Reduce Your High Cholesterol Naturally

Many people are wanting to know how to reduce their high cholesterol levels with natural medicine but are unsure on what to use.

This page will give you all the answers you need on reducing your cholesterol with proven natural remedies. It will also tell you which ones don’t help.

If you are already on a cholesterol prescription drug such as lipitor, zocor or crestor, then you may already be experiencing some side-effects such as gastric upset, insomnia, mood swings or even a general unwell feeling. These drugs are known as ‘statins’ and can lower your LDL cholesterol by up to 50%.

Statins work by blocking an enzyme that is needed for the synthesis of cholesterol. This enzyme is called HMG-CoA reductase. Some natural medicines for cholesterol have the exact same ability.



What is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is produced by the body and travels in our blood. In the right proportions, cholesterol is very useful. In incorrect proportions, cholesterol can clog blood vessels and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke as pictured in the diagram below.

cholesterol



What is good and bad cholesterol?

There are two types of cholesterol.

• LDL – Low Density Lipoproteins. This is the BAD cholesterol

• HDL- High Density Lipoproteins. This is the GOOD cholesterol

Learn about this heart problem. Cholesterol is both good and bad and you will see why here. Understand low and high cholesterol plus the foods that are associated with it. Click here to get some great cholesterol tips.

A recent study from the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden, showed that LDL slows down the rate of fat breakdown in peripheral cells. This means, if you have elevated LDL, you will have more trouble losing weight/fat in problem areas. This study has also opened up the possibility of a connection between blood lipids and the metabolic syndrome.

Metabolic syndrome or Syndrome X, is a collective of diseases and sign and symptoms. These include:

Diabetes mellitus type 2 or impaired fasting glucose, impaired glucose tolerance, or insulin resistance.

High blood pressure.

Obesity, overweight with fat deposits mainly around the waist.

Decreased HDL cholesterol.

Raised triglycerides.

What are the normal levels of LDL/HDL?

These are the normal levels:

Total cholesterol – less than 5.5mmol/l

• LDL – less than 3.5mmol/l

• HDL – greater than 1.0mmol/l

• LDL to HDL – less than 2.0mmol/l

I eat well, why do I have high cholesterol?

High cholesterol is thought to be inherited, this is called familial hypercholesterolaemia. This affects one person in 500 and there seems to be a problem with the clearance of cholesterol by the liver. You can inherit this from a parent. If you have a parent with high cholesterol then you may need to get checked out by you doctor even though you have a healthy diet and lifestyle.

What Can I Do To Naturally Lower Cholesterol?

Diet and lifestyle changes can help lower your cholesterol. These include:

• Use low or reduced fat dairy products

• Avoid fatty processed meats such as sausages and salami

• Replace fatty meat with lean and grill instead of fry

• Turkey has less fat than red meat

• Eat fish twice a week

• Increase fruit and vegetables

• Increase whole-grains, nuts , seeds and legumes

• 30 minutes of exercise daily

All of these factors utilised have been proven to lower cholesterol.

In a 10 day study, a group of people with high cholesterol were fed a diet of only raw fruits and vegetables, 5kgs a day to be exact.

After the 10 days, their cholesterol had dropped by 25%. This sort of response is in line with natural and prescription medicines. Have a good look at your diet and eating habits before you start medicating yourself. This study also produced a 30% drop in blood pressure as well....



Cholesterol natural alternative medicines
Natural alternative medicines practitioners strongly believe that successful cholesterol treatment is possible by enlivening the inactive organs, which are responsible for this condition.

What Natural Medicines Have Been Proven to Lower Cholesterol?

Listed below are the proven natural medicines for high cholesterol. I have also included those that have been proven not to work.


