What is cholesterol?
Although it has a bad reputation, cholesterol is important to a number of body functions. We need cholesterol to build membranes, manufacture bile acids, and produce hormones. So it isn't that cholesterol is bad for you; but too much of a good thing is never beneficial.
Cholesterol is produced in our body by the liver. It is then carried through the body to the cells, which take what they need. The excess is then transported back to the liver. If this excess isn't picked up promptly, it can stick to artery walls and eventually lead to cardiovascular disease.
High cholesterol levels are one of the primary causes of heart disease because cholesterol produces fatty deposits in arteries. Elevated cholesterol levels are also implicated in gall stones, impotence, mental impairment, and high blood pressure.
Diet and nutrition have a major influence on cholesterol levels.
What helps Cholesterol Problems?
• Fiber mops up excess protein and removes it from the blood. Recommendation: Eat food high in fiber, such as apples, beans, brown rice, fruits, and oats. Whole grain cereals are also good for this job. Remember that fiber also absorbs the minerals from the food it is in, so take extra minerals separate from the fiber.
• Vitamin B3 helps lower cholesterol. Recommendation: Eat leafy greens, wheat germ, tuna, and beans. Supplement with 300 mg daily. Warning: Do not exceed this amount. Do not use a sustainedrelease formula, and do not take niacin if you have a liver disorder, gout, or high blood pressure.
• Lower your total cholesterol levels with chromium picolinate. Recommendation: Take 400 to 600 micrograms daily.
• Coenzyme Ql0 improves circulation. Recommendation: Take 60 mg dairy.
• Garlic lowers cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Recommendation: Take 2 300 mg capsules 3 times daily.
• Vitamin C lowers cholesterol levels. Recommendation: Take a supplement of vitamin C with bioflavonoids at a dosage of 3000 to 8000 mg dairy in divided doses.
• Improve circulation with Vitamin E. Recommendation: Start with 200 IU daily and slowly increase to 1000 IU daily. Use the emulsion form for rapid assimulation.
• Essential fatty acids reduce the LDL (the "bad" cholesterol) level and thin the blood. Recommendation: Take up to six 1000 mg capsules of the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA (you can find supplements with a combination of these two fatty acids).Warning: Since fish oils can interfere with blood clotting, do not take if you are taking a blood thinner.
Herbal remedies for Cholesterol Problems
• Cayenne, goldenseal, and hawthorn berries help lower cholesterol levels. Caution: Do not take goldenseal internally on a daily basis for more than 7 consecutive days. Do not use it during pregnancy, and use it with care if you have a ragweed allergy.
Dosages may vary, depending on the duration and severity of your symptoms. Consult a qualified herbal practitioner, and talk to your doctor before beginning herbal remedies. Some remedies cannot be used in combination with conventional pharmaceuticals.
What makes Cholesterol Problems worse?
• Saturated fat includes all fats of animal origin as well as coconut and palm kernel oils. Eliminate margarine, lard, and butter.
• Meat and dairy products are primary sources of dietary cholesterol. Recommendation: Center your diet around vegetables and fruits, which are cholesterol-free.
• Coffee can elevate cholesterol levels when consumed in large amounts. Recommendation: If you can't eliminate coffee, keep your daily intake to a maximum of 2 cups.
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