Cholesterol Lowering Diet - Foods That Will Lower Your Cholesterol

Posted by maiko muki

Cholesterol Lowering Diet
Cholesterol Lowering Diet 

Having high cholesterol levels is associated with a serious risk for your health and life. Even if you are not experiencing this problem at present it is worth taking measures for avoiding the condition. The cholesterol lowering diet is the ultimate solution that all sufferers can complement their medication treatment with. It is not difficult to keep and is effective in producing the desired results.

It is worth learning more about the problem before taking the adequate measures for its solution. There are some basic roots to the problem and by identifying them you will be able to make the most out of your cholesterol lowering diet. Cholesterol is an organic chemical substance that is produced in the liver. It exists in the body and has a number of beneficial functions such as the synthesizing of Vitamin D. However, when the cholesterol levels become too high, this sticky and dense substance piles up in the arteries. As a result the blood vessels become harder and narrower and less blood can pass through them. This condition is associated with a higher risk of extremely dangerous and lethal cardiovascular and even nervous system diseases.

The ultimate goal when adopting the cholesterol lowering diet is to reduce the amounts of the substance that are piled in your arteries and diminish the risks for your life and health. This type of nutritional plan will help you improve your situation on a number of levels and in a variety of ways. Generally, the diet consists not only of cholesterol lowering foods, but of ones that do not allow for its further accumulation in the blood vessels. The latter types of foods in particular are beneficial for weight loss. The less heavy you are, the easier and more pleasant the physical activity will be for you. This will allow you to do more cardio exercises, which also aids for the reduction of cholesterol.

The first aspect of your cholesterol lowering diet is to reduce the amount of foods in it that provide for its build up in the arteries. These are mostly the red and fat meats and the different types of dairy products. It is arguable whether you should exclude these altogether since they contain essential nutrients, but restricting them to a minimum is to give you the basis for accomplishing optimal results. These foods have to be replaced by plant based ones that are rich in sterols. Generally, the different types of vegan foods should be abundant in your diet - they are nutritional and will not give you a feeling of hunger since they keep you full. The foods that can actually lower cholesterol include fatty fish and oatmeal.

As you can see for yourself the cholesterol lowering diet might feel a bit restrictive at first, but in reality it can cure you successfully when combined with the appropriate medical treatment. By keeping it, you will never have to face this serious problem again. So, it is definitely worth starting it today and sticking to it preferably through the rest of your life.
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Cholesterol: Is My Heart at Risk ?

Posted by maiko muki

Cholesterol: Is My Heart at Risk
Cholesterol: Is My Heart at Risk?

Cholesterol is a waxy steroid of fat produced in liver or intestine, used for the synthesis of hormones and cell membranes and transported in the blood plasma of all mammals. Cholesterol is a very essential structural component of plasma membrane of mammals required for maintaining proper membrane permeability and fluidity. It is also an important agent required for the manufacture of bile acids, steroid hormones and vitamin D. It is the principal steroid synthesized by animals however, smaller amounts are also produced in plants and fungi. Cholesterol is entirely absent among prokaryotes. If its concentration increases in blood then the risk of cardiovascular diseases increases so its level must be kept under control. The word cholesterol has originated from a Greek word and was first discovered by Francois Poulletier de la Salle in gallstones in solid form in 1769 but, chemical identification was done by Eugène Chevreul in 1815 who gave the term cholesterine.

Physiology

Cholesterol participates in the synthesis of male and female steroid hormones especially testosterone and estrogens. About 80% of the body's cholesterol is synthesized by the liver while rest comes from our diet. The major sources of dietary cholesterol are meat, fish, poultry, and dairy products. Among meat, liver is excessively rich in cholesterol content while foods of plant origin lack cholesterol. After consuming a meal, the dietary cholesterol is absorbed from the intestine and packaged inside a protein coat. This cholesterol-protein coat complex is known as chylomicron which is later stored in the liver. Liver bears the potential of regulating cholesterol levels in the blood stream. Cholesterol synthesis starts from simpler elements present in the body. In blood circulation it is transported within lipoproteins and if its level increases then the risk of atherosclerosis increases. Typically for a person weighing 68 kg the total body cholesterol synthesis is 1 g per day. The daily additional dietary intake of cholesterol in the United States is 200-300 mg. The body maintains equilibrium by minimizing the total amount synthesized in the body if the dietary intake of cholesterol increases.

