When it comes to tricky topics, low good cholesterol is definitely at the top of the list for many people who are trying to be able to improve their dietary health. Cholesterol as a whole has a very bad reputation. People talk about how their levels are high and how they need to make changes or take medication in order to improve them.
However, not all cholesterol is created equal. LDL is the “bad” form that must be kept down under a certain level in order to reduce the risk of many health problems such as cardiovascular disease. However, when it comes to HDL, that is actually a “good” form and if the levels aren’t high enough, they can cause problems, too. Having low good cholesterol is something you might want to discuss with your doctor in order to ensure that you have a proper balance.
This is especially true as the medical opinion about low good cholesterol has been changing in recent years. At one time, most doctors simply told patients not to worry about it and to focus on making sure that LDL was under control and that a healthful lifestyle was being followed. Now, that attitude has changed but not by much.
Research that has raised HDL levels through the use of medications has not recorded any difference in terms of reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke. The findings from a recent trial involving 3,414 and that was conducted by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in the U.K. showed that raising HDL doesn’t need to be a main focus.
This was not the first time that HDL was studied. In 2006, Pfizer, the pharmaceutical giant, looked into one of its own medications, which was highly effective in increasing HDL levels. Unfortunately, it didn’t actually appear to improve any risks associated with heart attack and stroke. In fact, it may have actually raised the risk of death. These results forced Pfizer to cease the development of that medication and abandon it.
Therefore, while the overall impact of HDL cholesterol is not exactly known, it appears as though the only advice most medical professionals are currently giving is to make sure that you keep your LDL levels down and maintain a healthful lifestyle that includes regular exercise and a well balanced diet. In terms of diet, research has indicated that a reduced fat, fiber-rich eating style will help to naturally balance HDL levels and keep the risk of heart attack and stroke at a minimum.