High cholesterol is related to atherosclerotic plaque built-up in the arteries wall. As a consequence, there is a high risk for heart disease or even stroke.
Lowering cholesterol naturally is the first step your doctor will advise you when your lipid profile test results indicates high cholesterol levels. In the following paragraphs, I've tried to organize the natural steps of lowering cholesterol in a easy-to-get way.
For better understanding purposes, I've arranged all the naturally steps in three main groups:
How to lower cholesterol naturally – TLC
Your daily habits influence every balance in your body, including cholesterol levels. You must understand that quitting/avoiding “bad” habits and shifting/improve “good” habits will give a helpful hand in lowering your high cholesterol levels.
Perhaps you've heard about “a glass of wine per day is good for your heart” theory. Actually, there are some recent studies, which have proved the contrary.
Alcohol can raise your cholesterol levels. High cholesterol levels lead to atherosclerotic plaque, which narrows arteries (including heart arteries). And the final result is: heart disease/stroke or even death.
You may understand now the importance of avoiding a glass of alcohol in order to stay heart-healthy.
Good weight management
Excessive weight and a high BMI (body mass index) put you in the high risk for heart disease and high cholesterol problems. Small weight loss can help you lower cholesterol, including LDL (bad) cholesterol and increasign HDL (good cholesterol).
Coping with stress
It is true that stress is good for your body, because stress helps facing all the “good” and “undesirable” situtations you might be.
But in some cases, “overload” stress can harm your body balances as well as increasing your cholesterol levels. That's why it is important to find some “ways” of coping with stress, in order to lower cholesterol.
Some simple steps, from work-holidays to visiting peaceful nature and simple exercise tips can give you a hand.
Say “NO” to Cigarettes
Among all the bad consequences of cigarette smoking is high cholesterol levels. What is more smoking can shorten your life. Would you like to live 10 less years? Me not. I want to live and enjoy my life. And each of us has this right. Why do you throw it away?
Your LDL levels will be reduced by 5 %once you start not smoking and oxidazide LDL will be decreased too.
Keep yourself exercised
A sedentary life keeps your cholesterol levels going high. Exercise improves your blood circulation and your body metabolism at cells level.
In this way all the products of oxidation and metabolism are cleaned from the “sites “ they were formed and carried out of your body.
So, you will have your cholesterol levels reduced and will stay healthy.
How to lower cholesterol naturally? - Dietary strategies
What you eat is very important for cholesterol balance. Food is the second source of cholesterol for you body. That's why it is important to shift to good dietary strategies and the right foods to lower your high cholesterol levels and keep them balanced.
Fruits and vegetables are the best choices you ever make, since they are free of cholesterol and can lower your high cholesterol.
It is also important the way you cook foods. Baking, grilling, boiling are among the best cooking manners. Avoid frying (especially deep frying), and using saurated fats.
Find out if Avocado cholesterol is good enough to give it a try.
How to lower cholesterol naturally?- Natural supplements
Some herbs extracts are well known for their lowering cholesterol power. As you may probably know, herbs have been used since ancient times for multipurpose issues, once of them high cholesterol.
It is true that these herbs have their own habitat, in some parts of the world; while some other parts cannot access that specific herb. Times have changed, and you may find these herbs extracts as a natural supplements in any drug store.
You must be carefull in choosing the right supplement, looking carefully for any FDA approval and monitoring.
If you follow the above natural steps, for sure you'll have your cholesterol levels back to normal, and you'll not need cholesterol lowering drugs anymore.
They are also called plant sterols of phytosterols. You may be familiar to them, especially when you are shopping when it comes to which margarine or butter to choose because plant sterols are added to some spreads such as margarines and butter.
Plant sterols are natural substances derived from plants.They have a structure likely to cholesterol and are proven to lower your LDL cholesterol levels by 17 % without affecting HDL levels. This is great, comparing to other lowering cholesterol treatments that reduce also the levels of HDL.
