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'Bad' cholesterol not as bad as people think, shows Texas A&M study
Date:5/5/2011

COLLEGE STATION, May 4, 2011 The so-called "bad cholesterol" low-density lipoprotein commonly called LDL may not be so bad after all, shows a Texas A&M University study that casts new light on the cholesterol debate, particularly among adults who exercise.

Steve Riechman, a researcher in the Department of Health and Kinesiology, says the study reveals that LDL is not the evil Darth Vader of health it has been made out to be in recent years and that new attitudes need to be adopted in regards to the substance. His work, with help from colleagues from the University of Pittsburgh, Kent State University, the Johns Hopkins Weight Management Center and the Northern Ontario School of Medicine, is published in the Journal of Gerontology.

Riechman and colleagues examined 52 adults from ages to 60 to 69 who were in generally good health but not physically active, and none of them were participating in a training program. The study showed that after fairly vigorous workouts, participants who had gained the most muscle mass also had the highest levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol, "a very unexpected result and one that surprised us.

"It shows that you do need a certain amount of LDL to gain more muscle mass. There's no doubt you need both the LDL and the HDL -- and the truth is, it (cholesterol) is all good. You simply can't remove all the 'bad' cholesterol from your body without serious problems occurring.

Cholesterol is found in all humans and is a type of fat around the body. A person's total cholesterol level is comprised of LDL (low-density lipoprotein) and HDL (high-density lipoprotein) cholesterol.

LDL is almost always referred to as the "bad" cholesterol because it tends to build up in the walls of arteries, causing a slowing of the blood flow which often leads to heart disease and heart attacks.

HDL, usually called the "good cholesterol," often helps remove cholesterol from arteries. <
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Contact: Keith Randall
keith-randall@tamu.edu
979-845-4644
Texas A&M University
Source:Eurekalert

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