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March 2013

Optimism Associated with Healthier Cholesterol Levels

A new study suggests that optimism may be linked to healthier cholesterol levels.

There are two types of cholesterol in the body:low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL). Because of its negative effects on the health of the body, LDL is known as "bad" cholesterol. HDL escorts some of the extra LDL back to the liver, where LDL leaves body. HDL does not form plaques in the arteries. For this reason, HDL is known as "good" cholesterol.

The recent study had 990 participants from the Midlife in the United States Study. Participants were an average of 55.1 years-old. Optimism was measured by the Life Orientation Test. Researchers used a blood test to measure lipid levels.

Data analysis showed that optimism levels were positively linked to HDL ("good") levels. Optimism was also associated with lower triglyceride levels. Including healthy diet, smoking, and BMI in data analysis weakened the association between optimism and cholesterol. A link between optimism and LDL ("bad") or total cholesterol was lacking.

For more information about high cholesterol, please visit Natural Standard's Medical Conditions Database.


  1. Boehm JK, Williams DR, Rimm EB, et al. Relation Between Optimism and Lipids in Midlife. Am J Cardiol. 2013 Feb 21. pii: S0002-9149(13)00388-3. View Abstract
  2. Natural Standard: The Authority on Integrative Medicine.
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