Cholesterol Archive


Saturated fat: How much is okay?

Too much saturated fat tends to raise levels of harmful LDL cholesterol, but limited amounts are not a problem. Eating mostly whole or minimally processed foods can help achieve that goal.

Are you an everyday exerciser or a weekend warrior?

People who get most of their recommended weekly physical activity over one or two days may lower their heart disease risk just as much as those who are active more regularly throughout the week. Evidence also suggests there's no particular benefit to exercising at certain times of the day, including with respect to mealtimes. So people should be physically active whenever they find it to be most convenient.

Testosterone therapy may be safe for men at risk for heart attack and stroke

A 2023 study suggests taking testosterone replacement therapy does not raise the risk for heart attacks or stroke among men with cardiovascular disease or a high risk for it, but it could increase the risk of atrial fibrillation, acute kidney injury, and pulmonary embolism.

Statin alternative lowers heart-related deaths

The cholesterol-lowering drug bempedoic acid (Nexletol) can be a good alternative for people who can't take statins. A 2023 study found that compared with a placebo, bempedoic acid can lower the risk of heart attacks and related problems.

Seeing clogged arteries may inspire healthier habits

If people see evidence of plaque buildup inside their arteries, it may motivate them to take better care of their heart health, according to a 2023 study.

Vegetarian and vegan diets may lower cholesterol levels

Following a vegetarian or vegan diet may help lower levels of total and LDL cholesterol, according to a 2023 review of studies published over four decades.

After the baby grows up, how will your heart fare?

Pregnancy and reproductive complications, including high blood pressure, diabetes, pre-eclampsia, infertility, and stillbirth, are linked with higher cardiovascular risks in affected women many years later. Such complications affect 5% to 10% of pregnancies and are rising as obesity rates increase and more women postpone pregnancy. Ongoing preventive care and screenings are crucial for women who experienced pregnancy complications to monitor blood pressure, cholesterol, and blood sugar levels and treat any irregularities aggressively.

The (almost) last word on alcohol and health

Research into the health benefits of alcohol has not provided a clear answer. Some findings suggest that alcohol helps protect against heart disease and lowers the risk of heart attacks and strokes, and drinkers tend to live longer than nondrinkers. Other studies say these benefits are less clear. If you don't drink alcohol now, there are no health reasons to start drinking. If you do enjoy it, it's best to have no more than 2 drinks in the same day.

Statins may have no effect on exercise pain

A common complaint among statin users is that the drugs increase pain during and after exercise. A 2023 study suggests statins won't exacerbate usual muscle symptoms from moderate-intensity exercise.

Free Healthbeat Signup

Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Thanks for visiting. Don't miss your FREE gift.

The Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness, is yours absolutely FREE when you sign up to receive Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Sign up to get tips for living a healthy lifestyle, with ways to fight inflammation and improve cognitive health, plus the latest advances in preventative medicine, diet and exercise, pain relief, blood pressure and cholesterol management, and more.

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School

Get helpful tips and guidance for everything from fighting inflammation to finding the best diets for weight loss...from exercises to build a stronger core to advice on treating cataracts. PLUS, the latest news on medical advances and breakthroughs from Harvard Medical School experts.

BONUS! Sign up now and
get a FREE copy of the
Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness

Harvard Health Publishing Logo

Stay on top of latest health news from Harvard Medical School.

Plus, get a FREE copy of the Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness.