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LDL Cholesterol: The Hidden Hand Behind Heart Disease

By Ned Dagostino

Cholesterol is a substance that is found in our blood. It is usually associated with other substances, notably the lipoproteins named LDL and HDL. The association with HDL is good for our health whereas the association with LDL is bad. Let us find out how these associations actually affect our health and how we can guard against their adverse effect on our health.

LDL stands for low density lipoprotein, with the ‘lipo’ prefix indicating ‘fatty’. Similarly HDL stands for high density lipoprotein. The liver produces HDL cholesterol. This HDL cholesterol is used to repair damaged tissue and even to replace the dead tissue. The byproduct of this repairative work is LDL cholesterol. The LDL cholesterol is flushed out of the system by our circulatory and excretory systems. The body has regulatory mechanisms to ensure the proper balance of HDL and LDL cholesterols. However, at times, the level of LDL cholesterol exceeds the normal range and we end up with high LDL cholesterol levels in the blood. This is bad for our health.

LDL cholesterol tends to stick to the inner walls of the blood vessels it moves through. The coating reduces the blood flow through the affected vessels. This means poor circulation which translates to poor health. The coating may increase to an extent where the blood vessel is severely constricted. This condition is known as arteriosclerosis.

Arteriosclerosis leads to high blood pressure which strains the heart and damages the walls of the blood vessels, a condition known as atherosclerosis. Clumps of LDL cholesterol can move down the blood vessels and block the minute capillary networks supplying blood to the brain and heart. If the capillary networks in these critical organs are blocked, the blood supply to these vital organs is cut off, stopped, and the organs experience a massive failure. Capillary blockage in the brain causes strokes, and capillary blockage in the heart cause heart attack. I don’t need to tell you the implications of these two conditions.

The best way to recover from this situation is to help the body to regulate the amounts of HDL and LDL cholesterol. We can do this by changing over to a low-fat diet, free of foods that are rich in LDL. Some fats, like the omega-3 fats found in fish, are actually helpful in reducing LDL cholesterol. So we should include fish in our diet. Drink a lot of water to increase blood circulation and excretion.

Check the medium your food is cooked in. Stop using polyunsaturated vegetable oils because they change to trans-fats on heating, and trans-fats are harmful for health. Use olive oil instead, because it is a good cooking medium. Just this much is good enough to bring about a drastic reduction of LDL cholesterol.

Quit smoking. We all know that smoking is bad for the lungs and is also a carcinogenic activity. What most of us don’t know is that smoking aggravates the high LDL cholesterol condition. The LDL cholesterol will drop almost immediately from the time you stop smoking, and it will drop further if you do as mentioned in this article.

High stress environments lead to high levels of LDL cholesterol in the body almost immediately. Learn to deal with stress. When your slave driver calls you up, prepare yourself to remain calm! The mind is the best tranquilizer for you! If possible seek a change of environment for the sake of your health. Health is wealth, and that’s for sure!

If you (or a near one) suffer from a high LDL cholesterol level, don’t get all worried up about it. That will be counter-productive. You should be positive instead. You can do a lot to bring the LDL cholesterol levels down to normal. Start having a good, healthy and balanced diet. Increase the amount of your activity. Start exercising, and continue to do so regularly. Stop smoking altogether. Not only will your bad cholesterol level get itself back to where it belongs, but your exposure to heart attack and stroke will disappear as well. Don’t worry, be happy!

To learn more about how to reduce cholesterol go to You’ll also discover how a simple over the counter cholesterol test can help you keep an eye on your levels and lower the number of costly trips to the doctor.

categories: cholesterol,heart disease,disease,health

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Dagostino, Ned "LDL Cholesterol: The Hidden Hand Behind Heart Disease." LDL Cholesterol: The Hidden Hand Behind Heart Disease. 23 Jun. 2009. 7 Aug 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Dagostino, N (2009, June 23). LDL Cholesterol: The Hidden Hand Behind Heart Disease. Retrieved August 7, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Dagostino, Ned "LDL Cholesterol: The Hidden Hand Behind Heart Disease"

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