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Cholesterol is a fat-like substance created by the liver. It is usually found in all the cells of your body. Cholesterol plays a vital role in the production of hormones. But, when this cholesterol level goes high and out of control -the body can suffer from serious health issues.
What's the option then? Good cholesterol sources. But recent research has raised questions over good cholesterol too. Yes, after analysing the genetic characteristics that determine the size of good cholesterol particles, a team of researchers has demonstrated that not all good cholesterol is healthy.
There are two types of cholesterols namely - high-density lipoprotein (HDL) and low-density lipoprotein (LDL). HDL's are generally considered to be the 'good cholesterols'.
A recent study which was led by the Hospital del Mar Medical Research Institute (IMIM), has revealed that some good cholesterols are bad for your health. According to the results of the study, some of the most important and hazardous health risks of HDL cholesterol or good cholesterol are:
1. It is associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease as it transports cholesterol deposited in the arteries to the liver to be eliminated.
2. People with large high-density lipoprotein (HDL) particles have an increased risk of myocardial infarction.
"There is a positive causal relationship between the size of HDL cholesterol particles and the risk of heart attack, so although we have to increase the levels of good cholesterol in the blood, they must always be small particles", explained the study's principal investigator, Dr Robert Elosua, a researcher at the Hospital del Mar-IMIM, CIBERCV, and the University of the Vic-Central University of Catalonia (UVic-UCC).
However, this contrasts with the so-called bad cholesterol, LDL (low-density lipoprotein cholesterol), which causes cholesterol to accumulate in the arteries and increases cardiovascular risk.
For the study, published in the journal Metabolism, Clinical and Experimental, the team analysed genetic characteristics that determine the size of good cholesterol particles and then studied their relationship with the risk of myocardial infarction.
The conclusion is that genetic characteristics linked to the generation of large-good cholesterol particles are directly associated with a higher risk of heart attack, while features linked to small good cholesterol particles are related to a lower risk of a heart attack.
The good cholesterol particles are more effective in transferring cholesterol to the liver so that it can be eliminated, the study revealed.
"This study highlights new and potential therapeutic targets in the field of cardiovascular diseases, including several genes related to the qualitative aspects of HDL particles, which may contribute to cardiovascular prevention," said researcher Albert Prats from Hospital del Mar-IMIM in Spain.
As discussed above, one must understand that even good cholesterol when consumed heavily can wreak havoc. To ensure that your heart is healthy and out of danger from all cardiovascular diseases, you should include consuming a healthy diet with a minimum of dietary cholesterol. Following a diet like this can also be effective in reducing the risk of CVD.
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