LDL Cholesterol

LDL cholesterol foods

Last Updated December 20th, 2021

Overview of LDL  cholesterol

Cholesterol is an essential component of the human body which helps in the production of specific hormones and vitamins, the formation of cell membranes and insulation of nerves. The human body makes 75% of the required cholesterol and the remaining portion is extracted from nutrients in the regular diet. But excess cholesterol in the body can lead to cardiovascular disorders and other complications. A particular type of cholesterol called “LDL cholesterol” is very harmful to the body. According to epidemiological study reports by the World Health Organization (WHO), nearly 2.6 million fatalities are reported worldwide due to high levels of LDL cholesterol in the blood.

 

What is LDL cholesterol?

LDL cholesterol arteryLow-Density Lipoprotein Cholesterol or LDL cholesterol is defined as the type of cholesterol which binds with other fatty substances and is carried by circulating blood to the different organs and tissues of the body. High concentration of LDL cholesterol in the body is termed as Hypercholesterolemia or Hyperlipidemia. In due course of time, excess LDL cholesterol deposits as plaques on the arterial walls, causing obstruction of blood flow to the heart. This leads to cardiovascular diseases of severe nature in the future. Due to this reason, LDL cholesterol is also called “bad cholesterol”. The concentration of LDL cholesterol above 130 mg/dL of blood is considered harmful. Dietary patterns should be well planned after a certain age in order to reduce the intake of LDL cholesterol from food. According to WHO reports, nearly 56% of coronary artery diseases are attributed to high concentration LDL cholesterol in the body.

 

What causes increased LDL cholesterol in the body?

Elevated LDL cholesterol levels in the blood may occur due to dietary, environmental, physiological and stress factors. The commonly analyzed causes of high LDL cholesterol conditions are described below-

  • Age: Natural degeneration of heart muscles, impaired kidney functions and loss of liver functions occur with age. High LDL cholesterol levels are observed in males after the age of 65 and in females after the age of 50 (post-menopausal phase).
  • Gender: High LDL cholesterol levels may be observed in men even before the age of 50. In females, high LDL cholesterol condition is observed after 50 as a part of post-menopausal symptoms (decline in the levels of estrogen and progesterone hormones).
  • Heredity: Certain genes like APOB or PCSK9 regulate the quantity of LDL cholesterol in the body. Mutations in these genes can lead to high LDL cholesterol conditions in the future generations. According to the reports of the British Heart Foundation, 1 in 500 people in the UK suffers from Familial Hypercholesterolemia.
  • LDL cholesterol foodsDiet: Intake of oily or greasy foods or junk foods on a regular basis can increase the risks of LDL cholesterol even at a very early age. A regular diet should contain less quantity of trans fats and saturated fats to check cholesterol levels in the body. After a certain age, consumption of poultry, eggs, dairy products and red meat should be reduced in order to avoid high LDL cholesterol. Diet rich in protein and purine or excess sodium should also be avoided.
  • Obesity: Overweight conditions increase the levels of triglycerides and LDL cholesterol within the body, leading to high cholesterol conditions. Weight loss is recommended in such cases to reduce LDL cholesterol and increase High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol in the body.
  • Substance abuse: Excess alcohol intake can cause severe damage to the liver and heart muscles and increase the level of triglycerides within the body, causing high blood pressure and high LDL conditions.
  • Physical activities: Limited or complete lack of physical activities can cause increased levels of LDL cholesterol and decreased levels of HDL cholesterol (also called good cholesterol) due to decreased metabolism of fats (triglycerides and LDL).
  • Medications: Intake of certain medications such as corticosteroids, diuretics (for high blood pressure), caffeine and narcotics can predispose the body to high LDL conditions.
  • Medical conditions: Few chronic diseases occurring mainly in middle-aged and elderly people such as Thyroid disorders, renal dysfunctions, cardiovascular diseases and liver diseases can lead to high LDL level. 

 

Types of LDL cholesterol

Till date, two types of LDL cholesterol have been roughly identified-

  • Oxidized LDL: It is a sub-fraction of LDL which is so named because of its electronegative properties and electrical mobility. Based on the level of electronegativity, it is of two types- Minimally oxidized LDL and Heavily oxidized LDL.
  • Lp(a) Cholesterol: It is a mutated variant of LDL cholesterol. It can react with substances present on the arterial walls and result in the premature development of fatty deposits.

