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Can I lower my LDL cholesterol too far?

The current guidelines for preventing heart attacks recommend that healthy people get their blood levels of the bad LDL cholesterol below 100, and that those who have had heart attacks get their LDL below 70. However, cholesterol is a necessary part of surface membranes in your body and also functions in making many different chemicals in your body, so there is a theoretical concern whether you can drive your LDL cholesterol low enough to harm you. You lower LDL cholesterol by taking certain drugs or eating a diet that restricts saturated and partially hydrogenated fats and refined carbohydrates. A study from Harvard Medical School shows that most people should try to get blood levels of the bad LDL cholesterol as low as possible (Journal of the American College of Cardiology, October 2005.) The participants who lowered their LDL cholesterol the most had the fewest heart attacks and strokes and did not suffer any obvious bad side effects.

March 1, 2006

May 19th, 2013
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About the Author: Gabe Mirkin, MD

Sports medicine doctor, fitness guru and long-time radio host Gabe Mirkin, M.D., brings you news and tips for your healthful lifestyle. A practicing physician for more than 50 years and a radio talk show host for 25 years, Dr. Mirkin is a graduate of Harvard University and Baylor University College of Medicine. He is board-certified in four specialties: Sports Medicine, Allergy and Immunology, Pediatrics and Pediatric Immunology. The Dr. Mirkin Show, his call-in show on fitness and health, was syndicated in more than 120 cities. Read More
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