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Healthy Heart Reports

How Exercise Affects Cholesterol

A recent study from the University of Alabama, Birmingham, showed that exercising longer has a much greater beneficial effect on cholesterol than exercising harder.

If you have high blood levels of cholesterol and you go on a low-fat diet and do not reduce your intake of calories, your cholesterol will not drop. On the other hand, any dietary regimen that reduces calories can help lower cholesterol. Saturated fats in meat and whole milk diary products are broken down into acetone units that your liver uses to make cholesterol. If you burn more calories than you take in, the acetone units are burned for energy and therefore cannot be used to make cholesterol.

The same applies to exercise. Exercising intensely causes sore muscles on the next days and therefore limits the amount of exercise you can do. However, if you do more exercise, you burn more calories and therefor you lower cholesterol.

Effect of exercise intensity and frequency on lipid levels in men with coronary heart disease: Training level comparison trial. JR Kim, A Oberman, GF Fletcher, JY Lee. American Journal of Cardiology, 2001, Vol 87, Iss 8, pp 942-946Address Oberman A, UAB, Div Prevent Med, Dept Med, 1717 11th Ave S, Room 731, Birmingham,AL 35205 USA


Copyright 2001
Dr. Mirkin's opinions and the references cited are for information only, and are not intended to diagnose or prescribe. For your specific diagnosis and treatment, consult your doctor or health care provider.

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