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High Cholesterol Message Board

High Cholesterol Board Index

While I would agree that the total cholesterol level is, for the most part irrelevant, there is a definite distinction between HDL and LDL. Oxidized cholesterol is bound to LDL while unoxidized cholesterol is bound to HDL. This would explain why HDL is protective, and why LDL correlates more with heart disease than does total cholesterol. There is also a direct relationship between HDL and triglycerides, which is why a low-fat diet should be avoided. People on a low-fat diet naturally tend to consume more carbohydrates, which drive up triglyceride levels and adversely affect HDL levels, actually worsening their chances of developing heart disease. High HDL levels, on the other hand, often correlate with lower levels of triglycerides. HDL levels can be increased by exercise, moderate alcohol consumption, eating liberal quantities of eggs, meat, and fish, and taking high levels of supplemental vitamins, such as niacin, vitamins C, E, beta carotene, and selenium.

That certainly is an interesting phenomenom, the fact that your LDL cholesterol increased while taking the fish oil supplement. All studies have thus far indicated that fish oil directly correlates with a decreased risk of heart disease. So, in light of what you have just told me, that may raise a few questions as to precisely how relevant LDL is in the overall picture. Maybe Atkins was correct when he stated that it was his opinion that low HDL and high triglycerides were more predictable risk factors.

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