Policosanol

This substance is derived from the waxy layer of the sugar cane and it lowers cholesterol by blocking the synthesis. Policosanol can lower your LDL by up to 31%. It can also increase your HDL by 7%. Policosanol is a well researched and respected proven natural medicine for high cholesterol. It works best at 10mg a day. Policosanol is well tolerated and an excellent alternative to lipitor. Although the price for this product may be more than prescription lipitor, the best priced policosanol can be found at Policosanol 10 mg

Canetti M, Moreira M, Mas R, et al. A two-year study on the efficacy and tolerability of policosanol in patients with type II hyperlipoproteinaemia. Int J Clin Pharmacol Res 1995;15:159-65.



Artichoke

Similar to statins, artichoke appears to block HMG-CoA reductase. Research has shown that over a 6 week period at 1800mg/day, LDL can decrease by 23%. The only side effect of this medicine is flatulence immediately after commencing treatment. Jarrow Artichoke 500mg 180Caps

Pittler MH, Thompson CO, Ernst E. Artichoke leaf extract for treating hypercholesterolaemia. Cochrane Database Syst Rev 2002;3:CD003335.



Red Yeast Rice

This is also a very effective HMG-CoA reductase inhibito but it can cause side effects similar to prescription drugs. Although very effective, the FDA has labelled this natural medicine for cholesterol as unreliable and dangerous as it can cause damage to the kidneys.

Heber D, Lembertas A, Lu QY, et al. An analysis of nine proprietary Chinese red yeast rice dietary supplements: implications of variability in chemical profile and contents. J Altern Complement Med 2001;7:133-9.



tea helps lower cholesterol

Tea

Recent research has discovered that Black Tea helps to lower cholesterol synthesis in rats. In a study done in 2009, it compared black tea to green tea.

Green Tea lowered cholesterol synthsis by 55%.

Black Tea lowered cholesterol synthsis by 78%.

It was not stated in the study how much black tea used in the rats would be comparable to humans.

Singh DK, Banerjee S, Porter TD. Green and black tea extracts inhibit HMG-CoA reductase and activate AMP kinase to decrease cholesterol synthesis in hepatoma cells. Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry. 2009 Oct;20(10):816–822.

Niacin (Vitamin B3)

TWINLAB Niacin B-3 (1000mg) 100 caps
Niacin is of course Vitamin B3 and is available over the counter and as a prescription drug for high cholesterol. Niacin can decrease LDL by up to 25% and can increase HDL by 35%. It can also lower triglycerides thought to inhibition of lipolysis. Unfortunately the dose for this reduction in cholesterol is between 2,000mg – 3,000mg a day. Click on the bottle of Niacin to your right to access a high dose of 1,000mg per capsule. Niacin also has unpleasant side effects of flushing, headache, and gastrointestinal upsets. Niacin can also cause toxicity in the liver. A liver test may be necessary if taking niacin for high cholesterol. Check with your doctor.

McKenney J. New perspectives on the use of niacin in the treatment of lipid disorders. Arch Intern Med 2004;164:697-705.



Garlic

Garlic has been widely researched and hotly debated over it’s effectiveness for high cholesterol. The active constituents in garlic do block HMG-CoA reductase. The debate over garlic is that some studies show a benefit and others don’t. The studies also have been quite small and they have all used a different formulation. Perhaps we would get a clearer idea if there was a larger study done using one universal product. One study showed that taking the equivalent of 5-20 cloves of garlic a day could reduce total cholesterol by up to 9% and triglycerides by 17%. If you want to keep informed of any new releases on garlic or any other natural medicines, click on the little orange button to your left and subscribe to the Health Blog.

Jain AK, Vargas R, Gotzkowsky S, McMahon FG. Can garlic reduce levels of serum lipids? A controlled clinical study. Am J Med 1993;94:632-5.



Plant Sterols

Sterols found in spreads are a proven natural medicine for reducing cholesterol. Using the spreads twice daily in place of butter, can decrease LDL by up to 17%. fibre helps reduce cholesterol

Fibre

Whole-foods such as whole wheat, oats, corn and barley help to reduce total cholesterol by absorbing fats in the diet.

