The healthy form of cholesterol is high density lipoprotein (HDL). For optimal health, people require a minimum quantity of this kind. Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, which is dangerous at high levels, is one kind of non-HDL cholesterol.
Other potentially hazardous forms of cholesterol, such as very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) cholesterol, are also included in non-HDL cholesterol.
The risk of heart disease and heart stroke can rise when non-HDL cholesterol levels are excessive. It can be naturally lowered by changing your diet and other aspects of your lifestyle. But some people might need to take medicine.
Continue reading to find out how to reduce non-HDL cholesterol with food, vitamins, exercise, a change in lifestyle, and prescription drugs.
Reduce non-HDL cholesterol with a diet.
LDL cholesterol in the blood is not significantly influenced by dietary cholesterol. Trans fats and saturated fats could make a bigger difference.
An individual attempting to decrease their cholesterol levels could benefit from:
- Saturated fat should not account for more than 5–6% of a person's daily calorie intake. This translates to about 13 grams of saturated fat per day for a 2,000 calorie diet.
- Choosing unsaturated fats can aid in the reduction of non-HDL cholesterol. Olive oil, avocado oil, and fatty salmon are examples of such fats. The bulk of a person's fat should be mono-or polyunsaturated.
- Increasing fibre consumption: including more fibre in your diet by eating fruits, vegetables, and whole grains may help lower cholesterol levels.
- Sugar restriction: foods that people consider to be healthy, including fruit juices, flavor-infused yoghurt, and cereal, might have added sugars. It is best to look for products without added sugar.
- Limiting processed meals is important since they usually include excessive salt or saturated fat content, both of which are detrimental to cardiovascular health.
Even while certain dietary supplements have been shown to lower bad cholesterol, the evidence for their usefulness is not as solid as it is for well-established medications like statins.
- Plant sterols and stanols
- PSS (plant sterols and stanols) are organic substances found in all living organisms. They may be obtained by eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables. However, several manufacturers also provide PSS dietary supplements.
Live bacteria and yeasts, known as probiotics, are found in fermented foods and beverages. In addition, businesses market them as supplements.
Based on studies of the Masaai tribe, who habitually consume fermented dairy and meat but often have low cholesterol levels, scientists originally speculated that probiotics would decrease cholesterol.
A number of laboratory studies have since indicated that some bacterial species may have an effect on cholesterol levels. However, there is no large-scale clinical research to support assertions that this strategy is beneficial to people. People who desire to follow a heart-healthy diet may choose to incorporate probiotic foods into their diet.
According to some research, the antioxidant coq10 may enhance heart health by enhancing the heart's ability to contract.
Several studies have found that people who use statins to lower their cholesterol may also experience muscle weakening in their hearts and other organs. This might be because statins prevent coq10 production in the body.
Therefore, taking a coenzyme Q10 supplement in addition to statins may benefit heart health, although the evidence for this is still inconclusive.
According to a 2018 research paper, exercise of both low and moderate intensity may help lower LDL cholesterol. Exercise is a beneficial supplement to high cholesterol therapy since it also enhances other elements of cardiovascular health.
Anyone who is physically capable should make it a habit to engage in aerobic exercise or any sort of physical activity that raises the heart rate. Several possibilities are:
- Swimming and
- Fast walking
Smoking and alcohol
Alcohol is broken down by the liver into triglycerides and cholesterol. Over time, especially if a person consumes a lot of alcohol, this might cause triglyceride and cholesterol levels to increase.
Additional side effects of excessive alcohol use include weight gain and high blood pressure. These are also heart disease risk factors.
High cholesterol can also be a result of cigarette use. Smoking increases the likelihood of LDL cholesterol adhering to blood vessel walls and clogging them. In addition, it can harm your heart and lungs in additional ways.
Lowering alcohol intake and giving up smoking can significantly improve cholesterol levels and general health.
When patients are unable to decrease their cholesterol levels via dietary and lifestyle modifications, medications may be used to help. They may also be a wise choice for those who suffer from illnesses that cause dangerously high cholesterol levels.
A statin will often be prescribed by a physician. By inhibiting a liver enzyme that promotes cholesterol synthesis, statins lower cholesterol.
Other kinds of medicine, however, may be advantageous in some medical situations. For instance, elevated cholesterol may result from hypothyroidism. The thyroid and cholesterol problems may be treated by taking thyroid hormone.
How long does lowering cholesterol take?
It frequently depends on a number of factors, such as the aggressiveness of your therapy, your genetic predispositions (for instance, some people's cholesterol levels drop rapidly while others slowly decline), and your baseline cholesterol levels.
One thing is for certain, though: the higher your blood's LDL and non-HDL cholesterol levels, the more plaque your arteries are likely to accumulate, the more your artery walls get inflamed and damaged, and the more probable it is that your vessels will become progressively blocked and weak.
Because of this, it's important to reduce your LDL and non-HDL cholesterol as soon as feasible.
What should your LDL and non-HDL levels be?
Several studies have found that even in otherwise healthy people, an LDL level above 100 causes the formation of dangerous plaques. According to the study, LDL levels that are far lower than 100 are desirable. One notable study, for example, found that LDL cholesterol levels of 81 were even better than levels of 104 in lowering mortality, heart attacks, and other cardiovascular-related concerns in people with heart disease. More than 8,800 participants from Europe took part in the trial.
For those who have heart disease with obvious symptoms, a non-HDL target of less than 80 is ideal. Less than 100 is a decent target for healthy people trying to avoid heart disease.
Does decreasing your cholesterol prevent heart attacks from ever happening?
Since their introduction in the 1990s and widespread use in American medicine cabinets, statin medications have been shown to be extremely successful for lowering high LDL levels, and they have reduced the growth of cholesterol-filled plaques since their introduction. But regrettably, heart attacks continue to be the leading cause of mortality among Americans using statins to decrease their high LDL levels.
A person's risk of heart disease can be decreased by lowering LDL cholesterol. Maintaining a healthy weight and enhancing blood glucose control in those with type 2 diabetes are two additional benefits of heart-healthy behaviors that can decrease cholesterol and enhance overall health.
With treatment, cholesterol levels ought to start falling immediately. After around six weeks, they will settle, so whatever level cholesterol hits by then is probably the amount it will stay at.
This suggests that a cholesterol-friendly lifestyle may benefit even those with moderately elevated cholesterol.
Maintaining these healthy behaviors can enhance long-term health even when cholesterol levels decline.
Consult a physician to learn more about a person's unique risk factors for heart disease and the best methods for lowering cholesterol given their current state of health.