The single nutrient that raises good cholesterol and supports liver health

We’ve all heard the term “good cholesterol.” While it’s true that just a couple of decades ago, doctors were telling us that all cholesterol was bad and to eliminate it from our diets, science proved them wrong.

Now we know the different lipids work differently in our bodies. LDL, or “bad cholesterol,” was found to be problematic so we’ve been advised to try to keep it low, while HDL is the good guy we all hope wins in the end.

In fact, we like that number to be higher, because HDL is vital in protecting the heart and guarding against heart problems.

But guess what…

There was still something undiscovered about the good guy in the cholesterol wars — until now…

It also protects the liver.

On the lookout to block liver inflammation

Yup, ground-breaking research from Washington University School of Medicine found that our “good cholesterol” is even better than we realize — because HDL also protects the liver from injury by blocking inflammation.

Their study, published in the journal Science, found that common bacteria found in your gut send out heat-seeking inflammatory signals that head straight for your liver. These signals flow through the portal vein, the major vessels that supply blood to the liver.

Once they get to this vital organ, they amp up the fires of inflammation that can lead to damage, cause scarring, and result in problems like fatty liver.

However, a type of good cholesterol known as HDL3 is also produced in your intestines and has the power to block these signals, keeping inflammation at bay and your liver healthy.

How can we give our good cholesterol a boost

If you’ve discussed your cholesterol with a physician, you know that increasing HDL is a good thing

In studies in patients with heart disease, scientists tested the effects of a powerful nutrient known as Coenzyme Q10, or CoQ10 for short, to improve participants’ lipid profiles.

In other words, they wanted to see if taking CoQ10 could raise HDL, lower LDL, or both.

And a meta-analysis of a total of eight of these trials including 267 participants who took the supplement and 259 in the placebo group revealed the answers…

They found that while taking CoQ10 didn’t seem to affect LDL, it:

  • Significantly decreased total-cholesterol
  • Increased HDL-cholesterol levels

So did you catch that last one?

CoQ10 boosted the good cholesterol responsible for guarding the liver against inflammation and damage.

That’s great news, not only because boosting HDL with CoQ10 is possible, but it’s as simple as taking a supplement. And that’s a big deal since our bodies begin producing less CoQ10 after the age of 20… and I don’t know about you — but that was a long time ago for me.

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‘Good cholesterol’ may protect liver — EurekAlert!

The effects of coenzyme Q10 supplementation on lipid profiles among patients with coronary artery disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials — NIH

Virginia Tims-Lawson

By Virginia Tims-Lawson

Virginia Tims-Lawson has dedicated her life to researching and studying natural health after her mother had a stroke that left her blind in one eye at the age of 47, and her grandmother and two great uncles died from heart attacks. Spurred by her family history, Virginia’s passion to improve her and her family’s health through alternative practices, nutrients and supplements has become a mission she shares through her writing. She is founder of the nutritional supplement company Peak Pure & Natural®.