HDL – Reverse Heart Disease, Reverse Cancer


It is hard to overstate the importance of High Density Lipoprotein or HDL. It is a circulating cell-clean-up particle and if fully harnessed will prevent and reverse heart disease andunnamed substantially reduce cancer risk. There’s really not anything else like it. It cleans up distressed cells in a variety ways, a cellular level garbage collector.

HDL is frequently referred to as ‘good cholesterol’. This is incredibly misleading. HDL is definitely ‘good’, but it’s not cholesterol any more than a garbage truck is the garbage itself.

HDL is a general purpose garbage collection servce, and vacuuming up rancid cholesterol is but one of its many functions. HDL is not a cell, but in many ways, it behaves like a tiny one.  It is manufactured in the liver and launched into the bloodstream. It has receptors rather like a cell, and is even ‘programmable’ to scout for certain types of bodily detritus.

To do a good job collecting garbage, you need to have an adequate number of trucks, but more importantly, they must be out on the job, not sitting around doing nothing. Normally, what is measured is the total amount of HDL. That’s the number of garbage trucks. What we should really be interested in is how much garbage was collected. Fortunately this can also be measured. These garbage truck particles, swollen to the limit with collected junk, are called ‘Mature’ HDL or HDL2b. This is measured as a percentage of the total HDL and is by far the more important number. If high, you are probably reversing atherosclerosis and are reducing your cancer risk substantially. High would be over 30%, low would be under 15%

But, how does HDL do this, and how can a person boost the mature HDL?

Atherosclerosis is caused by little fat particles, cholesterol, and other particles getting trapped behind the inner wall of the arteries and then going bad – rancid in effect. The immune system gets into the act and white cells go in and swallow the mess. But there’s a catch, and it’s an ugly one. As those cells swell up they basically get stuck. They become big, white, and fluffy looking, and are often referred to as ‘foam’ cells. HDL comes along relieves these stuck cells, sucking in their fat and cholesterol loads. It also performs several other tasks that have beneficial effects on arteries, both assisting in the repair and increasing arterial flexibility. Once full or ‘mature’ the HDL goes back to the liver, where it is emptied and sent out again.

It is known that high HDL will reduce cancer. It does this in at least two ways. First, it will remove rancid fat from any cell, not just white blood cells. Oxidized rancid fat causes cellular stress which weakens cells, making them vulnerable to cancer. HDL also blocks angiogenesis, or the formation of fresh blood vessels. A tumor cannot grow larger than about 2 mm without a blood supply, so this is a crucial step. HDL comes with a large assortment of specialized repair chemicals, so there are likely other anti-cancer properties.

There are no pills that boost HDL2b/mature HDL. There are some that boost overall HDL, but that just increases the size of the fleet, not the amount collected. Such pills have never shown any benefit and many, niacin for instance, have increased mortality. But hope still springs eternal in the pharmaceutical industry, so expect more attempts.

Exercise will boost HDL2b markedly. If fact this may be its principle benefit. How this works is also something of a mystery. Exercise generally does some controlled ‘damage’ at the cellular level. You feel sore. It’s not really damage. It is a call from the muscle cells to build. This sets off a cascade of all sorts of beneficial hormones and chemicals and they are likely to also be activating the HDL to boost the garbage collection activities.

The type of exercise is important here. Jogging and biking won’t help. The exercises need to be concentric (muscles contracting) and ballistic (sudden and burst like).  These are difficult intense exercises, (but are over with quickly). The benefit is both immediate and substantial. A soon-to-be-written post will go into detail on exercise.

Some things adversely effect HDL. Smoking lowers both overall HDL and HDL2b. Transfat lowers HDL. HDL2b tends to decline with age, but….

…..centenarians tend to have high HDL and high HDL2b.

  8 comments for “HDL – Reverse Heart Disease, Reverse Cancer

  1. Jim Washington
    June 21, 2015 at 4:25 pm

    Please send high HDL building exercises! Cardiologists need to explain these articles to patients.

  2. David
    August 31, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    I would like to receive information on the correct type of exercise to help increase HDL.

  3. Charles
    January 31, 2016 at 5:08 am

    Please send me any information in regards to reversing atherosclerosis.

    Many thanks

  4. anne
    February 17, 2016 at 2:39 pm

    Please send some exercises to boost activity of HDL.
    I need to remove plaque in arteries.
    Thank you,

    • wdcarter
      February 23, 2016 at 10:43 am

      Where does the cost come in and how much?

  5. Lisa
    May 15, 2016 at 3:00 am

    Please send me some info on reversing atherosclerosis. In the carotid and SFA as well as supplements to increase HDL thank you !

  6. Tracey
    June 20, 2016 at 12:26 pm

    Please send me information regarding atherosclerosis. Please send some exercises to boost activity of HDL.
    I need to remove plaque in arteries.
    Thank you,

  7. Franca
    September 2, 2016 at 2:32 am

    Please send me what type of exercise I should do to increase my HDL.
    Thank you.

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