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Diet and Nutrition

Length of time to lower cholesterol?

09/26/2008

Question:

After a major diet change and increase in exercise, how long should it take (months etc) to show a reduction in over all cholesteral? When should the # stabilize?

Answer:

Even though your question just asks about cholesterol you might be interested in how quickly blood levels of other things change with diet and exercise, since they are all related to heart disease. Insulin and triglyceride levels (in the bloodstream) will fall within two weeks, HDL (high density lipoprotein/'good' cholesterol) is slightly slower and reductions may take up to 6 weeks (and you may not want to reduce this part of the cholesterol), and LDL (low density lipoprotein/'bad' cholesterol) is the slowest of all with the maximum reductions taking 3-4 months.

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Response by:

Sharron   Coplin, MS, RD, LD Sharron Coplin, MS, RD, LD
Former Lecturer
Food & Nutrition
College of Education and Human Ecology
The Ohio State University