By William L. Driscoll
Especially if you have a family history of heart attacks and strokes, like I do, you may be familiar with LDL cholesterol. LDL is the bad kind of cholesterol that contributes to artery-clogging plaque, which can lead to a heart attack or stroke, or to mini-strokes that cause dementia.
Any LDL-cholesterol level lower than 100 is widely considered to be “optimal,” according to a standard that dates back at least to 2005. Yet preventive cardiologists aim for much lower levels in appropriate patients.
Read the free book on “bad” LDL cholesterol, healthy diets, statin safety, and ultrasound artery screening, at the home page: YourArteries.net
One preventive cardiologist, Dr. Roger Blumenthal, recently helped me lower my LDL number to 40, by prescribing a moderately high-dose statin drug.
Because my regular doctor had told me that any LDL level below 100 is optimal, I asked my cardiologist whether my new LDL level of 40, after three months on the statin, might be too low.
He said an LDL level of 40 “is ideal and levels in that range are more likely to result in modest reversal of some of the plaque buildup, as well as stabilization of the plaques throughout your body.”
An LDL level of 40 “should be considered to be physiologically ‘normal,’” said the president of the American Society for Preventive Cardiology, Dr. Peter Toth, in a journal article published in 2020. The article cited research showing that the risk of coronary heart disease increases exponentially at increasing LDL levels above 40.