Rimm EB, Ascherio A, Giovannucci E, et al. Vegetable, fruit, and cereal fiber intake and risk of coronary heart disease among men. JAMA 1996;275:447-51.



psyllium helps reduce cholesterol

Blonde Psyllium (Plantago ovata)

Psyllium prevents fat absorption and asorbs dietary fats for elimination. 10 – 12 grams of psyllium a day can decrease total cholesterol by up to 14% and decrease LDL by up to 10%. The easiest and most effective way to take psyllium is in it's rawest form seen in Psyllium Seed Powder 1/2 lb bottle: HE and sprinkle it on your breakfast cereal.

Anderson JW, Allgood LD, Lawrence A, et al. Cholesterol-lowering effects of psyllium intake adjunctive to diet therapy in men and women with hypercholesterolemia: meta-analysis of 8 controlled trials. Am J Clin Nutr 2000;71:472-9.



oat bran helps reduce cholesterol

Oat Bran

Oat bran has been shown to decrease LDL by up to 26%.

Romero AL, Romero JE, Galaviz S, Fernandez ML. Cookies enriched with psyllium or oat bran lower plasma LDL cholesterol in normal and hypercholesterolemic men from Northern Mexico. J Am Coll Nutr 1998;17:601-8.



chitosan does not reduce cholesterol

Chitosan

Chitosan is derived from the exoskeleton of shellfish. It has been shown that chitosan has lipid lowering abilities but has no effect on cholesterol levels.

Ho SC, Tai ES, Eng PH, et al. In the absence of dietary surveillance, chitosan does not reduce plasma lipids or obesity in hypercholesterolaemic obese Asian subjects. Singapore Med J 2001;42:6-10.



fish oil does help reduce cholesterol

Fish Oil

According to American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Vol 43, 752-757, Copyright © 1986 by The American Society for Clinical Nutrition, Inc, fish oils rich in omega fatty acids do help lower cholesterol levels. In this study, cholesterol levels dropped significantly when taking supplemental fish oil. These levels did not rise even in conjunction with a high cholesterol diet. A level of 6000mg of fish oil was needed daily for this effect.



Flaxseed

Flaxseed contains omega-3 fatty acids, fibre and phytoestrogens. A study done on 62 men and women showed that although LDL was lowered, it was only modest and very short lived. Flaxseed also appeared to lower HDL in men which was an undesirable action.

Bloedon L, Balikai S, Chittams J, et al. Flaxseed and Cardiovascular Risk Factors: Results form a Double Blind, Randomized, Controlled Clinical Trial. Journal of the American College of Nutrition. Feb 2008.



guggulipid does not reduce cholesterol

Guggulipid

This is an extract of gum guggal form the tree Commiphora wightii. Research has shown this to have no effect on cholesterol levels.

Szapary PO, Wolfe ML, Bloedon LT, et al. Guggulipid for treatment of hypercholesterolemia: a randomized controlled trial. JAMA 2003;290:765-72.

soy does help reduce high cholesterol

Soy

Consuming 25g of soy a day has been proven to be an effective proven natural medicine for high cholesterol. If you substitiute soy for other dietary protein, your LDL may drop up to 13%. 25g of soy can be found in 2-4 cups of soy milk, 8 oz tofu, 2oz soy flour or 1 cup soy protein. If you are unable to stomach soy products, you can find reasonably priced capsules at Soy Force Rx

Costa RL, Summa MA. Soy protein in the management of hyperlipidemia. Ann Pharmacother 2000;34:931-5.



In Summary

Whatever medicine you decide to use for your high cholesterol, you must make some changes to your diet and lifestye. Don’t think that high cholesterol only happens in older people. Many young people have high cholesterol and don’t know it yet. If your diet and family history puts you in a high risk category for high cholesterol, please see you health practitioner and make some life changes.

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