High LDL Cholesterol Builds Big Muscles

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The word “cholesterol” is often interpreted as a major health concern regarding cardiovascular health.  When most people think of cholesterol they think of “Good Cholesterol” & “Bad Cholesterol.”  

The “Good Cholesterol” is associated with High Density Lipo-Proteins (HDL) & “Bad Cholesterol” is associated with Low Density Lipo-Proteins (LDL).  Recent research performed by Dr. Riechman from Texas A&M University may have shed some new light in regards to “Bad Cholesterol” not being such a bad guy after all.  Riechman determined that you need a reasonable amount of LDL circulating in your blood to induce adequate muscle hypertrophy.

In fact, he performed a study involving 52 adults from ages 60-69 years old who were in generally good health , but not physically active. None of the subjects were training on a regular basis. The summation of the study concluded that after moderate intense exercise, participants who had accrued the most muscle mass also displayed the highest levels of LDL (bad cholesterol). This was definitely a surprise, and not something that was expected.

This unique finding demonstrates that you need a certain amount of LDL to elicit adequate muscular hypertrophy. It proves that all forms of cholesterol are paramount to a person’s health. You simply cannot remove all of your “bad cholesterol” as that would actually be detrimental to your health.                                                                  

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Low Density Lipo-Proteins get a bad reputation for its ability to build up in the walls of arteries, which causes a reduction in blood circulation, often leading to heart disease and heart attacks.

High Density Lipo-Proteins can help facilitate the removal of cholesterol from the arteries. However, LDL is significant in the fact that it serves as a “warning sign” that something is wrong and alerts the body to defend the malady at hand.

People need to understand that you do not want to completely rid yourself of bad cholesterol and understand that everyone needs a certain amount of both forms of cholesterol.

Riechman says “Our tissues need cholesterol, and LDL delivers it,”  “HDL, the good cholesterol, cleans up after the repair is done. And the more LDL you have in your blood, the better you are able to build muscle during resistance training.”

The study Dr. Riechman conducted serves as a useful finding in dealing with conditions such as Sarcopenia (age dependent muscle loss), which could help aging individuals fend off muscular atrophy which shortens one’s life span.

The following findings reveal how imperative essential fatty acids and saturated fat based diets are in overall health, and in a person’s plight for ultimate muscle mass accrual. 

References:

1. Reichman SE, et al. Statins and dietary and serum cholesterol are associated with increased lean mass following resistance training. Journals of Gerontology: Series A, Oct, 2007; 62 (10): 1164-1171.

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