According to research published in the most recent issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, having a lot of so-called “good” cholesterol – technically known as high-density lipoprotein or HDL cholesterol – is an important contributor to heart health, but simply having a lot of it in one’s body may not be enough.
The researchers discovered that the way HDL behaves in the bloodstream appears to be more important. There was a significant difference in the compound’s ability to prevent the formation of cholesterol “plaques” in critical parts of the circulatory system, which can lead to high blood pressure and, in some cases, more serious medical problems.
The researchers labeled their measurement of HDL’s activity in removing excess cholesterol from the bloodstream and preventing plaques as “cholesterol efflux capacity,” and discovered it was not dependent on the raw quantity of HDL in the bloodstream.
Excess cholesterol can cause problems with arterial walls, which can be fatal.
According to experts, prolonged periods of poor heart health can result in higher health insurance premiums at best and tragedy at worst.
Life Quotes, Inc. first published this article.