It's The Ratio That Matters: HDL to Total Cholesterol

Most people are way too concerned about their total cholesterol when in fact the focus should be on achieving an optimal HDL (good cholesterol) level.

The ideal level of HDL should be between 60-70 ng/dL.

HDL acts as a wheelbarrow to carry oxidized or "bad" cholesterol off from the arterial wall and shrink away vessel plugging plaque.

At least half of people who suffer a heart attack have total cholesterol levels well within normal ranges.

The key again is to strive to meet the optimal cholesterol to HDL ratio. The magic number is <3.0.

To calculate your ratio, simply divide your total total cholesterol by your HDL. For example if your total cholesterol is 220 and your HDL is 70, your cholesterol/HDL ratio is 3.1.

Now let me present a life saving question:

Let's say your total cholesterol is 180 and your HDL is 25 what would your cholesterol risk ratio be?

If you answered 7.2 you would be correct.

Now who is more at risk, the patient with the total cholesterol of 220 or the patient with the total cholesterol of 180?

I hope you said the patient with the cholesterol of 180.

Don't be mislead. Focus on your ratio not the total cholesterol. Remember you want your HDL over 60 ng/dL. Of interest there are many people with cholesterol levels in the 300s, but because their HDL is so high, they are protected and have no coronary plaque.

The following should be considered when attempting to raise your HDL:

  • Niacin

  • Acetyl-L-Carnitine

  • Taurine

  • Magnesium

  • Phosphatidyl Choline

  • Vitamin E/ Tocotrienols

In order to determine which of the above nutrients would be best to take to increase your HDL, I recommend asking your doctor to order a CardioION Test from Genova Diagnostic. This will help pinpoint which of the above nutrients are needed to increase your HDLIt takes the guess work out of knowing what action steps to take to improve your patient's cardiovascular health. It is the best blueprint for cardiovascular health. There is nothing that compares to it.

You need to take a pro-active role in your cardiovascular health. Go ahead and test your doctor and ask him/her what they recommend to increase your HDL. If they immediately recommend a statin like Crestor, then you know you have a doctor who has no knowledge of the root causes of low HDL.

The bottom line is don't fall for the fictitious norm for HDL of around 30, as most labs report. Make sure yours is over 60. This is a risk factor that is under-appreciated in medicine.

Simple lifestyle changes and nutrients can make huge differences in this important parameter that is measured in most Americans. However, it is either disregarded as the doctor reviews the laboratory results or is seen as a deficiency of the latest statin drug. Again, don't fall for this.

As always, I got your back!


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This information is provided by Thrive Family Health Center and is not intended to replace the medical advice of your doctor or health care provider. Please consult your health care provider for advice about a specific medical condition

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