Alternative Treatments and Prevention
from AMAZON HERBS®
Cholesterol is a soft, waxy substance that is synthesized by the liver;
it makes almost 75 percent of what the body needs.|
Cholesterol is also present in our diet through meat, fish, poultry and dairy products; in this form it is absorbed through the intestines.
In the body it is used to form cell membranes, hormones and needed for other functions such as vitamin D production and as a precursor to bile acids.
Cholesterol is also a precursor to all of the steroid hormones such as estrogen, testosterone and cortisone.
However, a level of cholesterol and other fats, such as triglycerides, that is too high (called: hypercholesterolemia) may be a risk factor for coronary heart disease; this can lead to a heart attack.
Since cholesterol and other lipids (fats) need to be transported to - and from the cells (the lipids cannot dissolve in the blood), they need carriers for this.
The carriers (lipoproteins) are LDL (low density lipoprotein) and HDL (high density lipoprotein).
Most of the blood cholesterol is carried by the LDL; this LDL cholesterol is known as the "bad cholesterol".
Excess build up of this in the wall of the arteries together with other substances forms a hard deposit (plaque) that can clog the arteries. This is a condition known as atherosclerosis and may lead to heart disease.
A high level of this type cholesterol, 160 mg /dl (4.1 mM/L) and higher, may increase the risk for a heart attack.
HDL cholesterol known as the "good cholesterol" may protect against a heart attack by moving cholesterol to the liver and removing cholesterol from plaque.
Ultimately, a high level of HDL cholesterol may lower the risk of heart disease.
Triglycerides are the chemical form in which most fat exist in food as well as in the body.
They provide much of the energy that is needed for functioning of the cells.
They're also present in blood plasma and, in association with cholesterol, form the plasma lipids.
If the level of blood triglycerides is high, over 200 mg/dl (2.2 mM/L), the level of LDL is probably also high.
A very high level of more than 500 mg/dl (5.6 mM/L), is a serious medical condition.
Lipoprotein (a), or Lp(a) is a substance that is made up of an LDL (bad cholesterol) part plus a protein.
Elevated Lp(a) levels are a strong risk factor for heart disease!
Persons with a level of over 200 mg/dl of the blood triglycerides have an increased risk of heart disease. Those with diabetes or who are obese are also likely to have high triglycerides.
The sum of the blood (serum) cholesterol content (LDL, HDL, triglycerides and Lipoprotein (a)) is called Total Cholesterol.
Federal guidelines from the National Cholesterol Education Program recommend
the following levels:
* mMole/L is the modern, more scientific unit that is common in Europe and the rest of the world.
However, a level that is too low may increase the risk of stroke, depression or a change in brain chemistry. So one should be careful with that last recommendation!
Probably any level much under 150 may be too low.
Cholesterol only becomes dangerous when it is oxidized by free radicals due to a lack of antioxidants.
Abnormal cholesterol and triglyceride levels may be caused by:
Be aware that in order to get a (too) low LDL you may need to use more than one cholesterol lowering drug.
Also, a total cholesterol level may not be that important as an indicator for the health of the heart. There are also other tests that tell a lot more about the risk of heart disease: HDL/Cholesterol ratio and Triglyceride/ HDL ratios; ideally this should be above 24 percent for the first and below 2 for the second one.
What you can do to lower your total cholesterol and triglycerides and increase your HDL cholesterol naturally:
Diet and Exercise:
A healthy diet, without trans fat, is the best defense against heart disease.
This includes mono-unsaturated fats, starch, soluble fiber, fish, vegetables, organic raw dairy products and fruit.
Along with exercise, this can be helpful in reducing LDL cholesterol levels.
Diet and exercise can be an integral part of an overall health program (such as battling diabetes and/or hypertension).
The most effective way to lower cholesterol when all of this does not work sufficiently, is with prescription drugs and/or herbal dietary supplements.
Remember that the approach is to supplement and not to replace a healthy diet and exercise!
Allopathic (Western medicine) cholesterol reducing drugs:
These are all heavily promoted pharmaceuticals with potentially (very) serious side effects.
TREATING HIGH CHOLESTEROL WITH TROPICAL HERBAL DIETARY SUPPLEMENTS
Potent herbal dietary supplements (Natural medicine)
These dietary supplements are safer, more effective and with far fewer side effects.
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