How to promote good cholesterol (and lower the bad)
Posted on 25 April 2019
‘Cholesterol is a difficult subject,’ says Dr Karlien Bezuidenhout, a GP at Mediclinic Hoogland. ‘For instance, while high total cholesterol is often associated with obesity, some overweight people have low cholesterol. Then there are those individuals who have a healthy body weight, but have high cholesterol scores. Everybody is unique.’
However, cholesterol levels and heart disease are directly related. High levels of cholesterol lead to clogging of the arteries, compromising blood supply to the heart and brain. This is why an optimal balance between HDL (high-density lipoprotein) and LDL (low-density lipoprotein) is so important.
‘High levels of LDL-cholesterol is bad, as are low levels of HDL,’ explains Bezuidenhout. ‘But the human body needs LDL just as much as HDL. Balance and relativity is therefore the bottom line.’
And whilst Bezuidenhout adds that genetics do play a part in some instances of elevated cholesterol levels, lifestyle is the overwhelming influence in most cases.
‘It is important to give a patient a chance to adjust their lifestyle, by increasing exercise and improving dietary habits. If there is no change after six months, then treatment should be considered.’