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    Old 09-05-2007, 07:27 PM   #1
    Red60
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    Causes for low HLD?

    Just wondering what are the known causes for low <30 HDL. To the best of my knowledge my parents, brother and sisters have decent levels >40. Are there any tests available that can identify the cause? I am a long time smoker and I've read smoking is a factor although most of the actual data I've seen show the increase after quiting is a result of dietary changes. I've made the decision to quit so I'll know if that is the cause before long. I would rate my diet as good (for the last year) and at 5'10 150lbs I would say my weight is about right. My last fasting glucose was 80 and I've done a number of random checks most between fell between 75 and 85 so I don't think blood sugar is a problem.

    I remember a remark by Lenin in one of his post stating that at a earlier time in his life he boozed it up a bit and wondered if quiting drinking could have an effect. I was a very heavy drinker for a number of years in my teens and twentys but I've drank very little in the last twenty years. I've never been able to find any studies that investigated that scenerio but it sounds like it would be worthy of research. Are there others that would fit that senerio with low HDL?

    Thanks............Red

     
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    Old 09-06-2007, 02:02 AM   #2
    Mark1e
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    Re: Causes for low HLD?

    One of the uses of cholesterol is to repair damage in the body. So the more stressed the body is, the more cholesterol is sent out by the liver to fix the problem, and the less cholesterol is available to be recycled to the liver. When it is recycled to the liver, cholesterol is packaged in HDL. So the more stressed the body is, the lower the HDL count can be expected to be. Smoking is very inflamatory and causes a lot of oxidative stress, especially in the linings of blood vessels. Cholesterol is used to fix the damage and HDL goes down. High levels of stress hormones and insulin are believed to have a similar effect. So, from this perspective, the best ways to increase HDL are stop smoking and start meditating ....

    Mark
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    Last edited by Mark1e; 09-06-2007 at 02:04 AM.

     
    Old 09-06-2007, 09:05 AM   #3
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    Re: Causes for low HLD?

    Hi,

    I'd just finished reading a couple of articles on HDL, then saw this thread. Some of the following might or might not apply to you. This info is good for the general population.

    Everyone should aim for HDL 60mg/Dl or higher.

    Every 1% increase in HDL was linked to a 2% reduction in the development of CAD in one study. Those with the highest HDL levels in this same study had only 1/2 of the risk of the participants with the lowest HDL levels of developing CAD.

    Ways to increase HDL:

    Quit smoking-as mentioned in the previous post by Mark

    Attain & maintain a healthy weight - every 2lbs lost increase HDL by .35mg/Dl, therefore a 6 pound loss results in a 1mg/Dl HDL increase. It sure does not seem like a lot but in grossly overweight people with a lot of weight to lose it does add up.

    Become more physically active - in one study, regular aerobic exercise (walking, cycling, etc.) increased HDL by 3-9%.
    Get 30-60 minutes of exercise on most days of the week.

    Choose healthier fats - nuts, fish oils, olive and canola oil.
    Stay away from margarines and commercialy baked products & sweets.

    Alcohol consumption only in moderation - red wine, 1 glass a day.
    The benefits of alcohol are not strong enough to recommend alcohol for a non-drinker.

    flowergirl

    Last edited by flowergirl2day; 09-06-2007 at 03:59 PM.

     
    Old 09-06-2007, 11:28 AM   #4
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    Re: Causes for low HLD?

    I have a strong feeling due to the nature of my profession and the stress it brings that my HDL is lower. A year ago my HDL was 54 and now 42. I was amazed to see that my HDL dropped 12 points in a year even though I have been eating right and exercising 30 mins 4X week. How ever my LDL went down from 78 to 75 and my total cholesterol went down form 150 to 134. I am slightly concerned as you do not want your cholesterol to be to low.

     
    Old 09-06-2007, 04:10 PM   #5
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    Re: Causes for low HLD?

    Very true. Stress has been directly linked to many diseases.
    Some medications increase/decrease our cholesterol levels. If we are told we need to take them, we have to compensate for the increases/decreases somehow. As a result of some illnesses and digestive track disorders, the metabolism might not work as it should and the cholesterol levels are affected. The production of cholesterol in the liver and its clearance can also be affected by certain factors, or a disease, and thus cause a change in our cholesterol numbers.

    Last edited by flowergirl2day; 09-06-2007 at 04:12 PM.

     
    Old 09-06-2007, 05:12 PM   #6
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    Re: Causes for low HLD?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Red60 View Post

    I remember a remark by Lenin in one of his post stating that at a earlier time in his life he boozed it up a bit and wondered if quiting drinking could have an effect. Are there others that would fit that senerio with low HDL?

    My HDL has never been low... usually in the low 40's (now in the 50's with Niaspan)... so I doubt it's the booze as I've been drinking for longer than I want to talk about...

     
    Old 09-06-2007, 05:53 PM   #7
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    Re: Causes for low HLD?

