Your HDL cholesterol level is one of the most important factors in determining your heart disease risk. High levels of HDL cholesterol have been shown to protect you from cardiovascular disease, but low HDL levels increase your risk.
The HDL particles in your blood are tiny blobs of lipoprotein and lipids. They help transport cholesterol from the arteries to the liver to be excreted. They also remove cholesterol from your artery walls. This helps prevent clogged arteries and the damage they can cause to blood vessels.
The most effective way to boost your HDL cholesterol level is by making smart lifestyle changes like staying at a healthy weight, getting regular exercise, and not smoking. These changes will also help you keep your LDL cholesterol levels at a healthy level.
You can also try taking medications to improve your HDL, such as statins. These drugs can also lower your LDL and triglycerides. However, it should be done only when prescribed by a doctor.
To learn more about the importance of HDL cholesterol level and how it impacts your health, continue reading.
What Is HDL Cholesterol?
HDL is a type of lipoprotein that helps remove bad cholesterol (LDL) from your blood. It also can help prevent atherosclerosis, which is the build-up of plaque in your arteries that can lead to heart disease.
HDL cholesterol levels vary depending on the person, but a normal range is between 40 mg per deciliter of blood for men and 50 mg per deciliter for women.
There are many things you can do to improve your HDL cholesterol, such as exercise, changing your diet, and avoiding smoking. You can also ask your healthcare provider about medications that can raise your HDL levels, such as cholesterol-lowering drugs called statins.
Normal HDL Cholesterol Levels
A lipid test can help doctors check the amount of HDL cholesterol in your blood. The level can get affected by diet, age, gender, and many other factors. Here is the normal HDL cholesterol level.
Anyone 19 Or Younger
HDL cholesterol levels are an important measure of heart health. High HDL cholesterol helps remove LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol from your arteries, which can lower your risk of heart disease. Anyone below the age of 19 should have HDL cholesterol levels above 45 mg/dL.
Men Aged 20 Or Over
A healthy range of HDL cholesterol for men depends on many factors, including age, weight, family history of heart disease, and other health conditions. Men with high HDL cholesterol levels have a lower risk of heart disease. Having an HDL cholesterol level of 40 mg/dL or higher is considered good.
Women Aged 20 Or Over
The American Heart Association recommends that women aged 20 or over should have HDL cholesterol levels of 50 mg/dL or higher. Women have a slightly high amount of cholesterol compared to men.
The Importance of Your HDL Cholesterol Level
HDL cholesterol is one of the most important lipoproteins in your blood. It carries LDL cholesterol away from the blood vessels and back to the liver, where it’s breaks down and passes from your body. Because of this reason, it is important to maintain your HDL cholesterol level. Here are some reasons why HDL cholesterol is important for your health.
Reverse Cholesterol Transport
High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is often referred to as the “good” cholesterol because it absorbs other types of cholesterol and carries them away from your arteries and back to your liver, where they’re eliminated. It helps in the process of reverse cholesterol transport.
HDL has anti-inflammatory properties that reduce inflammation of blood vessel endothelial cells, which are the main targets of vascular damage. It is an important inflammatory regulator and suppresses pro-inflammatory mediators.
HDL cholesterol has antithrombotic properties, including reducing blood clot formation and thrombosis. It also reduces the risk of deep-vein thrombosis (DVT), which can lead to pulmonary embolism, and it can protect against stroke and heart attacks.
Among the many functions of HDL is its ability to act as an antioxidant, acting both as a protective barrier against oxidative stress and as a transport vehicle of oxidized LDL. This property of HDL is mediated by its ability to prevent the formation of lipid hydroperoxides and other primary oxidation products in LDL.
How Does HDL Cholesterol Level Impacts Your Health?
HDL cholesterol, the “good” kind, helps your body remove extra LDL cholesterol from your blood vessels. It also helps reduce your risk of heart disease. Here is how HDL cholesterol impacts your health.
Lowers Your Risk Of Heart Disease
The good cholesterol HDL, or high-density lipoprotein, helps your body get rid of the ‘bad’ LDL cholesterol circulating in your blood. This helps keep your arteries clear of plaque buildup, which can lead to heart disease and other health problems. Having high levels of HDL cholesterol is typically a good sign that you’re living a healthy lifestyle.
Prevents Blood Clots
When plaque builds up on the walls of your arteries, it causes your blood vessels to narrow and stiffen. Occasionally, plaque tears open, and a blood clot can form at the site. This can cause a heart attack or stroke. The high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol transports fatty material from the blood to the liver for removal, thereby preventing blood clots.
New studies show HDL can reduce inflammation in cells that line blood vessels, which may help protect against heart disease. Researchers found that adding a measure of the anti-inflammatory function of HDL to risk scores improved their predictions of future heart disease.
Reduces Your Risk Of Stroke
HDL cholesterol protects your brain by taking LDL out of your blood and preventing it from building up in your arteries. It can also help stabilize existing plaques in your arteries, which reduces your risk of a stroke.
HDL (high-density lipoprotein) is the good cholesterol that carries away excess LDL (low-density lipoprotein) to the liver. It also helps to keep your arteries clear and protects you from heart disease by moving bad cholesterol and triglycerides out of your bloodstream. Because of this reason, it is important to keep your HDL cholesterol levels high. If your HDL is low, you may need to make some lifestyle changes to increase it. The key to raising your HDL is eating a well-balanced diet, exercising regularly, and quitting smoking.