The ability to increase your HDL cholesterol level—the so-called good cholesterol—is generally associated with protection against heart attack. However, we now know that HDL can be further divided into subtypes HDL1 and HDL2. Both reduce heart risk factors, but HDL2 is far superior and provides more protection than HDL1.
Cardiologists and holistic health practitioners have much more to learn about HDL fractions and cholesterol screening guidelines, and it may turn out that some HDL can be just as harmful, perhaps even more so, than oxidized LDL. We are hearing, for instance, that there are some types of HDL that are pro-inflammatory. This is an area in which we are still learning—and need to learn more yet.
In the meanwhile, I urge you to do what you can to maintain healthy cholesterol levels. That would include not smoking, exercising regularly, and adhering to a good cholesterol-lowering diet.
For more information about cholesterol screening guidelines and other tips on maintaining healthy cholesterol levels, visit www.drsinatra.com.