HDL cholesterol aka high-density lipoprotein is known as “good cholesterol”. Like LDL, HDL isn’t necessarily a type of cholesterol, it is a combination of a protein and a lipid that has the purpose of carrying excess cholesterol to the liver for filtration and removal from the body.
A healthy level of HDL in the blood is associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease, stroke and high blood pressure.
HDL & your risk of heart disease
Historically, elevated levels of HDL (good cholesterol) have been associated with an increased protective effect from cardiovascular issues. More recent study has shown too much of a good thing isn’t always great, elevated HDL in the blood is actually associated with an increased risk of heart attack.
While elevated levels of HDL may not be as worrisome as high levels of LDL in the blood, it’s worth keeping an eye on your HDL levels just as much as you would, your LDL levels or “bad cholesterol.”
Where does HDL cholesterol come from?
HDL cholesterol is produced by the liver and small intestine. HDL or good cholesterol also comes from certain foods that we consume.
Foods that are rich in HDL include:
- Olive oil
- Oily fish
Some of the functions of HDL cholesterol include:
- HDL cholesterol absorbs excess lipids and transports it to the liver to be broken down and expelled from the body.
What are the symptoms of high HDL (good cholesterol)?
There are no symptoms of high HDL cholesterol.
Like total cholesterol, if you do experience any symptoms of high HDL cholesterol, it will be because a prolonged period of high total cholesterol has led to associated conditions such as cardiovascular disease, stroke and high blood pressure.
As mentioned, two much of a good thing may have a negative impact on your health. Too much HDL cholesterol is no different, which is why it is so important to regularly check your cholesterol levels.