The Connection Between LDL and High Cholesterol Levels

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The Connection Between LDL Cholesterol and High Cholesterol Levels and Health

Having high levels of Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, or “bad” cholesterol, is intrusive to overall health and can lead to a slew of health issues including heart disease, stroke and various other conditions. It is important to understand the role that LDL cholesterol plays in your overall health and the implications its high levels can have on your body.

LDL cholesterol is a type of lipid produced by the liver and is a key component of health. It is classified as “bad” cholesterol because high levels are known to endow the body with systemic damage, clogging the arteries and creating an environment where strokes, heart attacks and a bevy of other cardiac incidents can occur. The higher an individual’s LDL cholesterol is, the greater the risk of developing heart disease.

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What’s the Connection Between High Cholesterol Levels and LDL?

LDL cholesterol is a primary contributor to high cholesterol levels. It is important to understand that this superseding cholesterol is comprised of two different subtypes. The larger, buoyant version of LDL is less of a threat than the smaller, dense variety that is typically associated with atherosclerosis (hardening of arteries).

The small, dense-LDL particles penetrate the vascular walls much easier than the larger, buoyant particles, thus increasing overall cholesterol levels. Furthermore, an abundance of small, dense LDL particles are higher promoting factors for coronary artery disease, particularly for those without other risk factors for the disease.

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How Can High Cholesterol Levels be Reduced?

It is critical to realize that healthy dietary habits and exercise are two key methods to reduce cholesterol levels and specifically, LDL cholesterol. Replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats, increasing fiber intake and reducing sodium content are all beneficial steps in reducing your cholesterol numbers.

Exercises that increase heart rate, such as walking, running, swimming and biking are also great ways to improve cardiovascular health and cholesterol levels. In addition, quitting smoking and reducing alcohol intake can also prove instrumental in reducing cholesterol levels.

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In some cases, the above methods may not be enough, and it is a good idea to consult with your physician who can prescribe certain medications and tailor a cholesterol reduction plan to suit your individual needs.

Regardless of the route taken to reduce cholesterol, it is important to have an understanding of the role that cholesterol levels play in one’s overall health. A significant reduction in “bad” LDL cholesterol can result in a longer, healthier life.