HDL Cholesterol - (High Density Lipoprotein, or 'Good' Cholesterol)

What is good cholesterol (HDL)?

HDL cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein, or "good" cholesterol) has vascular protective effects:

  1. Removes LDL cholesterol from the arteries; moves it to the liver
  2. Has antioxidant effect on LDL particles
  3. Reduces inflammatory process of atherosclerosis
  4. Reduces tendency for clot formation
  5. Reduces artery constriction
  6. Avoids cellular growth in wound areas
  7. Promotes vasodilation

What is the recommended level of HDL cholesterol?

The higher your HDL cholesterol, the better:

  1. A level higher than 60 mg/dl: considered to have a protective effect against coronary heart disease.
  2. 40-59 mg/dl: in ideal circumstances, this level should be higher.
  3. Below 40 mg/dl is considered a risk factor for coronary disease.

What conditions are associated with low levels of "good" cholesterol (HDL)?

Genetic causes Physical inactivity
Obesity Diabetes
Hypertension Smoking
Unhealthy diet Certain medications