Before we talk about normal cholesterol levels, we should take about what is cholesterol, and try to understand the differences between total cholesterol, LDL, HDL and triglycerides!
What is cholesterol?
What is LDL Cholesterol?
There are types of lipoproteins: low density lipoprotein that is also known as the bad cholesterol and is the main cause of blockage in the arteries;
What is HDL?
The second type of lipoprotein is high density lipoprotein that’s known as the good cholesterol as it removes the bad cholesterol from the blood and helps prevent heart attack.
What are Triglycerides?
Triglycerides are fat that is found in our blood. Everyone needs triglycerides for good health because our body used them to produce energy!
Proper Cholesterol Levels:
So what numbers do you need to pay attention to when it comes to cholesterol?
You need to know what your total cholesterol level is.
You need to know what your LDL numbers are, that is the bad cholesterol
You need to know what your HDL cholesterol numbers are.
You need to know what your Triglyceride numbers are
And finally you need to know what your cholesterol ratio is. That is the ratio of total cholesterol to your good cholesterol!
So take out your last blood test and lets look at these numbers and what they mean!
NORMAL CHOLESTEROL LEVELS:
Total Cholesterol Levels
|Less than 200||Desirable|
|240 and above||Dangerous|
|Less than 100||Ideal|
|Between 130-159||Kind of High|
|190 and above||Dangerous|
|60 or more||Ideal|
|50 or more for woman or 40 or more for men||OK|
|Under 50 for woman or Under 40 for men||Dangerous|
|Less than 150||Desirable|
|Between 150-199||Kind of High|
|500 and above||Dangerous|
You can figure out what your cholesterol ratio is by taking the total cholesterol and dividing it by your HDL cholesterol or good cholesterol. For example, if your total cholesterol is 215 and your HDL is 52, your cholesterol ratio is 4.13 (215/52)
|3.50 or less||Ideal|
|Between 3.51 to 4.99||Ok, kind of high!|
|5 or above||Dangerous|
What Causes High Cholesterol?
Your age. As we get older the risk of high cholesterol increases
Your gender. After menopause, LDL, the bad cholesterol increases in woman!
Some diseases like diabetes, hypothyroidism, chronic kidney disease, and other kidney problems can raise the risk of cholesterol
Your genes. Cholesterol may be hereditary
Some drugs like, thiazide diuretics, beta-blockers, estrogen, and corticosteroids can reduce your HDL or good cholesterol and increase triglycerides.
Drugs for cholesterol
Statins like Lipitor, Zocor, Mevacor, Crestor, are drugs that doctors prescribe usually to help lower cholesterol levels. There are about 17 million users of statin drugs in the US alone. By lowering cholesterol these drugs help prevent heart attacks and stroke.
Statins have side effects though.
Statins shut down the production of cholesterol not only to the liver but also to the brain. Our brain and our gut need cholesterol to function proprly. Additionally statins have a big negative effect on muscles. Muscles get energy from small cells called mitochondria, the energy center of each cell. Statins kill this mitochondria , so the result is that some people on statins are extremely fatigued because they cannot create the energy they need. Additional side effects include:
flushing of the skin
muscle aches, tenderness, or weakness
nausea and/or vomiting
abdominal cramping and/or pain
bloating and/or gas
Talk to your doctor about these drugs and these side effects. Talk to your doctor also about how to lower cholesterol naturally!