What causes high bad cholesterol? Bad cholesterol is also referred to as LDL. LDL particles are less dense and less buoyant, which means they are more likely to get trapped in the bloodstream and cause clogging of the arteries. Here you will learn what causes high LDL levels and how to correct the problem.
Some genetic mutations have been identified as being associated with high LDL levels, but these mutations are rare. The condition familial hypercholesterolemia, for example, is accompanied by very high LDL levels, very low HDL (good) cholesterol and very high total triglycerides. Triglycerides are fats in the bloodstream. High triglycerides are usually associated with high total cholesterol and high LDL.
2. Low HDL Levels
Not only are low HDL levels an accompaniment problem associated with high bad cholesterol, they are also a cause of the problem. HDL particles are larger and more buoyant. They can attract the smaller LDL particles, pick them up and carry them back to the liver for reprocessing or disposal. Basically, HDL particles are bloodstream scavengers.
Diet can contribute to high triglycerides, high total cholesterol and the imbalance in HDL and LDL particles described above. But the cholesterol in your diet accounts for only about 20% of the cholesterol circulating in your bloodstream. Most of the particles are produced by your liver and other bodily organs.
4. Lack of Exercise
Although the association between physical activity and high bad cholesterol is not fully understood, it is known that regular physical activity decrees triglyceride levels and associated problems. The most reasonable reason is that the muscles use more fatty acids for nourishment. Triglycerides are composed of fatty acids. Another factor is that muscles use fatty acids for nourishment when they are at rest. So, the benefits of exercise are long-lasting.
Smoking contributions to high bad cholesterol. Nicotine and other chemicals alter the entire cardiovascular process. Cigarette smoking has a negative effect on the liver, where most cholesterol is produced. Your body produced more cholesterol in response to cigarette smoking as a perceived defense mechanism, but the mechanism provides no defense against the effects of cigarette smoke.
6. Excessive Alcohol Consumption
Cholesterol is a fatty waxy alcohol. Excessive alcohol consumption leads to excessive cholesterol production.
7. Inefficient Excretion of Cholesterol
Normally, bile acids carry cholesterol out of the bloodstream and out of the body. In some cases, the excretion process is inefficient. This leads to increased accumulation of total cholesterol in the body.
8. Excess Absorption and Re-absorption of Cholesterol
Your body sometimes absorbs more cholesterol than normal from the foods that you eat. Often, this is due to a lack of other nutrients in the diet. Re-absorption of cholesterol accounts for a great deal of circulating LDL particles. Instead of being excreted via bile acids, the particles are re-absorbed through the intestinal walls.
9. The Role of Oxidation
LDL particles are bad because they become trapped on the walls of the cardiovascular system and become hardened through the process of oxidation. So, while balancing and controlling cholesterol is important, it is also important to reduce oxidation of the particles, which is caused primarily by free radicals. In my next article, you will learn how to reduce bad cholesterol and reduce oxidation, naturally.