Cholesterol is also recycled, it is excreted by the liver via bile into the digestive tract. About 50% of the excreted cholesterol is again reabsorbed in the small intestine and reaches blood stream. Phytosterols can compete with cholesterol reabsorption in the intestine and thus, reduce cholesterol level. Cholesterol is a fat required by the body in small amounts. High blood levels of cholesterol can lead to coronary artery disease and angina. Nitrates are used to relieve angina. Most people require regular tests for knowing blood cholesterol levels that comprise checking of triglycerides, high density lipoproteins (HDL), low density lipoproteins (LDL) and total cholesterol levels.

Methods for increasing the levels of good cholesterol or lowering blood cholesterol levels include cholesterol reducing drugs like statins, fibrates, niacin and bile acid resins. These drugs are not able to reverse calcification and if coronary arteries are blocked then heart attack may occur. The two chief types of cholesterols are high density lipoproteins (HDL) and low density lipoproteins (LDL). For the sake of simplicity HDL is considered as good cholesterol while LDL is known as the bad cholesterol. We can conclude that the bad cholesterol is responsible for forming plaques in the arteries and thus, increases the risk of heart attack. The good cholesterol on the other hand, reverses cholesterol transport by taking it out of the plaque and sending it back to blood circulation for excretion via liver.

Types Of Lipoproteins

Three major types of lipoproteins are found in the serum of a fasting individual namely, low density lipoproteins (LDL), high density lipoproteins (HDL) and very low density lipoproteins (VLDL).

1. Low density lipoproteins (LDL) or bad cholesterol and its management

LDL or bad cholesterol comprises 60-70% of the total serum cholesterol. It is the major atherogenic lipoprotein used in the cholesterol lowering therapy as its higher levels are dangerous. It deposits cholesterol on the walls of arteries resulting in the formation of a hard substance known as cholesterol plaque. This plaque is responsible for the hardening of arterial walls so they become narrow and the process is identified as atherosclerosis. Liver not only manufactures and secretes LDL cholesterol in the blood stream but also removes it from the blood. A large number of active receptors are present on the surface of liver that actively bind to the LDL cholesterol molecules and remove it from blood. A deficiency of LDL receptors is associated with the higher level of these molecules in the blood.

A number of advantages are known when the levels of bad cholesterol undergo reduction for example, declination in the formation of new plaques on the walls of the arteries, removal of existing plaques from the arterial walls, narrowed arteries attain their normal shape, avoidance of rupturing of plaques which facilitates formation of blood clots and finally the risk of heart attack is reduced. A number of studies have indicated that the risk of heart attack diminishes by 25% for every 10% drop in the LDL cholesterol level and it is the key factor ensuring that total blood cholesterol level has reached a safer zone. A study carried out with 4,000 individuals has confirmed that the levels of bad cholesterol and risk of heart attack were reduced to about 25% and 42%by using the drug statin. It is profitable that the daily calorie intake of fat must be reduced down to 30% and consumption different kinds of foods rich in carbohydrates, proteins must be increased as the body will convert them into triglycerides which are later stored as fat.

Foods rich in saturated fats increase levels of LDL cholesterol in blood stream. Fats may be classified as saturated and unsaturated fats. Saturated fats are easily available in the meat, dairy products and some vegetable oils especially those derived from coconut, palm and cocoa. Therapeutic lifestyle changes adopted for lowering the levels of bad cholesterol include regular exercise, loss of excess body weight and following a diet with low concentration of saturated fats and cholesterol. When lifestyle changes fail to give desired results then medications are taken into consideration. Statins are the most effective drugs giving best results for lowering the levels of bad cholesterol and also reducing the risk of heart diseases. Other drugs that can be used include fibrates like gemfibrozin, resins such as cholestyramine, ezetimibe and Zetia. The National Institute of Health, the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology have published some guidelines that can help the medical experts while dealing with cases of high cholesterol.

