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When Good Cholesterol Is Even Better

New research suggests that how much high-density lipoprotein ("good") cholesterol you have is not as important as how well that good cholesterol works.

High-density lipoprotein cholesterol is healthy for your heart; people with high blood levels of HDL tend to have lower risk of developing heart disease. However, a new study suggests that HDL's efficiency at removing fats from your arteries is an even better predictor of heart disease the amount.

According to U.S. News & World Report:

"In the study, some people's good cholesterol was more efficient at relieving the white blood cells of a cholesterol burden than other people's ... Healthy people with this trait, known technically as a higher cholesterol efflux capacity, had less thickening of their carotid arteries ... And, in a separate group of people, HDL functioning was a better indicator than HDL levels of whether the person had heart disease, the team found."

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