Weight Loss Diet and Exercise: Effective for Improving Blood Cholesterol Picture?

Published:August 5th, 2011

Healthy diet and regular physical exercise can improve  blood cholesterol level, says a new study published in the July 2011 issue of the journal Lipids in Health and Diseases.

Obesity is known to worsen the lipid profile, causing the LDL, the bad cholesterol, and HDL, the good cholesterol to become smaller in size. According to John Hopkins Medicine Health Alerts, patients whose LDL cholesterol molecules are mostly small and dense are in a greater risk for developing coronary artery disease compared to those with larger LDL modecules. As mentioned in a study published in the August 1999 issue of the British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology, small, dense LDL molecules are most likely to cause greater risk for the development of atherosclerosis, the hardening of blood vessel walls due to fatty plaque accumulation and  thrombosis, the accidental transfer and blockage of a dislodged plaque to a distant blood vessel.

Weight loss caused by caloric restriction or regular physical activity increases the particle size of an LDL molecule. In fact, the said study published by Lipids in Health and Disease, dietary restriction can increase the size of the LDL particle whereas regular exercise can improve the size of HDL particles.

In contrast to the principles introduced in the said study published by Lipids in Health and Disease, the Medscape Medical News emphasizes that the LDL particle number, and not the size of the individual particles, is in predicting the occurrence of co-morbidities such as  the cardiovascular diseases.

Reference:

Lipids in Health and Disease; Comparison of effects of diet versus exercise weight loss regimens on LDL and HDL particle size in obese adults; Varady, K.A. et al.; July 2011

John Hopkins Medicine Health Alerts:The New Blood Lipid Tests — Sizing Up LDL Cholesterol

British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology; LDL particle size: an important drug target?; Rajman, I. et al.; August 1999

Medscape Medical News:LDL Particle Number, Not Size, a Significant Predictor of CVD Risk

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