2.  High density lipoproteins (LDL) or good cholesterol and its advantages

HDL cholesterol or the good cholesterol as it prevents atherosclerosis by extracting cholesterol from the arterial walls and disposing them through liver. High levels of LDL cholesterol and low levels of HDL cholesterol are associated with the risk of heart diseases. So the levels must be maintained in order to enjoy a happy and healthy life. HDL cholesterol accounts for 20-30% of the total serum cholesterol. Since it reduces the risk of atherosclerosis its level must be checked from time to time. Both heredity and diet have a significant effect on a person's HDL, LDL and total cholesterol levels. Families with low HDL levels are at an elevated risk of heart attack and vice versa. Lifestyle and other factors also influence HDL levels. HDL levels are low in individuals who smoke, are overweight, inactive and suffer from Type II diabetes mellitus. HDL levels are higher in individuals who are lean, exercise regularly and do not smoke. Estrogens also increase HDL levels so women have high HDL cholesterol levels as compared to men.

Lowering of the LDL cholesterol level is however easier than elevating the levels of HDL cholesterol. Reducing LDL and raising HDL levels have a beneficial effect on an individual's health. Earlier the researchers were much focused on the ways of reducing the levels of bad cholesterol but with advancement in research it became clear that it is better to raise the levels of good cholesterol as it will automatically reduce bad cholesterol levels. The levels may be raised by weight loss, regular exercise and intake of niacin. Some studies have suggested that drugs like statin when coupled with niacin give better results and women with high levels of HDL have reduced risk of heart attack. The average HDL level for women must be in between 50-55 mg/dL and for men 40-50 mg/dL. The total cholesterol to HDL cholesterol ratio can be of help in estimating the risk of atherosclerosis. An average ratio must be in between 4-5.

Studies have indicated that even a small increase in the level of HDL cholesterol can reduce the risk of heart attack. For every 1 mg/dL rise in the HDL cholesterol level the risk of coronary heart disease reduces by 2-4%. However, therapeutic lifestyle changes can help in increasing the HDL levels. When these changes fail to give positive results then medication is taken into account. Regular aerobic exercise, loss of excessive body weight and cessation of smoking are helpful in raising HDL levels. Regular alcohol consumption for example, taking one drink per day can also help in this regard but as alcohol consumption is coupled with many adverse health effects this criterion is not taken into consideration. Effective drugs include gemfibrozil, estrogen and lower doses of statin. A newer medicine, fenofibrate has also given better results and is used in reducing serum triglycerides.

3. Triglycerides or very low density lipoproteins (VLDL) or ugly cholesterol and its effects

The ugly cholesterol is a triglyceride rich lipoprotein that accounts for 10-15% of the total serum cholesterol. This cholesterol is produced by liver and some remnants of VLDL seem to promote atherosclerosis similar to that of LDL. Triglyceride is a form of fat transported to the tissue through blood. Body's majority of fatty tissue is composed of triglycerides. Serum triglycerides can be derived from two sources. The first source is the food that we consume for example, if we consume a diet rich in fats then intestine packs some of them while rest is transported to the liver. The second source is the liver itself. When fats are received by the liver, it takes fatty acids released by the fat cells and ties them in triglyceride bundles that are later utilized as fuel. There is a controversy about the fact that whether high levels of triglycerides alone are responsible for coronary heart disease or not.

