Most importantly, you do not EVER, EVER, EVER (get the point…) do it with drugs. Just ask the patients who were taking torcetrapib, a drug made by Pfizer that was designed to raise HDL levels and lower risk of heart attacks. Wait–you can’t ask many of these patients because the risk of death was 60% HIGHER in patients taking the drug, which obviously was never brought to market.
In my dreaming, society will someday wake up and realize that modifying a single marker (called a surrogate endmarker suchas total cholesterol, HDL, LDL, HbA1c, blood pressure or uric acid) synthetically with a drug does very little to change the endpoint. In other words, taking a drug to lower cholesterol makes your number look better, but the true impact on heart attacks and cardiac death is small. Drugs to increase HDL will be no different.
Want to raise your HDL the better way? Soy, exercise, niacin, red wine, dark chocolate and general healthy, anti-diabetic lifestyles will all do the trick. Just don’t believe that a medication will do it for you safely.