Cholesterol up by 20% during Christmas

Norwegian Christmas ribNorwegian Christmas rib.Photo: Gorm Kallestad / NTB scanpix

Research shows that cholesterol levels increase by 20% during Christmas

Sumptuous Christmas dinners with fatty and sugary foods leave clear traces in the body, Danish researchers can prove.


A group of Danish researchers have measured cholesterol levels in over 25,700 Danes between 20 and 100 years of age. The result showed that the cholesterol level on average had increased by 20% when the Christmas holidays were over.

“It’s totally wild. But also worrying that so many people eat to such a high cholesterol level,” said doctor Anne Langstedt to the Danish newspaper, Politiken.

Langstedt is behind the research report together with three research colleagues from the department of clinical biochemistry at Herlev and Gentofte Hospital. The report was published in the international journal, Atherosclerosis.

Bottle and cream

“People met up for examination throughout the year and we have measured cholesterol levels. We could see that the cholesterol level was 20% higher right after Christmas compared to summer,” said Langstedt. She has no doubt that the increase is due to the diet.

“If you eat fatty foods, and since fat such as butter, cream and fat meat is from animals, then cholesterol levels rise considerably,” Langsted told Politiken.

Cholesterol is a fatty substance used in the build-up of body cells and hormones.

Blood clots

The researchers also examined whether it was possible to see an increase in the number of blood clots in the heart in January. However, the study showed no correlation between increased cholesterol levels after Christmas and blood clots in January.

The cause may possibly be that cardiovascular cases primarily depend on cholesterol that has accumulated in the blood over time and not that it rises for shorter periods.

Therefore, it is important that you eat healthily, exercise and do not smoke for the rest of the year the researchers concluded.

See also:  How Understanding Cholesterol Can Reduce Your Risk For Heart Disease

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