New studies about cholesterol

 
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NEW WAYS TO DETECT AND TREAT HIGH CHOLESTEROL

 Based on recent research, the USA National Institute of Health, has made public new guides for the detection and treatment of high cholesterol in adults. These guides offer a more aggressive attitude in medical treatments, especially concerning the modification of lifestyles such as nutrition and physical activity.

 The National Program for Education in Cholesterol of the National Health Institute of the USA in June 2001 published a set of new rules to be applied in medical practice for the prevention and handling of high cholesterol in adults.

 The document entitled "Third report of Expert Panel of the NCEP on detection, evaluation and treatment of hipercholesterolimia in adults" propose a more aggressive attitude in the treatment of the disease.

 The new rules published of the NCEO are as follows:

 To treat high cholesterol in diabetic patients more agresively since besides the existant high risk of co0ming down with a coronary event in the short term also presents an additional risk of infarction.

 Using the lipoproteic profile as a primary test for the detection of high cholesterol which supposes the measuring of the total cholesterol levels of "bad" (LDL), of "good" cholesterol (HDL) and the triglycerides. Healthy adults should go through a test of lipoproteic profile every five years.

 The good (HDL) cholesterol should be considered a cardiovascular risk factor when its level is lower than 40 mg/dl. If as stated previously the minimum acceptable level was situated at 35 mg/dl, recent research indicates that the lower the low levels of good cholesterol the higher the risk of cardiovascular disease. It is considered that an HDL level of over 60mg/dl is a protection against cardiovascular disease.

 It is recommended to use more intense nutritional plans than those previously used, which supposes a diet consisting of lower consumption of saturated fats and cholesterol. The new rules include daily intake of less than 7% of calories derived from saturated fats and less than 200 mg cholesterol present in those nutrients that the diet consists of. Also the amount of daily calories in the total fat should be 35%; from this amount the majority must be provided by unsaturated fat which does not raise the levels of cholesterol.  Also encouraged is the consumption of food which contains estnoles and esteroles (such as some margarine and salad dressings) or that are rich in soluble fiber (such as grains, legumes and many fruits and vegetables).

 The need for weight control and physical activity which together with the nutritional program should be accentuated in order to adopt new lifestyles. Evidence indicates that physical activity and weight control increase the possibilities of reduction of bad cholesterol levels and the increase of good cholesterol.

 It is advisable to identify the metabolic syndrome of the risk factors related to the resistance to insulin, which frequently occur together and increase the risk of coronary events. The syndrome includes factors such as the accumulation of abdominal fat, elevated blood pressure, elevated triglyceride and low levels of good cholesterol.

 Also advisable is a more aggressive treatment for high triglycerides, since evidence significantly relate them with the risk of cardiovascular disease. The treatment supposes weight control and physical activity and, when the professional doctor considers it necessary, the use of medicines.

 Discourage the use of hormonal replacement therapies as an alternative to drugs used to lower the levels of cholesterol. Existing research has not proven that these therapies reduce the risk of coronary events or death in post menopausal women who suffered an infarction.

 

 The application of these new rules for treatment of the high cholesterol in adults makes one thing that more people should pay attention to their CV health and follow periodical controls to detect the presence of risk factors.

 Many times, people with a high risk for infarction are not identified because they do not present important symptoms, and this lack of knowledge prevents receiving a strong enough treatment to avoid a cardiovascular disease.

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Medical supervision by Dr. Arieh Goldberg Kalik.
Bariatric physician, certified medical nutrition specialist. Certificate # 1010084

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