Lipoproteins - Corrective Intervention
If HDL is such an important entity in prevention of heart diseases, it becomes imperative that means are adopted to keep a high level of HDLs in the body. Some measures that can prove helpful in this endeavour are mentioned below. In scaling the steps of this corrective intervention, the first step is therapeutic life style changes. When these modifications are insufficient, medications are used. In prescribing medications or medication combinations, doctors have to take into account medication side effects as well as the presence or absence of other abnormalities in cholesterol profiles.
A regular cardio exercise regime, shedding of the excess "baggage" weight or fat and quitting smoking cigarettes will increase HDL cholesterol levels. Regular alcohol consumption (such as one drink a day) will also raise HDL cholesterol. However, due to other adverse health consequences of excessive alcohol consumption, alcohol is not recommended as a standard treatment for low HDL cholesterol.
Medications that are effective in increasing HDL cholesterol include nicotinic acid (niacin), gemfibrozil (Lopid), estrogen, and to a much lesser extent, the statin drugs (discussed below). A newer medicine, fenofibrate (Tricor) has shown much promise in selectively increasing HDL levels and reducing serum triglycerides.