    Well I agree with the logic regarding the smoking and nearly every article you read states that it drops HDL levels by something like 7mg/DL. But I could not find any studies with that result when no dietary changes where made after cessation. It doesn't really matter the health benifits of quiting are huge even if the HDL is not increased. If I get a boost its just topping on the cake if not I won't dwell on it.

    Stress can play havioc with just about everything. It may be one of the biggest health hazards of our modern society. You can reduce it to some degree but you can't eliminate it. They claim it's possible to impove the way you respond to stress so it isn't as harmful. Probably something everyone should work on.

    Arizona, have you cut back your intake of saturated fat over the last year? If so that would explain the drop in HDL. The more I read the more skeptical I am in low fat diets being the correct path to a healthy cardio system. The most dramatic changes I've read about are limited carb diets using plenty of heathy fats including moderate amounts of saturated fats. Lots of raw veggies and a variety of fruits. Zero transfats, no wheat grains and no proccessed carbs.

    I'm switching my PC Physician and have my first appointment tomorrow AM. I'm going to push for a NMR LipoProfile Test, this seems to provide important information thats lacking in the typical cholesterol test. If the doctor doesn't know what it is I think I'll continue my search for a doctor. The lab fee is about $100 which I'm willing to pay if it's outside of the scope of my insurance as long as the dr and his lab will work with me in drawing and processing the sample.

     
    Old 09-06-2007, 06:06 PM   #8
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    Re: Causes for low HLD?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by VentureMan View Post
    My HDL has never been low... usually in the low 40's (now in the 50's with Niaspan)... so I doubt it's the booze as I've been drinking for longer than I want to talk about...
    VentureMan, What I was wondering about is if being a heavy drinker for a period of time and then stopping all alcohol intake. It's well know that alcohol has an effect on HDL. Let's say a person drank a pint hard alcohol plus a 6 pack of beer per day for a period of 5 or 6 years and then stopped drinking. I would guess that while that person was drinking his HDL would be good but once the person quit all alcohol intake what happens. Do the HDL levels return to normal or could the process involved with producing HDL now be altered because of the high alcohol intake?

     
    Old 09-06-2007, 07:52 PM   #9
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    Re: Causes for low HLD?

    I have stopped drinking a few times as part of different diets in an attempt to improve my cholesterol. I'm talking about 9 to 12 months at a time. What I have found for myself is that losing weight, exercise, and elimination of alcohol did not provide any appreciable differences in my cholesterol numbers.

    I've stated a few times that I believe my liver produces 100% of my cholesterol... and that food, diet, and exercise has no measureable effect on my cholesterol numbers... except I do notice that carbs, sugar, and booze raise my triglycerides significantly.

     
    Old 09-07-2007, 02:27 AM   #10
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    Re: Causes for low HLD?

    Are vegatables and fruit and beans high in carbs? Also why no wheat products RED?

     
    Old 09-07-2007, 11:46 AM   #11
    Red60
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    Re: Causes for low HLD?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Lutheran122 View Post
    Are vegatables and fruit and beans high in carbs? Also why no wheat products RED?
    Most green vegatables are low in carbs some such as potatoes are high. Fruits have some significant carbs and it would be best to use those that are lower on the glycemic index and not get carried away with them. I think something like 3-4 servings a day of fruit would be ok. Fruit juice is something you really have to watch they can be loaded with carbs.

    I've just recently came accross information concerning grains and wheat in particular. Grains contribute to creating small LDL, low HDL, increased triglycerides, and VLDL. They are also know to slow the clearance of fats from the blood. According to some reading I've done wheat seems to be the biggest offender of the grains and eliminating wheat products from the diet reduces the associated risks by about 90%. Eliminating all grains would help further but the biggest bang for the buck seems to be wheat. Wheat products also increase inflammation (C-reactive protein), raise blood sugar, and contribute to diabetes.

     
    Old 09-07-2007, 12:18 PM   #12
    Red60
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    Re: Causes for low HLD?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by VentureMan View Post
    I have stopped drinking a few times as part of different diets in an attempt to improve my cholesterol. I'm talking about 9 to 12 months at a time. What I have found for myself is that losing weight, exercise, and elimination of alcohol did not provide any appreciable differences in my cholesterol numbers.

    I've stated a few times that I believe my liver produces 100% of my cholesterol... and that food, diet, and exercise has no measureable effect on my cholesterol numbers... except I do notice that carbs, sugar, and booze raise my triglycerides significantly.
    Thanks for the info. I most likely can rule out past alcohol use as a possible reason for the low HDL. Something I read the other day made me wonder if you had lipoprotein(a), at a high level. From what I read it was the most difficult problem to overcome using diet, exercise, ect.... The article stated that while statins did lower the LDL count in persons with LP(a) they did not reduce the actual LP(a) count or risk associated with it. The article stated that your friend niacin was the correct way to treat elevated LP(a). Made me currious since you've had such good luck with niacin.
    Thanks again..........Red

     
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