Until now, LDL or bad cholesterol has been believed to cause most health conditions that occur due to high levels of cholesterol in the blood. But now, it seems LDL has an accomplice. The New England Journal of Medicine has recently published a study which shows that a new constituent of cholesterol also has a damaging effect.
The name of this new component is Lipoprotein (LP).
LP plays a significant role in causing cardiovascular diseases. The reasons for high levels of LDL and LP in the human body are different; while the high LDL levels are typically the result of poor eating habits and lifestyle, the latter is inherited and its levels cannot be managed by altering diet or lifestyle.
However, medicines such as CETP inhibitors and Niacin are available and help in reducing the levels of LP.
The bigger culprit
Research shows that LDL is the bigger culprit between the two. Martin Farrall, a leading researcher, states that the risk associated with high levels of LDL is more pronounced than the high levels of LP. He also said that one in every six individuals carry the gene(s) for LP.
How to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases
It is known that our eating habits or lifestyle is not responsible for high levels of LP, a component of cholesterol whose high level exposes an individual at increased heart disease risks. But to think that there is nothing we can do to prevent cardiovascular diseases is grossly wrong.
By adopting a healthy lifestyle and eating habits, one can increase the levels of HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) and lower the levels of LDL- the biggest cause of heart disease today.
Here are some tips that help in reducing the risk of cardiovascular diseases:
- Consume 2 to 4 grams of omega-3 acids, a component that helps dilate the arteries. A common source of omega-3 is fish oil.
- Include avocados, olive oil, and nuts in your daily diet, as these components help in regulating cholesterol.
- Stop consuming trans-fats, as this reduces the chances of developing heart diseases by a whopping 50%.
- Consume more soluble fibers such as brown rice, beans, and oats. Studies show that by consuming 100gms of oats daily, one can lower his/her LDL levels by 14%.
- Include red, purple, and blue colored fruits in your diet, as they all manage cholesterol levels.
- Exercise regularly, as it helps lower LDL levels.
If you are interested in knowing more on how to reduce cholesterol levels naturally, refer to our Cholesterol Guide.
by Scott Davis