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Good Cholesterol Not That Good

Melissa Gordon | October 20 2004

Doctors have long believed that high HDL cholesterol indicated protection from heart disease. Their theory was that HDL takes cholesterol from the blood stream back to the liver, whereas LDL takes cholesterol to the arteries where it proceeds to cause problems.

The conclusion doctors made of all this is that HDL cancels out bad LDL cholesterol. Sound really simple? It was too simple and recently studies have shown that good HDL only cancels out LDL moderately and sometimes not at all. People with high HDL levels and High LDL levels were and are still not treated for high cholesterol and many die as a result.

In conclusion, if you have had cholesterol tests done in the past it's a good time to get your records and take a look at your LDL levels. Normal LDL levels are 100 or below, slightly elevated is 100-129 and high is 130 or above. If you are slightly above or high and your doctor has never mentioned medication you should probably talk to him about the recent finding of HDL insignificance.

Besides prescriptions, these over the counter substances reduce your chance of having a heart attack: Aspirin, Garlic tablets and Vitamin E.

References & Resources:
"Cholesterol debate: Maybe 'good' isn't" Gina Kolata, New York Times
Monday, March 15, 2004

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