If you thought statin meds to lower LDL cholesterol were useless, you should see what they're cooking up next: drugs to raise your HDL levels.

As easy as it is to get your LDL under control through lifestyle changes, it's even easier to boost your HDL levels the natural way -- and I'll tell you everything you need to know in a moment.

But first, a new study of 400 patients finds that the "promising" experimental med evacetrapib can raise HDL levels by between 54 percent and 129 percent without any significant side effects.

Sound good? Of course it does -- but don't sign up for the next wave of trials for HDL meds, because there's more going on here than meets the eye.

Evacetrapib is actually part of a new class of meds called "cholesteryl ester transfer protein inhibitors" or "CETP inhibitors" for short. If those names are unfamiliar, it's because there are no CTEP inhibitors on the market yet despite earlier research that looked just as promising.

In fact, the last CTEP inhibitor to make it this far in clinical trials, torcetrapib, also raised HDL levels... but it did something else when taken with statins: It boosted the risk of heart problems and even death so significantly that the trial had to be shut down.

Those problems didn't pop up in smaller studies with hundreds of people -- only in the later trials involving thousands.

But you don't have to wait for the perfect HDL med, because you can raise your levels on your own right now -- and you can do it naturally:

Fish Oil: People who eat the most fatty fish have higher HDL levels -- and studies have shown that a fish oil supplement can raise those levels by between 4 and 8 percent and even reduce your triglycerides, too.

Astaxanthin: This pink pigment found in krill can boost HDL by up to 15 percent -- and, like fish oil, it can slash your triglycerides at the same time.

Nuts: Just a handful a day can boost your HDL, slash your LDL and lower triglycerides all at once. There's not a drug in the world that can do that.

Booze: Moderate drinking can boost HDL levels so well that the researchers behind one recent analysis said it works better than any known med.

Quit Smoking: Cigarettes can slash your HDL levels. Quitting can bring them back up and improve your health in so many other ways at the same time.

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