Low HDL & Elevated Triglycerides are a Major Cardio Risk Factor

September 11, 2009 | Byron J. Richards, Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist

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 Low HDL & Elevated Triglycerides are a Major Cardio Risk Factor
I have pointed out for a number of years that low HDL cholesterol and elevated triglycerides are a major risk factor for predicting cardiovascular disease and more important than total cholesterol. Now there is a group of European scientists and doctors1 trying to alert the world to this very message, as they say in a recent press release “Low levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) and raised triglycerides, affecting millions of patients worldwide, are strongly linked to significantly increased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) even in patients who achieve or surpass current low density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) targets.”

The massive use of statins, at astronomical expense to the health care system, has only resulted in a paltry 25% reduction in cardiovascular events. I have also pointed out that reducing cholesterol in this manner has numerous undesirable side effects as well as causing increased mortality in the form of suicides, accidents, and infections – thereby offsetting their overal mortality benefits to the public health benefits.

The new research shows that men who have reached the absurd low levels of LDL with statins still have a five time higher risk for a heart attack if their HDL
I agree with these researchers that this places an entirely different focus on preventing heart disease – one based on managing weight (which is the best way to get triglyceride levels down and HDL levels up).

What I don't agree with these researchers on is that they want to use this data to get doctors to more aggressively prescribe drugs to lower triglycerides. It has already been clearly proven that combining such drugs with statins is a deadly cocktail of poisons.

There is a huge difference between having numbers in the right range because you are healthy and having numbers in that range because you drugged them there. Real health is based on fitness, eating well, and doing many things right that contribute to a healthier lifestyle. Numbers don't go bad over night, they follow years of abuse. It will take some time to fix them, time well spent if you correct the numbers by actually fixing your health.

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