Can being dehydrated raise your cholesterol levels? What expert says
Many studies have noted that dehydration can raise total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. Here’s how to increase your fluid intake.
Scorching summers are here which invariably increases risk of dehydration. Due to excessive sweating during hot and humid weather, there can be water loss and if not compensated with adequate water intake, it can lead to dehydration. Long-term dehydration can have many complications for liver, joint health and cause muscle damage. Studies have also linked dehydration over long periods to increase in blood cholesterol. A study found that fasting without fluids increased lipid levels in the body, including total cholesterol, HDL and LDL cholesterol, apolipoprotein A-1, and apolipoprotein B. However, triglyceride levels did not show a significant change. Fasting without fluids also resulted in more weight loss. (Also read: High cholesterol: 7 unhealthy eating habits that raise bad cholesterol levels)
Adequate hydration along with healthy diet, regular exercise can help one achieve ideal weight.
"Several studies have suggested that dehydration can raise total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. Dehydration prompts the liver to release more cholesterol into the bloodstream and hampers the body's ability to eliminate cholesterol from the blood. On the contrary, adequate hydration has been associated with improved lipid profiles. One study revealed that individuals who consumed higher amounts of water had lower levels of total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. Another study indicated that increased water intake was associated with higher levels of HDL cholesterol," says Dr Chandrashekhar, Associate Director- Cardiac Sciences, Cardiology, Cardiac Electrophysiology-Pacemaker, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Shalimar Bagh.
Dr Chandrashekhar however says that further research is needed to establish a definitive link between hydration and lipid profile.
Healthy lifestyle can lower cholesterol
"In addition to maintaining proper hydration, there are other measures you can take to reduce your cholesterol levels. These include adopting a healthy diet, engaging in regular exercise, and achieving a healthy weight if you are overweight or obese. If you have high cholesterol, your doctor may prescribe medication to help lower your levels. However, it's essential to incorporate lifestyle changes, including staying hydrated, as a crucial aspect of cholesterol management," adds Dr Chandrashekhar.
Tips to increase fluid intake
Dr Chandrashekhar also suggests some tips to ensure adequate hydration:
- Drink adequate amounts of fluids throughout the day.
- Limit your consumption of caffeine and alcohol, as these substances can contribute to dehydration.
- Include water-rich foods in your diet, such as fruits and vegetables.
- If you find yourself perspiring excessively due to exercise or hot weather, increase your fluid intake accordingly.
- If you are taking diuretics, consult your doctor for guidance on maintaining proper hydration.
"Hydration plays a pivotal role in overall health and may also influence your lipid profile. A lipid profile measures the fats present in your blood, including cholesterol, triglycerides, and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol," concludes the expert.