High Levels of cholesterol in the blood are one of many risk factors for
serious future problems. Too much cholesterol can increase the chances of
developing heart disease (including possibly fatal heart attacks) and
stroke. By inhibiting circulation, too much of this substance can also
cause gallstones, impotence, high blood pressure, and loss of mental
Cholesterol isn't all bad, however. Your body requires it in moderation for
the proper function of cells, nerves, and hormones. It is an essential
component of every cell in your body, and life without it would be
impossible. To distribute cholesterol throughout the body, substances
called lipoproteins to transport it in the blood. One class of
lipoproteins, called high-density lipoproteins, or HDLs, picks up the
excess cholesterol from the cells and takes it back to the liver, where it
is broken down and excreted from the body or reprocessed.
Under normal conditions, the lipoproteins keep cholesterol levels in
balance. But this carefully calibrated system can be overtaxed when the
body creates more cholesterol than HDL can sweep away. After the cells take
what they need, the existing HDLs remove what they can, and the extra
cholesterol becomes oxidized (especially LDL cholesterol) and attaches to
the artery walls, it sets the stage for inflammation of the arteries. We
call this buildup, which narrows the arteries and limits the amount of
blood that can pass through them, arteriosclerosis or hardening of the
arteries. Arteriosclerosis is the first stage of heart disease; when left
untreated, it will lead to a heart attack or stroke.
Elevated cholesterol levels are often caused by the standard Western diet,
which relies heavily on animal products, saturated fats, and refined
carbohydrates. It can also be caused by heredity conditions or preexisting
diseases like diabetes and insulin resistance, or syndrome X. Although, in
these cases, diet usually plays a role as well. It stands to reason, then,
that high cholesterol can often be treated with dietary changes and
exercise. Specific supplements discussed in this section are also excellent
non-pharmacological ways to normalize cholesterol levels. Stress reduction
has a beneficial effect as well. It is strongly suggested that you employ
these natural strategies before trying any cholesterol-lowering medications
on the market. These drugs, while effective at reducing cholesterol, are
potentially toxic to the liver and may cause nutritional deficiencies.
While they may be necessary in some cases, many doctors prescribe them as
routine-often because they are afraid that their patients won't make the
lifestyle changes that can lower cholesterol naturally. If your doctor
wants to prescribe a cholesterol-lowering agent for you, explain to him or
her that you're willing to embark on a new regimen in hopes of avoiding a
life long dependency on drugs. Whatever your decision, be sure that it is
based on your physician's and your analysis of your individual situation.
** All of these prescriptions below have been proven effective; the level
of effectiveness depends on the individual. Please consult your doctor when
taking any and all supplements.
Prescription for Natural Cures by: James F. Balch, M.D.
& Mark Stengler, N.D.
Super Prescription #1
Cholesterol Support w/ Policosanol
- LifeSource Product
Take 3 tabs per day. This proprietary blend from LifeSource
helps reduce LDL cholesterol and lipoprotein(a), improves
HDL cholesterol, and helps angina. * You can also try just
by itself for great results too.
Super Prescription # 2
Red Yeast Rice w/ CoQ10
- LifeSource Product
Take 1,200 mg twice daily. This extract has been shown to
reduce cholesterol levels and increase HDL. Note: CoQ10
Must be taken when taken Red Yeast Rice for Cholesterol.
You can either take ours with the CoQ10 in it or add CoQ10
to our regular Red Yeast Rice.
Super Prescription #3
- LifeSource Product
Take 2,500 mg of aged garlic daily. It reduces cholesterol
and homocysteine, has a natural blood-thinning effect, and
has antioxidant properties
Super Prescription #4
- LifeSource Product
'Niacin is an essential B vitamin used to promote healthy
cholesterol levels. Take 1,000 to 2,000 mg daily of the
no-flush form (inositol hexaniacinate). It reduces
cholesterol levels and increases HDL cholesterol.
Super Prescription #5
– LifeSource Product
Take a daily dose of a fish oil product containing at least
480 mg of EPA and 360 mg of DHA daily. Fish oil reduces
inflammation in the arteries, lowers
cholesterol/triglycerides, and is a natural blood thinner.
We have numerous fish oils.
Super Prescription # 7 Guggul
Take a daily total of 1,500 mg standardized to 5 percent
guggulsterone (equivalent to 75 mg of guggulsterones). This
ayurvedic herb reduces cholesterol levels and increases
Super Prescription #7
Antioxidant – Super Antioxidant
- LifeSource Product
Take a complex of antioxidants or a multivitamin, as
directed on the container. Several of the antioxidants
prevent cholesterol oxidation.
