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Forum Name: Miscellaneous Cardiology Topics

Question: Very High HDL levels...what does this mean??


 spmorristown - Sat Apr 04, 2009 5:27 pm

I am a very fit and active 46 yo female....I teach aerobics, and free weight classes several times a week, as well as weight train for myself, regularly. I eat very healthy...low fat, very little red meat, lots of chicken breast, turkey breast, fiberous carbs, very little sugar, etc. I take a boatload of vitamins, fish oil, flax seed oil, and minerals. My problem is that my cholesterol levels are borderline high, at about 224. My LDL sits at 69, and my HDL is around 120. How can this be?? My mother has high cholesterol, but hers is high LDL levels. My doctor gave me a script for Whelcor, but it's expensive, and I don't like the gastric side effects. Please tell me, if you can, what the repercussions of high HDL would be, and if it's dangerous not to take the meds. Also, would stopping the fish oil and flax seed oil reduce my HDL? I appreciate any information!
 John Kenyon, CNA - Fri Apr 10, 2009 8:22 pm

User avatar Hi there --

You're having too much of a good thing, which some people would pay to have. Your HDL level is quite high, about double what we'd consider really good. This is what's driving up your total cholesterol, and while it's great to the point of being ridiculous, it probably would make your doctor more comfortable if the collective number were lower. To do this you might start by discontinuing the flaxseed oil and omega3 supplements. That may bring this number down into the 80s, which would bring your total into the 180s. I don't think there are enough cases of what used to be referred to as "morbid longevity" (families with very long lifespans due in large part to abnormally high HDL) to pull up any useful statistical information, but there's probably at least a limit to how much HDL one can use, and 80 would be considered super. There are likely no serious implications for having it this high, but just using the rule of moderation, since you don't need the supplements to keep this number high, try for a while leaving them out and see what happens. Otherwise, I think you're just fantastically lucky to have the genes you have.

Please follow up with us if you have any further information or questions. Good luck to you.
 spmorristown - Mon Apr 13, 2009 10:34 pm

Thanks John, I appreciate your advice! I'll cut out the fish oil, and flax seed oil, and see what happens.

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