Dr. Milan Gupta, MD, FRCPC, Cardiologist, discusses How to Control LDL or 'Bad' Cholesterol in Your Life
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Featuring Dr. Milan Gupta, MD, FRCPC, Cardiologist , Video Title: How to Control LDL or 'Bad' Cholesterol in Your Life
Duration: 2 minutes, 42 seconds
Cholesterol is a very vital part of our biology. We need cholesterol for certain things. We need cholesterol to stabilize cell membranes, to synthesize certain hormones.
There are good cholesterol and bad cholesterol levels, and we all know that bad cholesterol is bad because that's the fundamental process that leads to heart disease.
While there are a number of risk factors for heart disease, we know that the most potent risk factor is in fact smoking. However, high cholesterol – because it's so much more common in a population in general than smoking – is actually the most important risk factor for heart disease at a population level.
Now, that's good and that's bad. It's bad because it's so common, but it's good because it is manageable; it is preventable. Through living a healthy lifestyle, eating a healthy diet, low-fat diet, avoiding smoking, exercising and avoiding obesity, we can keep our LDL cholesterol levels low right from childhood all the way into adulthood.
And genetic experiments that have looked at this have clearly supported the idea that if LDL cholesterol is kept low from childhood into adulthood, the risk of heart disease is dramatically reduced.
Sometimes healthy living alone is not enough to control LDL cholesterol, and we need to turn to drug therapy. The statin drugs are an absolute cornerstone in treating not only LDL cholesterol, but in reducing lifetime risk of heart attack, of stroke, and of death due to heart disease.
While statin drugs have been a boon in the fight against heart disease, there are some people who can't tolerate them due to the side effects, and sometimes the statins just aren't powerful enough to get the LDL cholesterol under control.
While we do have several other options, we are particularly excited about new drugs and development that we hope to have available to us within a short period of time that will likely further help us in this battle against heart disease.
If you are concerned about your cholesterol level or if you want to learn more, then you absolutely need to consult with your family physician who can assess not only your cholesterol levels, but your risk for developing heart disease and your need for any treatment.
Presenter: Dr. Milan Gupta, Cardiologist, Brampton, ON
Local Practitioners: Cardiologist
This content is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare professional with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.