Often, there are no symptoms of high cholesterol, so it's important to have
your doctor perform a blood analysis regularly. One sign of high
cholesterol can be a buildup of cholesterol rings on the skin under the
eyes. Make an appointment if cholesterol or heart problems run in your
family, or if you experience any of the following:
Mental confusion or dullness
Difficulty breathing after minor exertion
Poor diet, especially one high in cholesterol, saturated fats and
Hereditary tendency to high cholesterol
Diabetes, insulin resistance
See All LifeSource Vitamins High Cholesterol Products, Articles and
Just as a poor diet is a primary cause of high cholesterol, dietary changes
are one of the best ways to treat it. One major key to balancing
cholesterol levels is to consume a diet that's high in fiber. This means
increasing the number of vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, and whole grains
in the diet. Soluble fiber is a great choice. This type of fiber does not
dissolve in water and binds cholesterol as it passes through the digestive
tract. Oat bran is a great example of soluble fiber, and more than twenty
studies show that it reduces total and LDL cholesterol when consumed on a
daily basis. One bowl of oatmeal can lower cholesterol levels between 8 and
23 percent in just three weeks. Pectin, found in the skins of apples, is
also effective, as is ground flaxseeds.
The reduction of fats in the diet, especially the harmful fats, is
important as well. In addition, eating less sugar products and refined
carbohydrates can make all the difference in the world for some people's
cholesterol levels. Finally, many people with diabetes and insulin
resistance find that cutting down on simple carbohydrates and increasing
the consumption of protein foods and dramatically reduce cholesterol
Soluble fiber can dramatically decrease cholesterol levels (along with your
risk of developing many other diseases). Oats, brown rice, beans, and
fruits are all good sources; have some at every meal. For breakfast, you
might like to have a bowl of hot oatmeal, flavored with soy milk, bananas,
and a little molasses, and an orange or a half grapefruit on the side.
The molecules in cholesterol are highly vulnerable to damage by free
radicals. Reduce your risk of developing heart disease and other serious
degenerative illness by increasing your consumption of deeply colored
fruits and vegetables. Eat a wide variety for the broadest protection, and
try at least five raw or lightly cooked serving's every day.
Not all fats are forbidden to people with elevated cholesterol. Essential
fatty acids actually have a heart-protecting effect, so be sure to
incorporate cold-water fish like salmon or mackerel into your meals several
times a week. Flaxseeds are another good source of EFAs; you can sprinkle
them over salads or use the oil as dressing.
Olive oil increases levels of HDL (the "good" cholesterol). The uses for
this fruity oil are numerous: it can enrich pasta sauces, or you can add a
little to a skillet and saute your favorite vegetables.
Garlic and onions are savory complements to vegetarian meals-and they help
lower LDL cholesterol while raising HDL.
Add spice to your meals, such as cayenne, basil, rosemary, and oregano.
These spices are rich in antioxidants to prevent cholesterol oxidation.
Nuts, such as walnuts, have been shown to reduce cholesterol and
triglyceride levels. Eat a handful daily.
Foods to Avoid
Fats that are saturated, hydrogenated, or partially hydrogenated tend to
increase cholesterol and improve your cardiovascular health. Fried foods,
sweet baked goods, and most crackers are all dangerously full of fats. Even
margarine and vegetable shortening-items that cholesterol patients often
use as substitutes for butter and lard-are high in partially hydrogenated
fats, which are even deadlier than the saturated kind.
Sugar and alcohol stimulate the liver to produce more cholesterol. Avoid
alcoholic beverages and all sources of refined sugar, including sodas,
candy, and low-fat baked goods.
Excess consumption of caffeine has been linked to high cholesterol. You
don't need to cut out your coffee or black tea completely --just keep your
intake down to a cup or two a day. Green tea is a much better choice, as it
is rich in antioxidants that have been shown to prevent cholesterol
Cholesterol Drugs and CoQ10
The cholesterol-lowering drugs known as "statins" are among the most widely
prescribed drugs today. These "statin" drugs work by inhibiting the liver
enzyme HMG CoA reductase, which acts to help the liver synthesize
cholesterol. The same enzyme is also involved in the synthesis of CoQ10, a
vital nutrient that's required for proper heart function. A 1993 study in
the Journal of Clinical Pharmacology found that the use of statin drugs
reduced CoQ10 levels by an average of 40 percent after three months of use.
Other studies have also found CoQ10 depletion effects. In one study, 100 mg
per day of supplemental Coq10 reversed the effect.
General Stress-Reduction Therapies
Persistent, unresolved stress has been linked to high cholesterol problems,
as well as to heart disease and stroke. Stress reduction should be a part
of a comprehensive approach to preventing heart disease.
Know your cholesterol and cardiovascular risk marker levels-all of
them. Get regular checkups, and find a doctor who is willing to explain
the numbers to you.
Smoking is the number-one risk factor in heart disease. If you smoke
and have high cholesterol, you're in grave danger of having a heart
attack. People who smoke must quit immediately; even if you've never
picked up the habit but are exposed to secondhand smoke, you must find
a cleaner environment in which to live or work.
Exercise lowers LDL levels while raising those of HDL. Find an activity
you enjoy, and pursue it regularly. A brisk thirty-minute walk every
day does wonders for almost everyone.
If you have diabetes or hypothyroidism, work with a doctor to keep your
disease in check and to devise an individual plan for controlling your
Many cholesterol patients are told to lose weight. The dietary
suggestions here will help most people take off excess pounds, but if
you're more than twenty pounds overweight, you may need additional
Bruce Brightman – founder
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