Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Things that help or harm HDL

Recent data suggest that an increased level of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) is not protective against heart disease on its own, but sub-phenotypes of HDL are. Prior work on the effects of dietary intakes has focused largely on HDL-C. The goal of a Nutrition and Metabolism study was to identify the dietary intakes that affect HDL-related measures: HDL-C, HDL-2, HDL-3, and apoA1. Here's the results:

  • Dietary folate intake was positively associated with HDL-C, HDL-3, and apoA1.
  • Alcohol intake and myristic acid, a saturated fat, were each significantly associated with increased levels of all HDL-related measures studied.
  • Dietary carbohydrate and iron intake were significantly associated with decreased levels of all HDL-related measures.
  • Magnesium intake was positively associated with HDL-C, HDL-2, and HDL-3 levels, but not apoA1 levels
  • Vitamin C was only associated with apoA1 levels.
  • Dietary fiber and protein intake were both positively associated with HDL-3 levels alone.

Given the shifting focus away from HDL-C, these first-of-its-kind data will prove valuable for future epidemiologic investigation of the role of diet and multiple HDL phenotypes in heart disease.

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