FEB 12, 2016 1:01 PM PST

How Stress Can Sabotage Your Cholesterol Health

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

Of all the factors that influence cholesterol levels, stress is one that's consistently overlooked. Chronic stress, in particular, is known to increase cholesterol deposits by LDL, which can accumulate in the arteries and cause blockages.

How does stress do this? For one thing, when the body is under stress, it adopts a "fight or flight" mode, which stimulates release of free fatty acids and triglycerides. Over time, these molecules give LDL cholesterol a boost, negatively affecting health. To compound the problem, people under stress often adopt unhealthy lifestyles that lack proper diet and exercise. This then creates a negative feedback loop that causes cholesterol scores to soar.

Our digital and electronic connections certainly make it harder to disengage and de-stress. But experts say that understanding how these factors influence your cholesterol health is a good first step. Watch the video to learn more about how to manage stress to reduce your cholesterol.
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
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