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High HDL cholesterol may reduce risk of cancer

Category: General Wellness

A meta-analysis of two dozen lipid intervention trials has found a connection between high-density lipoprotein cholesterol and a lower risk of cancer. The analysis took data from more than 100,000 patients and found that for each 10 milligrams per deciliter increment that HDL levels increased, the likeliness of cancer was reduced by more than 30 percent.

Connection between cholesterol and cancer
The study, published in The Journal of the American College of Cardiology, found that a higher level of HDL cholesterol, commonly called "good cholesterol," may reduce cancer, while low-density lipoprotein, also known as LDL, or "bad cholesterol," may increase the risk. While the researchers were not able to determine exactly how HDL levels helped fight cancer, there was still a strong connection between cholesterol tests and cancer. It may simply be that HDL, a protein that helps heal parts of the body, simply boosts the immune system and helps fight cancer, according to lab tests.

HDL also has antioxidant properties, which may help to naturalize chemical compounds in the body that damage cells. Another possibility is that HDL reduces inflammation, which can help control heart disease and cancer.

Richard Karas, M.D., executive director of the Molecular Cardiology Research Institute at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, Mass., and lead author of the study, also commented that low levels of both HDL and LDL cholesterol were usually present in cancer cases and may be a sign that the patient was about to die.

Health benefits of high HDL
Regardless of the connection between cancer and HDL, which still needs to be authenticated, there are definite benefits of having high levels of so-called good cholesterol. HDL can help lower LDL levels, which can help reduce the risk for heart attack, heart disease and stroke. This is because LDL is used to repair veins in the body, but requires HDL to remove it. If the LDL is not removed, it can cause blockages and clots in veins that can lead to serious issues, notes the Mayo Clinic.

A cholesterol test can help determine levels of HDL and LDL. Knowing these levels can allow for changes in lifestyle and diet that can help increase general health while potentially reducing the risk of cancer and other diseases. A lab test online can provide the answers to serious questions about health.

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