Raising 'Good' HDL Cholesterol

Wednesday, 20 Mar 2013 10:57 AM

By Dr. Crandall

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There are two types of cholesterol that play a role in heart disease. Low-density (LDL) cholesterol leads to streaks of fatty deposits that narrow the heart’s coronary arteries, and can lead to heart disease. High-density (HDL) cholesterol is thought to help scour the arteries for these deposits and help remove them.

The main focus for better cardiovascular health should be on lowering LDL cholesterol — because that’s the main culprit. Your LDL cholesterol level should be below 70 mg/dL.

However, it is still important to keep your HDL cholesterol at an adequate level. It should not fall below 40 to 45 mg/dL.

The problem is that raising HDL cholesterol is not as easy as lowering the LDL type. While there are no foods that affect HDL cholesterol, exercise, particularly aerobic exercise, can help to raise it.

You can also try taking niacin. Start with a 500 mg dose, and then increase gradually by 500 mg every two months until you reach 2,000 or 3,000 milligrams a day.

In addition, 400 mcg of chromium a day has been shown to help raise HDL.

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