Scientists find 'good' cholesterol can still lead to heart attacks
Experts have recommended eating lots of "healthy" fats like fatty fish in your diet (Getty Images)
For several years, experts have been talking about cholesterol in terms of "good" and "bad".
The former - known as HDL - is said to remove cholesterol so that it can be processed by the liver and removed from the body.
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In contrast, the latter - called LDL - is said to contribute to the build-up of inflamed fat deposits.
Studies have shown that high HDL levels decrease the likelihood of heart attacks - and people have been encouraged to consume many "healthy" fats such as olive oil, fatty fish, and nuts to increase it.
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However, according to the Daily Mail, new research suggests that it can actually become a risk factor after a certain point in time.
Speaking to the newspaper, Dr. Laura Corr, an advisory cardiologist: "It is true that very low HDL is not a good thing and the risk of a heart attack decreases with increasing HDL.
"But we now know that unusually high HDL is not protective for some people and is associated with an increased risk of heart attacks. It was a surprise when research showed this."
In 2018, scientists at the Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta examined the relationship between HDL and the risk of heart attack and death in 6,000 patients.
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They found that there was more heart attack in people with low HDL - which came as no surprise - but there was an increase in people with high HDL as well.
This trend continued, taking into account the “bad” LDL cholesterol level and factors such as smoking or diabetes.
Dr. Marc Allard-Ratick, the cardiologist who led the study, said: "Traditionally, doctors have told their patients that the higher your" good "cholesterol, the better.
"However, the results of this and other studies suggest that this may no longer be the case."
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Women are also more likely to have higher HDL levels, although researchers are still unclear as to why.
Last month, a study found that eating oily fish could reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes by balancing the levels of fats and cholesterol in the blood.
Scientists from the University of Rovira i Virgili (URV) and Harvard Medical School discovered that eating omega-3 - the fatty acids found in fish - can regulate the body's lipoproteins.
These are the particles that carry lipids or fat through the blood - and this, in turn, can lower the risk of a person with cardiovascular problems.
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