The Effect of Smoking on HDL & LDL Cholesterol
- Too much cholesterol is bad because it builds up in your arteries and blocks the proper amount of blood and oxygen from reaching your heart. There are two types of cholesterol: LDL and HDL.
- LDL, or low density lipoprotein, is the type of cholesterol that can build up and cause heart disease. If you smoke, this can contribute to an elevation of your levels of LDL.
- HDL, or high density lipoprotein, is the type of cholesterol that helps take bad cholesterol back to your liver for processing. Smoking is counteractive because it actually lowers your levels of HDL.
- Many times heart disease will strike unexpectedly since there are no symptoms of cholesterol buildup in the arteries.
- Since smoking doubles your chances of heart disease, if you quit smoking, you lower your risks considerably as your HDL levels will rise and your LDL levels will fall.