advertisement



Q & A Library


Print this page | Sign up for free e-bulletins
 | Bookmark This Page

Q
HDL Too High?
My good cholesterol is 78, which is considered high. I was told it should be 59. What can I do to lower the good cholesterol?
A
Answer (Published 6/6/2002)

(Reviewed 1/20/2005)

First, let me congratulate you on your excellent HDL ("good") cholesterol level. A HDL (high-density lipoprotein) of 78 is a very good indication that you're at low risk of heart disease and there is absolutely no need to lower it. As a matter of fact, recent studies on cholesterol and heart disease have suggested that each increase of 4 mg/dl in the HDL level results in a 10 percent decrease in risk of adverse coronary events. Let me explain what HDL is and why the higher it is, the better it is for you.

Related Weil Products
Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging for Heart Health - Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging for Heart Health - Keep your heart healthy with small changes to your diet and lifestyle. Learn more - start your free trial of the Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging online guide today for access to an exclusive version of Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid and get 14 days free!

HDL is called "good" cholesterol because in this form cholesterol travels away from the arteries and back to the liver for eventual elimination from the body. In contrast, LDL ("bad") cholesterol combines with other substances that can build up in the walls of arteries to form "plaque." Over time, this plaque damages arterial walls, causing them to narrow and harden. Also, the rough surface of plaque can provide a site for blood to clot, sometimes completely blocking an artery.

According to new guidelines from the National Cholesterol Education Program, HDL levels below 40 mg/dl are classified as low and are associated with a higher risk of coronary heart disease. HDL levels of 60 mg/dl or above are classified as high and considered protective against heart disease. So you have nothing to worry about.

HDL and LDL levels are influenced by heredity, diet, weight, exercise, age, gender, alcohol consumption, and stress. Your HDL level of 78 would be the envy of those people who are trying to increase theirs via weight loss and exercise. I have no idea why you were told that your HDL should be 59 - that's a very healthy level but 78 is even better!

Andrew Weil, M.D.

Creative Commons License Some Rights Reserved Creative Commons Copyright Notice
A portion of the original material created by Weil Lifestyle, LLC on DrWeil.com (specifically, all question and answer-type articles in the Dr. Weil Q&A Library) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.

The Weil Vitamin Advisor
Get your FREE personalized vitamin recommendation & supplement plan today!

Dr. Weil on Healthy Aging
Your Online Guide to the Anti-Inflammatory Diet. Start eating for your health - begin your free trial now.

Dr. Weil's Spontaneous Happiness
Achieve emotional well-being
in just eight weeks!
Start your 10-day free trial now!

Vitamin Library
Supplement your knowledge with Dr. Weil's essential vitamin facts. Learn why they are necessary and more.

Dr. Weil's Optimum Health Plan
Your 8-week plan to wellness.
Begin your journey today!
 

Dr. Weil's Head-to-Toe
Wellness Guide

Your guide to natural health.
Use the Wellness Guide today!

Dr. Weil's Anti-Inflammatory Diet Food Pyramid
Our interactive tool can help improve overall health through diet.

Condition Care Guide
Learn about health conditions from acne to vertigo, and Dr. Weil's view of the best treatment options for each.

Healthy Recipes
Discover a treasure trove of healthy, healing foods and creative, delicious ways to prepare them.

Q&A Library
Over 2,000 questions from you
and their corresponding answers
from Dr. Weil.

 
Copyright © 2014 Weil Lifestyle, LLC
Information on this web site is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare professional. You should not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment.

Ad Choice
Advertising Notice

This Site and third parties who place advertisements on this Site may collect and use information about your visits to this Site and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like to obtain more information about these advertising practices and to make choices about online behavioral advertising, please click here