Skip to content


    Attention All WebMD Community Members:

    These message boards are closed to posting. Please head on over to our new WebMD Message Boards to check out and participate in the great conversations taking place:

    Your new WebMD Message Boards are now open!

    Making the move is as easy as 1-2-3.

    1. Head over to this page:

    2. Choose the tag from the drop-down menu that clicks most with you (and add it to any posts you create so others can easily find and sort through posts)

    3. Start posting

    Have questions? Email us anytime at [email protected]

    My HDL is 33
    zxc123 posted:

    I recently had a free cholesterol panel and the results for my total cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL, were all good (I do not have the exact numbers) but my HDL was very low at 33mg/dL.

    I thought I had a relatively healthy lifestyle.

    I'm a 25 year old male, 6'1", about 165lbs. I eat mostly homemade pasta/rice with a lot of beans and peas. Very little meat. I snack on nuts and pretzels mostly, sometimes chips. I cook with canola oil. I eat cereal, yogurt, and an apple for breakfast. I often skip lunch. I am very busy so I don't get a chance to have a very varied diet with a lot of fruits and vegetables.

    My daily exercise consists of brisk 10 minute walks to and from the bus stop, and walking up and down flights of stairs. I know that isn't great, but I didn't expect my HDL to be that low.

    I avoid any food with a lot of saturated fat, and I don't but something if I see hydrogenated oils in the ingredients list. I also avoid foods with too much sodium listed.

    I drink only water. I drink alcohol less than once a month and coffee a few times a month.

    I am wondering why my HDL would be so low. Is it because of my diet?

    I started taking fish oil a few days ago.

    What should I do?

    Thank you
    CardiostarUSA1 responded:

    General info -

    About com: Heart Disease

    Raisng Your HDL Levels

    Fat Free Kitchen

    How to Raise HDL cholesterol, Raising HDL Cholesterol.


    Fish Oil to Increase HDL

    Using fish oil to increase HDL levels has not been proven effective.

    Additionally here, It has been known for quite some time now that atherosclerosis begins (the process and progression of) at a very early age, even as early as in the pre-teen/teenage years.

    Studies performed in the past have shown fatty streaks (represents the earliest precursor to plaque development and plaque is the pathological hallmark of atherosclerosis) as the beginning of atherosclerosis in the coronary arteries. Soft plaque (more dangerous and unpredictable than hard or calcified plaque) is the early stage of atherosclerosis.

    ALWAYS be proactive in your health care and treatment. Most important, communicate/interact well with your doctor(s).

    Best of luck down the road of life. Live long and prosper.

    Take care,


    WebMD member (since 8/99)



    Be well-informed

    American Heart Association

    Cholesterol Levels

    HDL Cholesterol Level

    Low HDL cholesterol. A major risk factor for heart disease.*

    Less than 40 mg/dL (for men)*

    Less than 50 mg/dL (for women)*


    Good to know, for the primary and secondary prevention of heart attack and brain attack/stroke

    Epidemiologic studies (EDS) have revealed risk factors (encompasses some new, novel, or emerging) for atherosclerosis, which includes age, gender, genetics (gene deletion, malfunction or mutation), diabetes (considered as being the highest risk factor), smoking (includes secondhand), inactivity, obesity (a global epidemic, "globesity") high blood pressure (hypertension), high LDL, small, dense LDL, RLP (remnant lipoprotein), high Lp(a), high ApoB, high Lp-PLA2, high triglycerides, HDL2b, LOW HDL (less than 40 mg/dL, an HDL level of 60/65 mg/dL or more is considered protective against coronary artery disease), high homocysteine (now questionable), and high C-reactive protein (CRP/hs-CRP).



    Be a questioning patient. Talk to your doctor and ask questions. Studies show that patients who ask the most questions, and are most assertive, get the best results. Be vigilant and speak up!"

    - Charles Inlander, People's Medical Society


    It's your there. :-)

    . .

    WebMD/WebMD Health Exchanges does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

    WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service, or treatment.

    Helpful Tips

    Heart by pass
    Hi, just wanted to tell you I had triple heart bypass and entered a cardiac rehab program with exercises three times a week,heart ... More
    Was this Helpful?
    1 of 1 found this helpful

    Expert Blog

    The Heart Beat - James Beckerman, MD, FACC

    Dr. James Beckerman shares how small, livable lifestyle changes can have a real impact on your risk of heart attack and stroke...Read More

    Related Drug Reviews

    • Drug Name User Reviews

    Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

    FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

    For more information, visit the Duke Health General and Consultative Heart Care Center