High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is one of the five different types of lipoproteins that are found within the human body. HDL helps lipids such as triglycerides and cholesterol to be transported in the blood. Because the bloodstream is water-based, it can be transported much easier. According to research, 30% of the cholesterol found in the blood is carried by high-density lipoproteins.
It has been suggested by doctors that HDL is the “good cholesterol.” The reason for this is because HDL is able to remove cholesterol in the arteries and transport it to the liver. When this happens, the liver can either excrete the cholesterol or utilize it a second time. Therefore, patients with higher levels of HDL are known to have healthier bodies and less chance for cardiovascular diseases. However, drops in HDL (such as 40 mg/dL), the individual might find an increase risk for heart disease.
Raising HDL Levels
Because having a higher level of HDL, it is important to try and raise it. There are a lot of different ways to do it and some pharmaceutical companies will insist that using their pill is the most effective way of doing it. However, that is not the case. There are a large amount of natural methods in which an individual can raise their HDL levels.
- Aerobic exercise: This is the type of exercise that strengthens the heart. Running and bicycling are both effective ways of doing aerobic exercise.
- Weight loss: This ties in with the aerobic exercise; however, cutting trans fatty acids and trans-fats out of one’s diet will help an individual lose weight.
- Increase in soluble fiber to diet
- Increase in omega 3 fish oil
- Avoid omega 6 fish out. This reduces cholesterol, but does not discriminate between good and bad cholesterol.
As an individual’s HDL levels begin to increase, they will find that they are considerably healthier. The reason for this is because the steps taken to become a healthier individual typically tie in with the steps required to raise one’s HDL levels. Therefore, by taking steps to become an overall healthier person will, in turn, result in the individual having an elevated HDL level.
Memory and HDL
Some research suggests that there is a link between levels of HDL and onset of dementia. The research suggests that those with a higher HDL level are much less likely to have dementia than those with a lower HDL. More importantly, there have been cases where people in their late-middle age have an onset of memory loss because they have lower HDL. Whether this is directly caused by the HDL levels or simply a factor that contributes, though, has still been debated amongst scientists and researchers.