Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Why Low Cholesterol is Not Always Good News

it’s only for the last few years that health is being given the importance it deserves – we’re being bombarded by advice from healthcare professionals, fitness trainers, dieticians and various others about how we need to take care of our health through the right diet and regular exercise. And part of this advice includes keeping our cholesterol levels down, the bad cholesterol or LDL that is. We’re also told that we must increase our good cholesterol or HDL levels if we’re to stay in the prime of health. And that’s what we’ve tried to do so far. However, new research proves that neither of the above two statements hold true any longer – low LDL levels and/or high HDL levels are not really as healthy as they were thought to be.

Photo by atomicShed
High density lipoprotein (HDL) is not protective for people who suffer from Type 2 diabetesaccording to research carried out at the University Hospital Zurich and the Medical School of Hannover in Germany and Switzerland. HDL protects blood vessels by reducing the production of damaging chemicals, boosting their ability to expand, and repairing damage to their lining. However, in diabetic patients, the protective benefits towards blood vessels were found to be impaired substantially. Another study conducted by the University of Rochester Medical Center details lessons learnt from a clinical trial conducted by pharmaceutical giant Pfizer – the drug company found that torcetrapid, an experimental drug that raised levels of HDL cholesterol, caused a large number of cardiovascular events and death and stopped the trial immediately. This led researchers to the conclusion that a certain group of patients who had high levels of the C-reactive protein (CRP), a well-known marker of inflammation, did not benefit from high levels of HDL and that it was in fact detrimental to their heart health.
Also, very low levels of low density lipoprotein (LDL) are believed to cause diseases like cancer and also lead to depression and mental anxiety. Pregnant women with very low levels of LDL are at high risk of giving birth to premature babies and/or babies with a low birth weight.Researchers at the National Cancer Institute are now suggesting that low levels of LDL may in fact point to signs of cancer, so if you have low cholesterol, it’s not a time to rejoice but one to plan a health screening in consultation with your doctor. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to a disease like cancer where your chances of a cure are higher the earlier it is diagnosed.
So when your blood test results come in, don’t assume that you’re healthy because your cholesterol levels are low. Talk to your doctor to determine the ideal levels for your body type and get yourself screened for other diseases as well.

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