At this point I want to clarify, that people with high cholesterol are advised not to use margarines or butter. They are encouraged to follow a low fat diet. But, if you choose the margarines high in plant sterols and use in low quantities, you may have these benefits.
In a placebo-controlled, crossover feeding trial (1), the effects of phytosterols was evaluated among other natural remedies for high cholesterol. Researches have come out that dietary phytosterols, if taken in moderation, can alter the whole-body cholesterol metabolism.
Racette SB, Lin X, Lefevre M, Spearie CA, Most MM, Ma L, Ostlund RE Jr
Dose effects of dietary phytosterols on cholesterol metabolism: a
controlled feeding study. Am J Clin Nutr. 2009 Nov 4.
It consists of alcohols derived from the sugar cane (its waxy layer). It has been shown to reduce LDL levels by 31 percent and raise HDL cholesterol by 7 percent (2).
There are two ways your body gets cholesterol: the first one is by producing it and the second way is supplying cholesterol from foods. What this natural remedy for high cholesterol does is to block the cholesterol synthesis in your body. However, recently its effect on reducing LDL has been questioned.The studies are still contradictory and recall for further research.
Francini-Pesenti F, Beltramolli D, Dall'acqua S, Brocadello F. Effect
of sugar cane policosanol on lipid profile in primary
hypercholesterolemia. Phytother Res. 2008 Mar;22(3):318-22.
It is a Chinese fermented rice product, called otherwise Monascus purpureus. It contains the natural compound found in lovastatin (called monacolin K).
Although it may remarkable reduce blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels as it mimics lovastatin, it carries out this drug adverse side effects(3). Therefore, its use in lowering cholesterol naturally is still questioned.
However, it remains the fact of its potential effects to remarkably lower blood cholesterol, thus it can be listed among natural remedies for high cholesterol.
3. Klimek M, Wang S, Ogunkanmi A. Safety and Efficacy of Red Yeast Rice (Monascus purpureus) as an Alternative Therapy for Hyperlipidemia. P T. 2009 Jun;34(6):313-27.
Artichoke leaf extract has been shown to reduce total cholesterol by 18.5 percent in patients with hypercholesterolemia (4).
Due to its component cynarin, which can inhibit the synthesis of cholesterol in liver, artichoke has shown to be effective in lowering total cholesterol (5).
However, researchers recall for further studies to fully show its effects.
4. Wider B, Pittler MH, Thompson-Coon J, Ernst E. Artichoke leaf extract for treating hypercholesterolaemia. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2009 Oct 7;(4):CD003335.
5. Bundy R, Walker AF, Middleton RW, Wallis C, Simpson HC. Artichoke leaf extract (Cynara scolymus) reduces plasma cholesterol in otherwise healthy hypercholesterolemic adults: a randomized, double blind placebo controlled trial. Phytomedicine. 2008 Sep;15(9):668-75.
Guggul is a herbal extract derived from the resin of Commiphora mukul tree. It is widely used in Asia as powerful cholesterol-lowering agent. It contains guggulsterones as its bioactive components, which antagonize two nuclear hormone receptors of cholesterol metabolism. Thus, it reduces the cholesterol.
Recent studies have shown its lowering-cholesterol effects even in western population and it is widely being used even in U.S. and Western Europe (6, 7). As for any other lowering-cholesterol natural remedy, remains the fact of recalling for further studies.
6. Nohr LA, Rasmussen LB, Straand J. Resin from the mukul myrrh tree, guggul, can it be used for treating hypercholesterolemia? A randomized, controlled study. Complement Ther Med. 2009 Jan;17(1):16-22. Epub 2008 Aug 15.
7. Yu BZ, Kaimal R, Bai S, El Sayed KA, Tatulian SA, Apitz RJ, Jain MK, Deng R, Berg OG. Effect of guggulsterone and cembranoids of Commiphora mukul on pancreatic phospholipase A(2): role in hypocholesterolemia. J Nat Prod. 2009 Jan;72(1):24-8.
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