholesterol. When someone is said to have “high cholesterol levels”, it is usually referred to high levels of LDL cholesterol in the body. Presence of HDL cholesterol in the body is considered to be healthy and helps in preventing heart disease. However, researchers are now saying that extremely high levels of HDL or good cholesterol might not be that good for the body. LDL cholesterol is considered to be bad because it has the capability of causing atherosclerosis. This is a condition which results in build-up of plaque in arteries. Plaque narrows arteries and increases risks of heart attack and stroke. Atherosclerosis can also narrow arteries in legs – a condition known as peripheral artery disease.
Extremely high levels of good cholesterol in the body can increase heart disease risks
HDL cholesterol takes LDL cholesterol away from the arteries and moves it to the liver – where it is broken down and passed from the body. Cholesterol is a precursor to steroid hormones – which perform the function of regulating body functions and bile acids. Both these functions are important for normal digestion and regulation for many cell activities.
Why excess of good cholesterol is harmful
According to the study, which was presented at the annual conference of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC Congress 2018) in Munich, Germany, people with higher than normal levels of HDL cholesterol are at risks of cardiovascular disease.
Participants of the study, who had HDL cholesterol levels above 60 mg/dl were found to be at 50% increased risk of dying from cardiovascular disease or heart attack, as compared to people whose HDL cholesterol levels were in the range of 40 to 69 mg/dl.
Average age of participants was 63. Association of high levels of HDL cholesterol was found to be more frequent among women.
The study is also indicative of the fact that it may now be time to look at cholesterol in a different way.
Following is a list of foods which can help in regulating cholesterol levels in the body:
1. Fresh fruits
3. Whole grains
5. Olive oil
12. Fatty fish
Apart from including these foods in your diet, working maintaining a healthy weight and quitting smoking can help in regulating cholesterol levels in the body.