According to the study, the “good” cholesterol may not even exist

Blood fats include the dreaded “bad” cholesterol, which at elevated levels can promote various cardiovascular diseases. In addition, “good” cholesterol should be able to counteract the health risk to a certain extent. At least that’s the current state of science – and that’s exactly what American scientists are now condemning based on a study. Read more about it on FITBOOK.

HDL, LDL and triglycerides – all parameters that even laymen may have heard of in connection with cholesterol levels. A number of them may have already been reassured by the doctor if one of the mentioned values ​​increased in their blood count – the supposedly harmless HDL. An American research team now wants to end the pacification period. Because their study showed that “good” cholesterol may not even exist.

Scientists question the existence of “good” cholesterol

Therefore, in joint research, scientists from different faculties got to the heart of the question of how HDL should have a (positive) effect on cardiovascular health. The study, co-sponsored by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI), was recently published in a peer-reviewed journal.1

Explanation of the study basis

It is usually explained like this. The “bad” lipoprotein LDL transports the fatty natural substance cholesterol from the liver to various tissues, which can lead to the deposition of fat in the blood vessels (and associated secondary diseases). Supposedly “good” HDL transports back precisely that cholesterol. It causes its excretion from the body with bile. HDL values ​​that are too low are therefore viewed critically in medicine, as is LDL that is too high, while a plus in HDL is considered favorable. “Our study verified this assumption,” explains study author Nathalie Pamir in a press release.2

The team also focused on possible differences between people of different skin colors. In earlier studies, from around the 1970s, mostly white subjects were used. Now it was Pamir’s task to check the general validity of the findings of that time.

Also interesting: These blood values ​​could indicate an increased risk of death

course of study

The researchers analyzed around 24,000 pieces of data from the Reasons for Geographic and Racial Differences in Stroke Study (REGARDS). This is a longitudinal study of health information on a cross-section of the US population, focusing on overall stroke risk and predisposing factors.

For their study, Pamir and her team selected young adult subjects with similar health histories, all of whom enrolled in the REGARDS program between 2003 and 2007. They looked at how documented cholesterol levels affected the subjects’ cardiovascular health. None of them suffered from cardiovascular disease at the start of data collection.


Over the course of 11 years, 664 blacks and 951 whites suffered heart attacks, some of them fatal. What they all had in common: elevated levels of LDL and triglycerides, which indicate an increased risk of disease.

More surprising, however, was the patchy display of HDL values. A low HDL value could only be determined in the white subjects of the study and from this an increased risk of disease can be inferred. The researchers concluded that, at least among black adults, a higher level of HDL does not indicate a clear risk of cardiovascular events.

A change to the “Risk Prediction Algorithm” is required.

The research leader considers the results extremely important for medical practice. He hopes for a changed “risk prediction algorithm” – doctors should not automatically give patients with high HDL a favorable prognosis. Especially since earlier studies were said to indicate that higher levels of HDL cholesterol in whites did not automatically mean a reduced risk of disease.

Pamir is therefore sure: other, more generally valid parameters must be used to objectively determine the risk of the disease.

Also interesting: Lower High Cholesterol Naturally – Tips From Specialists

Many questions still unanswered

Much is still unanswered. In the next part of the study, the researchers took a closer look at the properties of HDL cholesterol using a microscope. Cooperation with various proteins, which are said to play a role in the further transport of cholesterol, was also investigated – without meaningful findings. “The results suggest that a deeper dive into the epidemiology of lipid metabolism is needed,” said Sean Coad, chief of epidemiology at the NHLBI.


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