Little Know Factors That Can Influence Lipid Levels

Lipid management is one way people can reduce their risks for cardiovascular disease. High cholesterol and triglycerides are usually caused by diet, excess weight, smoking, family history, and genetics. In addition to these factors, there are other, lesser known reasons for elevated blood lipids. If you experience a new onset of high cholesterol, one of the following factors may be responsible:

Beta Blockers

Medications known as beta blockers are used to treat high blood pressure, regulate heart rate, prevent migraines, reduce the risk for heart attack and stroke, and diminish anxiety. While these medications have an excellent safety profile, they may raise the risk for elevated lipids.

While beta blockers may raise your cholesterol levels, they should never be abruptly discontinued without talking to your health care provider. Doing so may heighten the risk for a dangerous elevation in blood pressure or trigger a life-threatening cardiac arrhythmia.  


Low thyroid function, or hypothyroidism, is another reason that your cholesterol levels may be elevated. People with an under-active thyroid have lower metabolic rates, which cause the bodily functions to slow down. When your thyroid gland produces insufficient amounts of thyroid hormone, you may have trouble losing weight, become intolerant to cold, experience constipation, have a slow heart rate, develop high blood sugar levels, and notice an increase in your lipids.

Hypothyroid-related high cholesterol is caused when a slow metabolism is unable to effectively metabolize circulating blood fats, resulting in high triglycerides, elevated total cholesterol and an increase in low density lipoproteins, otherwise known as "bad cholesterol." Treating hypothyroidism with hormone replacement medications will help restore optimal metabolic rate, improve your symptoms, and normalize your cholesterol. 


Enjoying your morning coffee has numerous health benefits; however, drinking it may lead to high lipids. Coffee is a rich source of antioxidants and chemical compounds, but according to Science Daily, "cafestol, a compound found in coffee, elevates cholesterol by hijacking a receptor in an intestinal pathway critical to its regulation."

Filtered coffee may reduce the risk for high cholesterol because the paper filter does a good job of trapping many of the oils produced by the coffee bean. If you are unable to lower your blood fats through weight loss, exercise, and healthy food choices, decreasing your coffee intake may have a positive effect on your overall lipid readings. 

If you are having trouble managing your cholesterol levels, see your doctor. You may be a candidate for cholesterol-lowing medications known as statins that will help regulate your lipid profile, thereby reducing your risk for heart attack and stroke.