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How does insulin resistance alters cholesterol ?

Insulin resistance is a condition in which the body's cells become less sensitive to the effects of insulin, a hormone responsible for regulating blood sugar levels. Insulin resistance can have a significant impact on cholesterol metabolism and levels in the body, leading to potential health risks.

Here are some ways insulin resistance alters cholesterol levels:

  1. Increased Triglycerides: Insulin resistance can lead to higher levels of triglycerides in the blood. Triglycerides are a type of fat that, when present in excess, can contribute to the development of atherosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of the arteries). Insulin resistance reduces the ability of cells to take up and utilize glucose, leading to increased production of triglycerides in the liver and a subsequent rise in their blood levels.

  2. Reduced HDL cholesterol: High-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol is often referred to as the "good" cholesterol because it helps remove cholesterol from the bloodstream, preventing plaque buildup in the arteries. Insulin resistance can lead to a decrease in HDL cholesterol levels, impairing the body's ability to clear cholesterol and increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease.

  3. Increased LDL cholesterol and altered composition: Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is considered the "bad" cholesterol, as it contributes to plaque buildup in the arteries. Insulin resistance can result in higher LDL cholesterol levels and can also lead to changes in the composition of LDL particles. The LDL particles can become smaller and denser, making them more prone to oxidation and even more atherogenic.

We can measure insulin resistance and also can measure the size of LDL particles, which then help us give you the right medicine. Please call our office to get more information on our cutting edge testing.

Ashok Mehta, MD Dr. Mehta is board certified in Internal Medicine and has an Private Practice in Mount Juliet, TN

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