High cholesterol symptoms: A specific type of pain linked to ‘significantly’ high levels

High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips

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High cholesterol is when you have too much of a fatty substance called cholesterol in your blood. When your arteries are flooded with cholesterol, it can cause a blockage, hiking your risk of having a heart attack. The condition is pernicious because it doesn’t usually throw out any obvious warning signs.

However, research has identified a number of associations between elevated cholesterol levels and acute changes in the body.

British Journal of Sports MedicineA review published in the linked high cholesterol levels to tendon pain.

The study researchers noted that tendon pain occurs in individuals with extreme cholesterol levels.

“It is unclear whether the association with tendon pain is strong with less extreme elevations of cholesterol,” they wrote.

The researchers sought to determine whether high cholesterol levels are associated with abnormal tendon structure or the presence of tendon pain.

To do this they conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis.

A meta-analysis aims to draw conclusions by collating and comparing the results of multiple studies.

Relevant articles were found through an electronic search of six medical databases – MEDLINE, Cochrane, AMED, EMBASE, Web of Science and Scopus.

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They included studies with data describing lipid (cholesterol) levels or use of lipid-lowering drugs and tendon structure or tendon pain.

A total of 17 studies consisting of 2612 participants were eligible for inclusion in the review.

The researchers found that people with altered tendon structure or tendon pain had significantly higher total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides, as well as lower high-density lipoprotein cholesterol.

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is the harmful form of cholesterol that clogs up your arteries.

High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol counters the harmful effects of LDL cholesterol by transporting it to your liver where it is flushed out.

“The results of this review indicate that a relationship exists between an individual’s lipid profile and tendon health,” the researchers concluded.

“However, further longitudinal studies are required to determine whether a cause and effect relationship exists between tendon structure and lipid levels.”

How to lower high cholesterol levels

To reduce your cholesterol, try to cut down on fatty food, especially food that contains a type of fat called saturated fat.

According to the NHS, saturated fat raises your LDL levels.

Saturated fat is the kind of fat found in butter, lard, ghee, fatty meats and cheese.

“You can still have foods that contain a healthier type of fat called unsaturated fat,” notes the NHS.

Try to eat more:

  • Oily fish, like mackerel and salmon
  • Brown rice, bread and pasta
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Fruits and vegetables.

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