 

Clinical complications of high LDL cholesterol

The most alarming fact about high LDL cholesterol is that it does not have clear manifestations in the initial stages. But when it is finally detected, the substantial damage already occurs within the body which leads to chronic diseases after a certain age (mostly 50). The following pathological conditions may result from high LDL cholesterol-

  • LDL cholesterol levelAtherosclerosis: Plaque formation in the inner arterial walls results from the excess deposition of LDL cholesterol (combined with triglycerides and other fatty substances). With time this causes abnormal thickening of the arterial wall and leads to atherosclerosis.
  • Coronary artery disease: Due to deposition of LDL cholesterol and other kinds of fats on the inner arterial wall, the arterial passage becomes constricted and impedes the normal flow of blood to the heart. At times, rupture of accumulated plaques can cause blood clots which may travel via circulating blood to other parts of the body causing complications. All these conditions collectively lead to coronary artery diseases.
  • Kidney failure: The kidney cannot completely excrete the larger LDL cholesterol molecules, which thereby exert continuous pressure on the kidney walls. This condition leads to kidney diseases and kidney failure in due course of time.
  • Muscular failure: Unwanted deposition of LDL cholesterol on the cardiac muscles and skeletal muscles can lead to muscle failure.

Treatment

Medication 

  • Statins – These medications help in inhibiting your liver from making cholesterol. It also makes sure that your body absorbs the cholesterol instead of letting it settle along the lines of the arteries and causes heart diseases.
  • Bile-acid-binding resins – These medications help in binding bile (a digestive fluid) and using the excess amount of cholesterol in the body to aid the digestion process.
  • Cholesterol absorption inhibitors – These drugs inhibit the absorption of cholesterol into the bloodstream. Thereby reducing the cholesterol levels in the body.
  • Injectable medications – These drugs are administered to those patients who have very high levels of LDL in their body. These drugs help the liver absorb cholesterol, instead of the excess cholesterol remaining in the body.

Medication for high triglycerides 

  • Fibrates – VLDL (very-low-density-lipoproteins) is produced in the liver. These medications help in reducing the levels of VLDL in the body by excreting the triglycerides faster.
  • Niacin – This medication helps in reducing the levels of triglycerides in the body, by inhibiting the liver’s production of LDL and VLDL.
  • Omega-3 fatty acid supplements – These supplements help in reducing the levels of triglycerides in the body.

 

Prevention

  • Consume fats that are good for the body. Try to reduce your animal fat intake.
  • Maintain a healthy lifestyle.
  • Exercise for at least 30 minutes every day.
  • Stop smoking, if you are a smoker.
  • Abstain from smoking.
  • Maintain your body weight according to your BMI (Body Mass Index

 

Dos and Don'ts

Dos
  • Consume a lot of fresh and clean foods, as the cholesterol that is absorbed by the body is the healthy kind (HDL).
  • Try natural or herbal remedies, olive oil, ginger, onion and herbs such as rosemary and basil.
  • Combine cholesterol reducing foods, such as beans, eggplant, okra, nuts etc.
Don'ts
  • Consume fatty, oily, refined or processed foods.
  • Neglect your physical health. Exercise regularly.
  • Consume high levels of sugar, as this can increase the sugar levels in your blood and can cause medical complications.

 

 

 

