A New Look at Cholesterol

Cholesterol and its Relation to Muscle Hypertrophy


Darren Burns
The word cholesterol is often interpreted as a major health concern regarding cardiovascular health. When most people think of cholesterol they think of good cholesterol and bad cholesterol.

The good cholesterol label is associated with high-density lipoproteins (HDL) and bad cholesterol is associated with low-density lipoproteins (LDL). Recent research performed by Steven Reichman, Ph.D., from Texas A&M University may have shed some new light in regards to bad cholesterol not being such a bad actor after all. Reichman determined that you need a reasonable amount of LDL circulating in your blood to induce adequate muscle hypertrophy.

In fact, Reichman led a study involving 52 adults ages 60–69 who were in good health but not physically active. None of the subjects trained on a regular basis. The summation of the study concluded that after moderate-intense exercise, participants who had accrued the most muscle mass also displayed the highest levels of LDL. This was definitely a surprise, and not the expected result.

This unique finding demonstrates that you need a certain amount of LDL to elicit adequate muscular hypertrophy. It proves that all forms of cholesterol are paramount to a person’s health. You simply cannot remove all of your bad cholesterol, as that would actually be detrimental to your health.

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