Other clinical conditions frequently coupled with high triglyceride levels are high blood pressure, obesity, diabetes, chronic kidney, liver and circulatory disease and hypothyroidism. In some individuals elevated triglyceride levels are inherited and this condition is identified as hypertriglyceridemia. The common examples of hypertriglyceridemia include mixed hypertriglyceridemia, familial hypertriglyceridemia and familial dysbetalipoproteinemia. Hypertriglyceridemia can also occur due to some non-genetic factors like obesity, excessive alcohol, diabetes mellitus, kidney disease and use of estrogen containing medicines like birth control pills. The levels can be returned back to normal without medication by taking the help of a physician. The first step involved in the treatment of hypertriglyceridemia includes intake of a diet low in fats with limited consumption of sweets, regular aerobic exercise, loss of excess body weight, reduction of alcohol consumption and quitting smoking. In patients with diabetes mellitus effective control of glucose level is needed.

When medications become necessary statins, fibrates and niacin can be used. Fibrates not only reduce the triglyceride levels but also raise the HDL levels and particle size of LDL molecules. Same task is done by niacin but it lowers the levels of Lp (a) cholesterol. Statins on the other hand, reduce both triglyceride and LDL levels but are ineffective in raising HDL levels. A newly launched medicine, fenofibrate has shown promising results in lowering triglyceride and LDL levels as well as raising HDL levels especially in those individuals who show sub-optimal responses with fibrates. In some individuals a mixed dose of fibrate or fenofibrate along with statin is prescribed for better results.

Function Of Cholesterol


Cholesterol is needed for building and maintenance of membranes as it modulates membrane fluidity over a wide range of physiological temperatures. The hydroxyl group located on the cholesterol molecule interacts with the polar head groups of membrane phospholipids and sphingolipids and thus, reduces permeability of membrane to protons. Within the cell membrane it also functions in intracellular transport, nerve conduction and cell signaling. Cholesterol is also very essential for the structure and function of invaginated caveolae and clathrin coated pits in endocytosis. Recently, it has been suggested that cholesterol also plays some role in cell signaling process by assisting in formation of lipid rafts in plasma membrane. In many neurons a cholesterol rich myelin sheath is present which is derived from the compact layers of Schwann cell membrane helping in efficient nerve conduction. This layer also provides insulation. Within cells cholesterol also acts as a precursor molecule for several biochemical processes. In liver, cholesterol is converted into bile which is then stored in gallbladder. Bile is rich in bile salts which actively solubilize fat molecules in the digestive tract and thus, aid in intestinal absorption of fat molecules and fat soluble vitamins like A,D,E and K. It is also an essential precursor molecule for the synthesis of vitamin D and steroid hormones.

Biosynthesis and Regulation


All animal cells manufacture cholesterol but the rate of production varies depending upon the cell type and the organ involved. About 20-25% daily production of cholesterol occurs in the liver and rest in intestines, adrenal glands and reproductive organs. Synthesis of cholesterol within the body starts with one molecule of acetyl- CoA and one molecule of acetoacetyl-CoA that are hydrated to form 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl-CoA (HMG-CoA). The HMG-CoA so formed is reduced to form mevalonate by the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase. This step is the rate limiting and irreversible step in the cholesterol synthesis. The mevalonate so formed is converted into 3-isopentenyl pyrophosphate in three reactions that need ATP. Mevalonate is then decarboxylated to form isopentenyl pyrophosphate. Then three molecules of isopentenyl pyrophosphate collaborate together to form farnesyl pyrophosphate in the presence of geranyl transferase. Two molecules of farnesyl pyrophosphate join to form squalene in the endoplasmic reticulum and the reaction is catalyzed by squalene synthase. Oxidosqualene cyclase then converts squalene to lanosterol that finally forms cholesterol. The mechanism and regulation of cholesterol was worked out by Konard Bloch and Feodor Lynen for which they received Noble Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1964.

