How to Increase HDL Levels
So why would you want to increase your HDL? Of course, it is well-known that
increasing HDL protects the heart and cardiovascular system. But what many guys
do not realize is that low HDL levels are a risk factor for erectile
dysfunction. For example, one 1994 study found that men with HDL > 60 had about
a third of the risk of erection problems as men with HDL < 30!  And a more
recent Chinese study also showed that increased HDL protected males from
erectile dysfunction. 
How does HDL do it? HDL has the well-documented role of ushering cholesterol
away from the lining of the arterteries into the liver where is can be re-used
or ferried out of the body. But recent research has shown that HDL does much
more than just this simple function. For example, researchers have found that it
predicts cardiovascular disease completely independently of LDL.  In other
words, the fact that HDL can pull away LDL from arterial walls is a relatively
minor consideration. Furthermore, HDL was found as an important risk factor in
males who developed arteriosclerosis at a relatively early age. 
So how does HDL work its magic? Recent studies have shown that increasing HDL
raises Nitric Oxide, the stuff of erections and arterial health. In fact, Dr.
Philip Shaul, an HDL researcher has stated that HDL "is the most potent
stimulator of nitric-oxide production that we have found in the past decade
[and] what we're realizing is that, not only is it a taxi, but that it hits the
arterial walls, and it causes a dramatic response by the arterial walls to
produce nitric oxide".
HDL increases Nitric Oxide through several pathways, but the primary appears to
be by directly raising eNOS levels, the enzyme responsible for creating Nitric
Oxide.  This, in turn, has been shown in studies to increase vasodilation,
meaning more blood flow into the penis area, and improved endothelial function,
mean more blood flow into the penis area. Yes, this is good for your sex life!
How does HDL do it? HDL has the well-documented role of ushering
cholesterol away from the lining of the arterteries into the liver where is can
be re-used or ferried out of the body. But recent
studies have shown that increasing HDL does much more for both heart and penis:
it protects both by raising Nitric
Oxide, the stuff of erections and arterial health. In fact, Dr. Philip Shaul,
an HDL researcher has stated that "HDL is the most potent stimulator of nitric-oxide
production that we have found in the past decade [and] what we're realizing
is that, not only is it a taxi, but that it hits the arterial walls, and it causes a dramatic response
by the arterial walls to produce nitric oxide".
Now I do have one important caution: if you go on a
Low Fat Diet, you will
probably find that your HDL will actually fall somewhat. But LDL and total
cholesterol fall as well as many other risk factors. In fact, those with
cholesterol around 150 from a Low Fat Diet have almost no heart disease.
Furthermore, you will find that all the plant foods that are part of a Low Fat Diet will dramatically help your Nitric Oxide output.
So, in reality, raising HDL is really only critical if you are not willing to go
Low Fat Diet.
How to Increase HDL
So, yes, HDL should be one of your dearest friends, especially those of us in middle age and fighting andropause or erectile dysfunction,
and all of us guys should have the goal to increase our HDL. So how can you increase
Below are some easy steps backed by the research:
1) Aerobic Exercise. Aerobic exercise provides a significant increase in HDL levels.
And it should be pointed out that even moderate exercise provided these significant
benefits.  (Moderate exercise also lowered
lowered the bad kind of LDL cholesterol that damages arteries.)
2) Intense Exercise. Intense exercise, the kind that makes you sweat and
lose your breath, leads to steadily increasing HDL levels even in men in their
late 50's according to one study, which concluded that "plasma high density
lipoprotein (HDL)-cholesterol concentration increased from 38 +/- 3 to 45 +/- 4
mg X dl-1 at 12 months and rose further to 53 +/- 5 mg X dl-1 at 6 years of
follow-up (p less than 0.05)". In other words, these men went from
an average of 38 to an average of 45 after one year. And, even more
amazing, their HDL continued to increase even six years to an average level of
NEWS FLASH: A recent Norwegian study found (at least in patients with
Metabolic Syndrome) that
exercising using a high-intensity technique called
Training led to increases in HDL in a sixteen week period, whereas regular
aerobic exercise did not. The participants did four cyles of 4-minute high
intensity exercise at 90 percent of maximal heart rate (220 minus age) followed
by a 3 minutes of rest. What is very remarkable is that these people only
exercised 3 times per week to achive the increases in HDL. 
3) Cranberry Juice. One
study found that (in obese men) moderate Cranberry Juice consumption
significantly increased (almost 10%) HDL levels by drinking only 8 oz. daily. And
don't forget about
Cranberry's Many Anticancer Properties.
4) Smoking. Smoking, being overweight and trans-fatty
acids are all associated with a lowering of HDL (and a hundred other nasty disorders and diseases). Most
of us these things are bad for us and now you know they are bad for your HDL as
Of course, do the opposite to increase your HDL.
5) Moderate Drinking.
Drinking of one (or at most two) drinks/day has been shown to increase HDL. 
Do not drink more than one to two drinks per day.& NOTE: Do NOT drink more than that as Alcoholt as Alcohol
can lead to a build up of estrogen, arguably
enemy #1 for the adult male, and body fat which, in turn, leads to even greater
6) Soluble Fiber. Soluble fiber, at least 2 servings per day,
increases HDL levels.
By the way, soluble fiber is what is found in oats and various fruits and
7) Monunsaturated Fats. Monounsatured fats, such as those found in olive oil
olive and the
Mediterranean Diet, increase HDL. However, one should read my
Olive Oil Cautions.
8) Hazelnuts. Turkish researchers found that hazelnuts (although any nut such
as almonds, pecans, etc. should work almost as well) increased HDL levels (by
about 8%) in a 2002 study published
9) Walnuts. In 2004 researchers found that
walnuts increased HDL, alt least
in men with type 2 diabetics. 
(Walnuts have also been found to lower
LDL and protect you somewhat from the effects
of a high fat meal.)
10) Cortisol Reduction. Increases in cortisol will lower
your HDL.  In
other words, as cortisol goes up, your HDL goes down. See
this link on
to Reduce Cortisol and Stress for more details.
11) Laughter. Laughter does a good a good job of reducing stress
and so it's no wonder that it also has a study under its belt
showing that it
can raise HDL (at least in diabetic patients).  HDL rose very
26%, in the "laughter cohort".
12) Sugar Reduction. Watch out for sugar, especially
fructose. Several studies have shown a as
consumption of sugar goes up, HDL goes down. 
13) Tran Fat Reduction. These bad boys do a lot of nasty things to
you body and one of them is lowering HDL. So forget the chips, the fries, the
donuts - they'll
never change the oil fast enough to keep the trans fats out of their products!
14) Berries. A 2008 study showed that moderate berry consumption resulted
in increased HDL (and decreased blood pressure) in a group of middle subjects.
15) Curcumin. This component of turmeric (and part of curry and yellow
mustard) increased HDL by 29% in one human study using 500 mg/day.  It also
lowered cholesterol. Curcumin also has anti-inflammatory powers and
probably protects against prostate cancer.
16) Tomato. One recent study looked at men and women with normal
triglycerides but lowish HDL and gave them two uncooked roma tomatoes.
That's not much tomato, but the researchers found that it significantly boosted
HDL by about 14%.  Not a bad boost for one simple change. And
tomatoes are good for the prostate as well!
CAUTION: Diabetics beware: increased HDL has actually been found to be
damaging to diabetics in one study. HDL, in the diabetic alone, binds to
myristic acid which actually decreases Nitric Oxide. And, of course,
want decreased Nitric Oxide, now do we? So, diabetics, proceed
carefully and talk to your doctor.
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