LDL/HDL Ratio, High

LDL/HDL Ratio, High: Overview

HDL and LDL are two different types of cholesterol that are measured as an index of a patient's risk for cardiovascular disease.  HDL stands for high-density lipoprotein and LDL stands for low-density lipoprotein.  Total cholesterol measures the combination of HDL, LDL and VLDL.

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Diagnosis and Tests

Low HDL levels in men and women should be raised, while LDL levels, at least in men, should be lowered.  Further detailed lab testing that breaks down LDL into subfractions is advised for anyone with a high cardiovascular disease risk.


Unlike men, a high LDL ("bad cholesterol") level is not as strong a predictor of future trouble for women, although there is still considerable debate on this.  Some experts believe that LDL is not of concern to most women except for particular sub-groups.  As one might expect, until the situation is clarified the importance of LDL for women is in question.

Conditions that suggest LDL/HDL Ratio, High:



LDL is the cholesterol type most commonly thought of as a strong risk factor for atherosclerosis and heart disease.  Oxidized LDL and the fraction called Lp-a produce a greater risk.  Since HDL cholesterol reduces the risk, low HDL levels are not desirable.

Organ Health

Gallbladder Disease

Gallstone formation does not correlate with blood cholesterol levels, but persons with low HDL cholesterol (the so-called good cholesterol) levels or high triglyceride levels are at increased risk.

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Risk factors for LDL/HDL Ratio, High:

Lab Values - Chemistries



Manganese Requirement

Manganese can help lower high triglyceride and cholesterol levels, with a particular effect on stabilizing LDL and decreasing its potential to form fatty plaques in the arteries.

Symptoms - Food - General

Long-term/short-term low-carb dieting

The May 2004 Annals of Internal Medicine study showed that a third of Atkins Dieters suffered a significant increase in LDL cholesterol.  One person's LDL shot from an unhealthy 184 to a positively frightening 283 (which means their total cholesterol was probably somewhere over 350). [Annals of Internal Medicine 140 (2004): p.769]  With so many people on these diets, that could mean Atkins is endangering the health of millions of Americans.  LDL cholesterol is, after all, one of the most important risk factors for the number one killer in the United States for both men and women: heart disease. [Circulation 89(1994):1329]

Recommendations for LDL/HDL Ratio, High:

Botanical / Herbal


Alginic acid (a component of bladderwrack) may help lower LDL cholesterol levels, according to animal studies.  At the time of writing, no human trials have studied this effect of bladderwrack.


Digestive Aids

Digestive Enzymes

Researchers found in 1997 that lipase can help to control LDL cholesterol and is helpful in stubborn cases of high triglycerides. [Lipids 32: p.1147, 1997].



Melatonin helps to decrease total cholesterol and "bad" LDL cholesterol levels.




Policosanol can lower LDL cholesterol as much as 20% and raise protective HDL cholesterol by 10%.


Vitamin E

Vitamin E causes an increase in HDL levels.

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Health problems rarely occur in isolation or for obvious reasons

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Weak or unproven link: may increase risk of
Weak or unproven link:
may increase risk of
Strong or generally accepted link: often suggests; often increases risk of
Strong or generally accepted link:
often suggests; often increases risk of
Definite or direct link: increases risk of
Definite or direct link:
increases risk of
Strong counter-indication: often decreases risk of
Strong counter-indication:
often decreases risk of
May be useful: may help with
May be useful:
may help with
Very useful: is highly recommended for
Very useful:
is highly recommended for
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