What Are the Effects of Aging on Cholesterol Levels and Health?
A high-cholesterol diet can be the cause of several health problems and conditions, but age is also a factor which affects cholesterol levels and health. As the body ages, cholesterol levels naturally increase, meaning that taking steps to maintain healthy cholesterol levels is more important than ever as people age. In this article, we look at the effects of aging on cholesterol levels, how to maintain a healthy level and the health risks associated with high cholesterol.
How Does Aging Affect Cholesterol Levels?
Studies have suggested that cholesterol levels naturally increase as the body ages. As part of the normal aging process, cholesterol levels tend to steadily increase. This is because the body is no longer able to efficiently process and use cholesterol – also known as lipid metabolism. In addition, people over the age of 50 often have lower levels of concentrations of HDL (‘good’) cholesterol and increased levels of LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol, making them more vulnerable to cardiac problems and strokes.
Maintaining Healthy Cholesterol Levels
It is possible to keep cholesterol levels in check even as you age. Healthy lifestyle habits including regular physical exercise, a balanced diet and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can help to maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Eating foods such as fatty fish, nuts, oats and seeds can also be beneficial in keeping cholesterol levels under control. Supplements such as omega-3 fatty acids and plant sterols can also help to reduce cholesterol levels.
Health Risks Associated With High Cholesterol
Having high cholesterol levels can put you at risk of several health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke. High cholesterol levels can also increase the risk of other conditions such as kidney disease, gallstones and Alzheimer’s disease. It is essential to take steps to keep cholesterol levels within the recommended range to reduce the risk of these health problems.
High cholesterol levels can have serious consequences as you age, so it is important to take steps to maintain healthy cholesterol levels before they reach dangerous levels. By making healthy lifestyle choices and eating foods which can help to lower cholesterol levels, you can improve your overall health and reduce the risk of developing any cholesterol-related health problems.