Cholesterol Facts

Cholesterol and other fats are transported in your bloodstream in the form of spherical particles called lipoproteins. The two most commonly known lipoproteins are low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL). Learn more about cholesterol ›

Symptoms of High Cholesterol

High blood cholesterol does not cause symptoms, so many people are unaware that their cholesterol level is too high until it has caused symptoms of cardiovascular disease. That's why it's important to find out what your cholesterol level is. If your level is high, you can take steps to reduce it, and thus reduce your risk of developing CVD, or of dying of a heart attack if you already have heart disease.

Keeping your cholesterol within healthy limits is important for you no matter what your age or gender, whether you have CVD or not. Everyone age 20 and older should have a blood cholesterol test at least once every five years. The most accurate test is the "lipoprotein profile," which is done after fasting.

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Is Your Cholesterol Putting Your Heart at Risk?

Over 100 million people have cholesterol levels high enough to increase their heart risk.

Treatment of High Cholesterol

Making healthy lifestyle changes alone is enough to help some people reach the cholesterol goals prescribed by their doctor. Others, however, need to take a cholesterol-lowering medication, as well.

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Living with High Cholesterol

We've all heard the warning: Even if they taste really good, go easy on the cheeseburgers, sausage, fried foods, pastries, and ice cream. These foods are high in saturated fat, which can raise your blood cholesterol to dangerous levels. But what about the good news? Which foods are good for your cholesterol levels--and healthy for your heart?

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Your Guide to Cholesterol

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Did You Know?

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Although people have sworn by garlic's medicinal benefits, new research puts to rest the notion that the herb can reduce LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels. A large clinical trial published in a 2007 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine found no evidence that garlic worked to lower cholesterol. The study looked at both fresh garlic and garlic supplements.