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HDL Cholesterol and Body Fat

See yesterday’s Aggressive Weight (fat) Loss: Getting Down to Race Weight.

My doctor thought the last test was a fluke with an HDL cholesterol of 103 (HDL is the good stuff, the stuff that cleans out yuck from arteries). But recent blood work showed an HDL of 104 (and an LDL of 104), so it was no fluke.

I’ve tracked body weight / body fat against HDL cholesterol for some years now, and it’s clear that there is a very strong inverse relationship between body fat percentage and HDL: the lower the body fat, the higher the HDL (good cholesterol).

Low body fat for me means a lot of exercise, but the other combination doesn’t exist for me (lots of exercise but high body fat). So strictly speaking I cannot say it’s the body fat or the exercise or both, but the inverse correlation is pronounced. And while my HDL is still very good with high body fat, it’s always a lower value than when I am lean.

Now I know that not everyone is so lucky this way genetically, but it does raise the question of why so many millions pop pills (e.g., statins) instead of burning 500 calories a day via exercise, which would have many beneficial effects, and not just on cholesterol.

Cholesterol total: 227
LDL cholesterol: 104
HDL cholesterol: 104
Cholesterol / HDL ratio:  2.2  (< 5.0 is desirable)
LDL / HDL ratio:  1.00  (average risk is 2.29 - 4.90)
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