Health Advice



Say hello -- and then goodbye -- to VLDL

By Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. on

In September 2017, workers in London discovered the world's biggest fatberg -- a clog of fat and debris in a sewer line that was the size of 11 of that city's iconic double-decker busses. One way to avoid such a mess would be to cook with and eat less fat and therefore have less fatty waste flowing through the sewers.

The same solution would help reduce fatbergs in your arteries. Step one: Adopt a diet that reduces your levels of a blood fat called very low-density lipoprotein or VLDL. It's a lesser-known cousin of heart-damaging lousy LDL.

Researchers from Spain and Denmark have published two studies in the Journal of American College of Cardiology -- one found that VLDL cholesterol accounts for half of the heart attack risk from elevated levels of blood-vessel-clogging fats and the other found that elevated levels of triglycerides are associated with heart woes.

VLDL is produced in your liver and travels through your bloodstream delivering triglycerides to body tissue. We consider a healthy triglyceride level to be less than 100mg/dL. You can estimate your VLDL level at about 1/5 of your triglyceride level. So to avoid an increased risk of heart attack and stroke, aim for a VLDL of less than 20mg/dL.

This doesn't reduce the importance of keeping LDL levels below 70mg/dL, especially if you have diabetes. But you also need to keep VLDL levels low by keeping triglyceride levels healthy. The key? Eliminating processed carbs and added sugars, upping your intake of omega-3-rich fish like salmon, achieving a body mass index below 27, and exercising regularly.



Mehmet Oz, M.D. is host of "The Dr. Oz Show," and Mike Roizen, M.D. is Chief Wellness Officer and Chair of Wellness Institute at Cleveland Clinic. To live your healthiest, tune into "The Dr. Oz Show" or visit

(c)2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D.

Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.

(c) 2021 Michael Roizen, M.D. and Mehmet Oz, M.D. Distributed by King Features Syndicate, Inc.



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