Your Genes Could Have Contributed a Little to Your High Cholesterol


Read the title of this article? Now go eat all the food you’ve always wanted to indulge in.


Put an extra spread of creamy butter on your toast, use full-cream milk for your Starbucks Frappe and go for more Korean BBQ.

Because high cholesterol could all be in the genes. No point in watching your cholesterol anymore because its all hereditary. #JustMeRanting

I’m deeply wretched now because high cholesterol runs in the family. My family.

And according to, “a healthy lifestyle may not be enough to keep cholesterol levels in check” because “certain genetic variations are known to cause some individuals to have severely abnormal levels of cholesterol”.

Those wondering why you can’t keep your cholesterol in check despite keeping to a strict diet and faithful exercise routines, it’s because of your genes.

Don’t just take my word for it. Read on.

Backed by Evidence

According to cardiologist Mr. Peter Ting, who is also the co-founder and chief medical officer at Cardiatrics, “certain genetic variations are known to influence cholesterol levels, causing individuals to often have severely abnormal levels that result in cardiovascular diseases at an earlier age.”

50% of those with this inherited condition will get stroke or heart attack before they hit 60 years old. Sigh. I don’t know what else to say.

Defective cholesterol-regulating gene AKA ‘Irritating Gene’

As stated by Dr. Peter Yan, a consultant cardiologist at Gleneagles Medical Centre, about 1 in 250 people may inherit a defective cholesterol-regulating gene from one parent.

Meh, both my parents have high cholesterol. My face now:


So this irritating gene (that I can’t avoid), will result in a condition known as heterozygous familial hypercholesterolemia (FH).

If you have FH, your body will find it tough to get rid of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, or “bad” cholesterol for the layman.

This means that it’s hard to keep your LDL cholesterol level at the ideal level of under 100 mg/dL.

What’s next?

I’m sorry to say this but you (I mean, me) will be at high risk of heart diseases and stroke as it collects in the walls of blood vessels over time and can cause blockages.

Dr. Yan estimated that over 20,000 Singaporeans could have the milder heterozygous FH, but many are not diagnosed yet. Hmm.

Treatment Methods

So apart from the conventional methods of consuming pills to lower your cholesterol level, there’s an alternative for you and me.

It’s called PCSK9 inhibitors and yes, it is available in Singapore. All hope is not lost.


It targets a specific protein which affects the lifespan of “cholesterol clearing” receptors. These receptors can stay on liver cells for a longer period, helping us to rid off harmful LDL cholesterol from our body.

Dr Gerard Leong, medical director of Thomson Cardiology Centre (TCC) said that “it can reduce LDL cholesterol levels by 60 to 70 per cent, and significantly reduce stroke or heart attack risk”.

But I need to earn more money because PCSK9 inhibitors are expensive. The standard cholesterol-lowering medications may cost you about S$20 and S$100 per month but this magical PCSK9 inhibitors cost about S$800 per month.


I can pay for two weekend getaways already.

Sigh, health is wealth indeed.

But actually, we have a good solution for you. In fact, the best solution.

No, let’s make it the best-est solution.

Eat healthy, and eat in moderation. Yes, you can blame your genes, but it’s not entirely about your genes. It’s also about your environment.

So forget what I’ve written in the beginning of this article and go have your sliced fish soup now.