Thursday, February 13, 2014

How to have more protective HDL....

Today's Post:  Thursday, 2-13-2014

There are two ways to read that title.

1.  How to have more HDL --


2.  How to have the HDL you do have be more protective from heart disease and heart attacks.

We’ll recap the very effective ways to increase HDL that also tend to be protective first –

 AND then we’ll add some new information on how to make the HDL you do have be more protective because some kinds of HDL are not protective.

1.  Here’s the most important fact to know about HDL and heart disease. 

a) Research has found that one of the most important causes of heart disease and then strokes and heart attacks because of it is this:

Some LDL is large particles that can and often do roll along harmlessly in your blood vessels without harming them.  BUT small particle LDL is trouble!  These particles are quite literally so tiny that they stick into the molecular chinks in the walls of your blood vessels.  That causes inflammation and some damage and that causes your body to patch over the areas where that happens.  But if it goes on far too much, these patches build up and begin to close the blood vessels. 

Once that happens, if and when any of those patched areas breaks off and comes to a place that’s too closed up or calcified so the clot blocks blood flow it causes heart attacks and strokes and can also happen in the lungs as a pulmonary embolism which sometimes release the clot to then cause a heart attack or stroke.

So one of the very most protective things you can do is to lower small particle LDL to as low a level as safe.

b)  Here’s where your HDL measurement comes in.  It costs several hundred dollars to test your small particle LDL directly but researchers at Harvard found that the ratio of your HDL and triglycerides is a very close approximation that is almost 100 % the same.

c)  So if you do the things that lower small particle LDL and avoid the things that increase it, you will have less small particle LDL, your HDL will be less, your triglycerides will be more, and you will develop far less heart disease.

Exercise lowers small particle LDL:

If you build up safely to doing vigorous exercise if only for a few minutes a day on most days a week, it directly reduces your small particle LDL and your HDL measure will go up and your triglyceride measure will go down.  Better yet, the more years in a row you get such exercise almost every week, the more effective this becomes!  Then instead of being more likely as you get older to have a heart attack, this part of it makes you LESS likely to have one!

Hydrogenated oils sharply increase the amount of small particle LDL you have if you eat any!:

Even worse, because it takes your body weeks to get rid of half of what you take in even eating a small amount of hydrogenated oils every day, like having nondairy creamer in your coffee each morning does for example, after a few months you have a ton of this heart attack starter in your system.

Next you need to look at things that boost the heck out of your triglyceride levels because that means those things also are almost certainly lowering your HDL and increasing your amount of small particle LDL.


Eating or drinking high fructose corn syrup; eating any refined grains; and eating or drinking  more than just a very small amount of fructose by itself or eating or drinking a lot of sugar; or eating more than just a small occasional amount of even whole grains each boost triglycerides and do so by a lot!  This means regular soft drinks are heart attack starter too!

Worse, eating or drinking artificial sweeteners seems to test out as doing the same thing or even worse.  And of course many of the artificial sweeteners such as sucralose or Splenda cause health problems and the Center for Science in the Public Interest says they each have some risk of causing cancer.  That means that NOT drinking diet soft drinks also tends to be heart protective.


Because niacin both increases HDL AND lowers triglycerides it almost certainly directly lowers small particle LDL.  That lowers inflammation. 

Even better, recent research found that niacin also causes your immune system messengers to lower inflammation a second way.  That means that just taking 300 mg of real niacin after your two largest meals is extremely heart protective. 

(There is even considerable evidence to suggest this is more heart protective than taking statin drugs in any amount AND doing this and NOT taking statins avoids the serious side effects of statins.)

Other things that boost HDL:

If you aren’t allergic to them eating raw nuts that have not been salted or oiled every day increases your HDL levels and has many other proven health benefits.

Eating organic berries or taking berry extract supplements also increases your HDL levels in addition to their other proven health benefits.

Other things that lower triglycerides:

Eating onions, taking deodorized garlic supplements, eating minced fresh garlic, and eating wild caught fish high in omega 3 oils, and/or taking omega 3 and DHA supplements – each lower triglycerides and has other heart and health protective benefits.

2.  Here’s the newer research that show why high HDL is not always enough:

Oxidized HDL particles have been found to help cause heart disease instead of being protective.

This was recently in Medical News Today:

Bad version of 'good' cholesterol causes disease
New study shows how dysfunction in a protein that makes HDL can turn the 
so-called good cholesterol into a bad form that promotes inflammation and 
coronary artery disease.

1.  Two things appear to be going on here.  In the presence of other causes of endothelial harm such as excessive salt or high chronic inflammation or tobacco smoke or high HBA1C the apo(a1) part of HDL stops being protective and becomes harmful instead.

That means that it’s critical to avoid tobacco smoke (which also lowers HDL too!)

And NOT eating the pro-inflammatory foods that are high in omega 6 oils is critical too.

And, it’s yet another reason NOT to eat excessive salt or bad sources of sodium such as MSG.

It’s also another reason to avoid the foods and drinks that boost triglycerides because they also help cause high blood sugar and HBA1C levels.

2.  And, this effect is much worse if your HDL becomes oxidized according to this study.  

THAT means that natural vitamin C in high doses, lots of carotenes in foods, real vitamin A, selenium, and real vitamin E complex all are vitally needed to prevent that part of HDL from being oxidized!

This too is another reason why eating a lot of low glycemic, organic, whole fruit and lots of organic vegetable every day is heart protective.

This also explains why boosting HDL with drugs instead of just booting HDL by reducing small particle LDL is so much less effective!  

If you reduce small particle LDL, inflammation and depositing of patches in the blood vessels is less so this heart disease process is less.  While if you boost HDL without doing that and these other things the heart disease process continues.  

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