Low-density lipoprotein, usually referred to as LDL cholesterol, the so called “bad cholesterol”, might not be so bad after all, in particular with individuals who exercise. Researchers reveal that LDL cholesterol isn’t as bad as it’s been made out to be and that new attitudes should be put into practice regarding the substance. The researchers evaluated 52 individuals aged 60 – 69 who were in generally healthy although not physically active, and not one of them were taking part in a training program.
The research revealed that following relatively vigorous workouts, individuals who had the most muscle mass gain also had the highest LDL cholesterol levels. The results demonstrate that a certain amount of LDL cholesterol is needed for gaining more muscle mass. There is no doubt both LDL cholesterol and the HDL cholesterol is needed, and the fact is, cholesterol is all good. LDL cholesterol cannot simply be removed from the body without major problems taking place.
Cholesterol is found in all individuals and is a kind of fat around the body. An individual’s total cholesterol level is made up of LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol.
LDL is practically always labeled as the “bad” cholesterol as it has a tendency to accumulate in the walls of arteries, leading to a slowing down of the flow of blood which often results in heart disease and heart attacks. HDL, usually referred to as “good cholesterol,” generally helps get rid of cholesterol from arteries.
But here is where people tend to get things wrong, LDL serves a very useful purpose. It acts as a warning sign that something is wrong and it signals the body to these warning signs. It does its job the way it is supposed to.
People often say, ‘I want to get rid of all my LDL cholesterol,’ but the fact is, if you did so, you would die. Everyone needs a certain amount of both LDL and HDL in their bodies. We need to change this idea of LDL cholesterol always being the evil thing – we all need it, and we need it to do its job.
Our tissues need cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol delivers it. HDL, the good cholesterol, cleans up after the repair is done. And the more LDL cholesterol you have in your blood, the better you are able to build muscle during resistance training.
The study could be helpful in looking at a condition called sarcopenia, which is muscle loss due to aging. Previous studies show muscle is usually lost at a rate of 5 percent per decade after the age of 40, a huge concern since muscle mass is the major determinant of physical strength. After the age of 60, the prevalence of moderate to severe sarcopenia is found in about 65 percent of all men and about 30 percent of all women, and it accounts for more than $18 billion of health care costs in the United States.