Lower Cholesterol Naturally
What is cholesterol? According to Stedman’s Medical Dictionary, cholesterol is “the most abundant steroid in animal tissues, especially in bile and gall stones, and present in food, especially rich in animal fats, circulates in plasma complexes to proteins of various densities and plays an important role in the forming of plaque formation in arteries”. This article will discuss 6 ways to lower cholesterol naturally.
The Dangers of High Cholesterol
Everyone constantly hears about the dangers of high cholesterol. Yet, much like high blood pressure, high cholesterol is an invisible danger to individuals and due to its invisibility, many people ignore the dangers associated with it.
Nevertheless, having high cholesterol can lead to significant health problems down the road if it remains untreated. Therefore, it is important to get your cholesterol levels tested regularly and it is equally important to do all you can to keep its level at a number that is acceptable.
So, what exactly is cholesterol? Before you pay a visit to the doctor to have it checked, be advised that you cannot eat 12 hours before your blood test. When you visit your doctor’s office, your doctor will order a blood test to check your cholesterol levels.
The types of cholesterol examined in the test are the HDL cholesterol levels, the LDL cholesterol levels, and the Triglyceride levels.
Ultimately, the level you need to be most concerned with is the LDL cholesterol level: frequently referred to as the “bad cholesterol” this type of cholesterol is what accumulates within your arteries and creates blockages that can lead to significant problems.
Conversely, the HDL cholesterol levels are referred to as “good cholesterol”, because this particular type of cholesterol helps prevent artery blockages from forming.
Ways to lower cholesterol naturally:
Exercise: how many times do you have to hear it – everyone says it. Because it works better than any drug out there. Why does it work? Exercise requires energy. Energy comes from sugars, fats, and proteins. When the sugars and proteins are burned, fats must be converted into useable forms of energy.
The liver steps up by making good cholesterol, HDL. HDL goes around and picks up bad cholesterol, LDL. It converts this into useable energy. So, by exercising, your energy requirements increase thereby lowering cholesterol naturally.
Exercise 30 minutes a day as often as you can in a week. Try one day a week and build up. You’ll become addicted to it. Better that than statins.
Eat Soluble Fiber
Eat soluble fiber: Where can you find that? In beans and whole grains. The FDA’s page on fiber is not too shabby. Fruits and vegetables contain insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber actually binds to cholesterol removing it from your body. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to your stools making you more regular – which is extremely vital as well.
Inositol: This is time-released niacin in the no-flush form. Niacin is the main player in cellular metabolism. If one is low in niacin, then the energy reactions do not go forward. If they do not go forward, lipids accumulate which is directly tied to high levels of cholesterol.
A study on time-released niacin shows its effectiveness. The study I found used pharmaceutical time-released niacin but I believe these two are very similar – with the natural form being superior.
The bottom line of the study: [su_note note_color=”#fde575″]”The results show that niacin ER [extended release] produces a beneficial effect on lipoprotein subclasses, specifically decreasing the more atherogenic small, dense LDL particles and enhancing the cardioprotective large HDL particles.[/su_note]” Remember what I said about bad LDL and good HDL? The inositol sounds pretty good now, doesn’t it?
Red Yeast Rice
Red Yeast Rice: This is what the pharmaceutical companies make some statin drugs from – directly! So why not take it in its natural state? It works quite well.
It works by limiting the cholesterol reaction from going forward. This means that cholesterol’s production is slowed down thereby lowering cholesterol naturally. I have found a great research article on PubMed for Red Yeast Rice.
The research was done by the Center for Human Nutrition and is not biased by a natural supplement company. Here is the study: Cholesterol-lowering effects of a proprietary Chinese red-yeast-rice dietary supplement.[su_note note_color=”#fde575″]Warning: Red Yeast Rice is a type of statin so it needs to be treated like a statin drug. If you are taking Red Yeast Rice, you need to monitor your liver enzymes.[/su_note]
There has been many studies that show garlic has the ability to reduce cholesterol. In fact, garlic has been shown to decreases high blood pressure.
A number of intervention studies have shown that garlic significantly reduced plasma lipids, especially total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol in humans.
Bio Lipotrol: This natural cholesterol-lowering supplement is made by Biogenesis. Bio Lipotrol has Red Yeast Rice, Inositol, Policosanol and Guggal Gum extract. Now, this doesn’t mean you can sit on your couch eating hamburgers and pizza while popping Bio Lipotrol capsules.
I have already stated that exercise is the best medicine – an increase in soluble fiber.
What are the Dangers of Statin drugs?
I don’t know all of the dangers but I know the one that is not often addressed. Statin drugs give the false impression that the one taking them does not have to be proactive in lowering cholesterol. Statin drugs limit the production of cholesterol. They do not limit the intake of cholesterol.
Also – statin drugs seriously limit the production of Coenzyme Q10. This is a major energy source for the human heart and electron transport chain. So if you are on statin drugs, take CoQ10.
If you want to lower cholesterol naturally, these steps will no doubt help you. I recommend having a sit-down chat with your physician. Most docs will listen to you and be supportive and knowledgable about this arena. If not, find a licensed and qualified naturopathic physician who will listen to you.
This information is not telling you to stop taking your statin drugs. It is merely information. Do not stop your statin drugs without consulting with your physician. Only then, under their direction, stop the meds if you implement other means.
These interventions reduces bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol.
My name is Phyllis Robinson MSN, RN. I have been a Registered Nurse for 27 years in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit. I am passionate about cardiac care and heart disease. I also want this blog to be an educational tool that people can refer to for traditional and alternative treatment. I will blog on heart disorders such as high blood pressure, congestive heart failure, cardiomyopathy, and high cholesterol.
I received my Nursing degree from Baltimore Community College.
I went on to receive my Masters in Nursing from Walden University
I have worked for almost 30 years in Critical Care with a focus on heart health. I am an advocate of preventive healthcare.