Cholesterol Management >> Lipoproteins >> HDL & Cholesterol
How HDL is Able to Reduce Cholesterol
Many articles in this series state that HDL or High Density Lipoprotein cholesterol is effective in reducing cholesterol by cleansing the arteries of the build up of the bad cholesterol known as LDL or Low Density Lipoprotein. The way this works is complex, but can help you understand the importance of raising HDL as a way to impact total cholesterol in a positive way.
To begin with there are some basic facts about HDL that explain why it is so good. HDL is known to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease. It is instrumental in helping the liver get rid of extra cholesterol by joining with a type of scavenger receptor called SR-BI. Until recently it was not clear how HDL knew to signal this receptor into action. A study published in April 2005 clears this up.
Scientists from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center followed the workings of HDL. Their observations pointed toward the release of an enzyme called eNOS that was activated by the HDL. This triggered a signal at the cellular level that sent the SR-BI into action. This sort of cholesterol binding chain reaction is what activates the cleansing power of HDL.
What does all of this mean for those trying to reduce cholesterol? It means that it is just as important to raise HDL levels and it is to lower LDL. In fact, by having a good amount of HDL, you are better able to control the LDL because the HDL signals the liver to regulate its production.
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