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Hydroquinone: Is it the best topical treatment for hyperpigmentation? Darkening of the skin due to high melanin levels is called hyperpigmentation.  Hydroquinone interferes with melanin production thus treating…
What is the right way to take a pregnancy test? A pregnancy test is undertaken to determine if you have conceived. A home pregnancy test is the most…
Milk Thistle skin
Milk Thistle: Find possible cures for fatal diseases in these purple blooms Milk thistle is well-known for treating liver conditions. However, did you know that it comes with a plethora…
Cottage cheese: What can you find in this healthy chunk of fresh milk cheese? Love cheese but scared of putting on extra pounds? With cottage cheese, you can get the best of…
Heart diseases patient
Heart Valve Surgery A heart valve surgery is a procedure to replace or repair the diseased heart valves. The most commonly…
Sputum test Sputum test is a commonly used diagnostic tool that is used to examine the presence of pathogens in…
Miracle extract from the root of maca: 10 ways it can help you! Maca root has been used for years in herbal medicine. Today scientific research is unearthing fresh evidence in…
Quinine: How gin and tonic came to be known as a potent health elixir The discovery of quinine-containing tree bark is sometimes considered the most serendipitous medical discovery of the 17th century.
Oxidative Stress: Understanding the most lethal phenomenon happening in your body right now Free radicals cause damage to the body, which is known as oxidation.  The amount of oxidation caused by…
Vitamin K2: 8 reasons why you need this bone-building & cancer-fighting nutrient Vitamin K2 is claimed to be essential for your bone health, for reducing the risk of cancer, and…
Low fat diets
A complete list of low-fat diets and how to follow them Low-fat diets help you lose weight in a healthy way, but it works only with regular exercise and…
Vagus nerve: 7 health benefits of stimulating the “gut-brain” connection As a matter of fact, there are two vagus nerves namely the left and the right but is…
black seed oil benefits
Black Seed Oil: What secret benefits could it bestow on your health? Black seeds or nigella seeds are tiny packets of health brimming with amazing benefits. Find out why should…
liver detox facts
7 liver detox facts and why ignoring these could kill you! Are you taking care of this organ that handles over 500 different vital functions in your body? Your…
myelogram
Myelography Myelography is an important diagnostic tool that is used to investigate and identify abnormalities in the spine and…
Barium-enema
Barium Enema Barium enema is also known as colon x-ray. Here, the patient is asked to consume small amount of…
Kava: Is it the healthy substitute for alcohol you have been waiting for? Native to the beautiful South Pacific islands, Kava is a famous beverage rooted in the local culture. It…
GGt test
GGT – Gamma-Glutamyl Transferase Test GGT or gammaglutamyl transferase test is a liver function test that is used to detect the extent of…
angiography
Angiography Angiography is a diagnostic tool used to determine the narrowing or blockage in the arteries and veins supplying…
How can berberine supplements help you live longer and healthier? Berberine is a turmeric look-alike herbal extract that is credited with numerous health benefits ranging from diabetes cure…
nutritional yeast bread
Nutritional Yeast : How can a fungi culture be good for your body? Nutritional yeast: How a simple culture of fungi can transform your skin, digestion, immunity , and much more.…
hidden benefits walking
9 benefits of walking we bet you didn’t know! Did you know walking can be the miracle pill for eternal youth? Everyone knows walking is good for…
Greek Yogurt: Discover the secret ingredient to the real Spartan strength Greek yogurt is probably the tastiest way you can enhance your gut microflora. Read more to find out…
alcohol toxic
7 startling facts that will make you quit alcohol today Does drinking really make you friendly and happy? How many calories does a can of cold beer add…
Potassium healthy
Potassium: How only 100 mg a day can dramatically increase your lifespan! The word potassium comes from the process where wood ashes were stored in pots for extraction. What else…
Blood Disorders cancer
Immunotherapy immunotherapy is a treatment that boosts the body's immune system to identify the cancer cells and fight cancer.
Lung cancer xray
Lobectomy Lobectomy is a surgery where a lobe of the diseased lung is removed. It is mainly done to…
heartfail_2
Open Heart Surgery An open heart surgery is a major procedure performed to treat heart diseases like congenital heart problem, heart…
Tart Cherry: The healthiest excuse for taking that second serving of pie Tart cherry has been traditionally used in delectable desserts such as pies. Recent studies have revealed that its…
These are the top foods to increase your hemoglobin count It is important to add iron-rich foods into your diet in order to increase hemoglobin. Deficiency of hemoglobin could…
biopsy procedure
Biopsy Biopsy is a procedure of studying a live tissue sample collected from a specific organ for diagnosing a…
chloride test
Chloride Test A chloride test of the blood checks the level of chloride in body, an important factor governing the…
Mood swings
The real reasons for your mood swings and how to overcome them Are you prone to heated moods frequently? Do you also feel bouts of depressive feeling creeping up on…
L-theanine attention
L-Theanine: Better sleep, higher focus, and many other benefits Did you know that L-theanine found in green tea can make you sleep better and be focused at…
vdrl test syphilis
VDRL Test The VDRL test is a blood test that is used to diagnose sexually transmitted or venereal diseases, primarily…
What is Qigong and how can it help you channelize you inner “Qi”? Qigong is an integrated way of performing a traditional exercise regimen that can help in promoting health, mental…
Tissue Transglutaminase Antibody (tTG) Test Transglutaminase is an enzyme present in our body and is involved in protein metabolism. A tTg test is…
xylitol gum
Xylitol : Is this the right sugar substitute for you? Discovered during World War 2 owing to sugar shortage, xylitol has become a common name in pharamaceutical industry.…
fructosamine test
Fructosamine Test A fructosamine test measures blood sugar glucose content. Fructosamine level can indicate blood sugar level in past 2-3…
Period sanitary napkin-menstruaion-blood-colors
Period blood – what it says about your health Your period blood color and consistency indicate what is happening in your body. Is your blood bright red…
acne removal tips
Anatomy of acne: 7 instant steps to kiss those zits goodbye Blackheads, whiteheads, or pimples-call them what you may. Acne is never good news.Did you know some of the…
stress depressed anxiety
Are you depressed or just stressed? Know when to see a doctor Why are some people more anxious than others? Is being depressed the same as feeling sad? Have you…
reflexology massage
Top reasons why you should go for a reflexology massage today Reflexology involves the application of pressure to your feet and hands to encourage self-healing. Could this be beneficial…
Bronchoscopy procedure
Bronchoscopy Bronchoscopy is a procedure where in a scope is inserted into the lung pathway to observe any growth…
APL IgM Test
Antiphospholipid Antibody(APL)-IgM test The antiphospholipid antibodies are specific protein in the body directed against the phospholipids. It is used to detect…

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