The biosynthesis of cholesterol is under the strict control of the cholesterol levels but homeostatic mechanisms involved in its regulation are partly understood. A higher intake of cholesterol from food results in a net decrease in endogenous production and vice versa. The main mechanism involved comprises sensing of intracellular cholesterol by the protein SREBP (sterol regulatory element-binding protein 1 and 2) located on the endoplasmic reticulum. In the presence of cholesterol this protein binds with two other proteins namely, SCAP (SREBP-cleavage-activating protein) and Insig 1. When the cholesterol level declines Insig 1 dissociates from the SREBP-SCAP complex, allowing entry of this complex into the Golgi apparatus, where SREBP is cleaved by S1 and S2 proteases. These proteases are activated by SCAP when cholesterol levels decline. The cleaved SREBP then migrates towards the nucleus to act as a transcription factor and here it binds to the sterol regulatory element (SRE) which stimulates transcription of many genes for example, scavenging of circulating LDL from the blood stream by low density lipoprotein (LDL) receptor and increase in the endogenous production of cholesterol by HMG-CoA reductase. A larger part of this signaling pathway was worked out by Dr. Michael S. Brown and Dr. Joseph L. Goldstein in 1970s for which they received Noble Prize in 1985.

Cholesterol synthesis can be terminated when cholesterol levels are high. HMG-CoA reductase bears both cytosolic and membrane domains. The membrane domain is sensitive for the signals responsible for its degradation. Increased concentration of cholesterol causes a change in the oligomerized state of domain that makes it more susceptible to destruction by proteosome. The activity of this enzyme can also be reduced by phosphorylation by an AMP activated protein kinase. Cholesterol is only slightly soluble in water and can be dissolved in water-based blood stream but travels at exceedingly small concentrations. As cholesterol is insoluble in blood it is transported in the circulatory system within the lipoprotein complexes whose outer part is made up of amphiphilic proteins and lipids. Triglycerides and cholesterol esters are carried internally. Lipoproteins provide cholesterol a soluble medium to be transported through blood and for this reason lipoproteins are carried in different forms within blood namely, chylomicrons, very low density lipoproteins (VLDL), intermediate density lipoproteins (IDL), low density lipoproteins (LDL) and high density lipoproteins (HDL).

Chylomicrons are the least dense type of cholesterol transporting molecules whose shells are rich in apolipoprotein B-48, apolipoprotein C and E. They carry fats from intestine to muscles and other tissues that require fatty acids for energy. Cholesterol that is not used by the muscles remains in the form of chylomicron remnant which is later taken up by the liver through blood stream. VLDL molecules produced by the liver are loaded with triacylglycerol and cholesterol that are not needed by the liver for the production of bile acids. These molecules contain apolipoprotein B100 and apoplipoprotein E in their shells. During transport the blood vessels cleave and absorb triacylglycerol from IDL molecules that have high concentration of cholesterol. LDL molecules are the major carriers of cholesterol in the blood and each molecule contains about 1,500 cholesterol esters. The shell of LDL molecule contains only one molecule of apolipoprotein B100 that is recognized by the LDL receptors present on the peripheral tissues. During binding of apolipoprotein B100 many LDL receptors become localized in the clathrin-coated pits. Both LDL and its receptors are internalized by endocytosis to form a vesicle within the cell which then fuses with the lysosome containing lysosomal acid lipase that hydrolyzes cholesterol esters. At this stage cholesterol can be used for the biosynthesis of membrane and can be stored within the cell.

Synthesis of LDL receptor is regulated by SREBP protein. When the cell has sufficient amount of cholesterol, LDL receptor synthesis is blocked and no more molecules of cholesterol can enter inside the cell. When the cell is deficient in cholesterol more LDL receptors are formed. When this system is deregulated more LDL molecules without LDL receptors appear in the bloodstream especially near the peripheral tissues. These molecules are then oxidized and taken up by the macrophages forming foam cells and contributing in the formation of atherosclerotic plaques on the walls of the arteries causing heart attack. HDL molecules participate in reverse cholesterol transport as they return cholesterol back to the liver for excretion. Cholesterol is susceptible to oxidation and can easily form oxysterols that are the oxygenated derivatives. Oxysterols can be generated through three mechanisms especially by autoxidation, secondary oxidation to lipid peroxidation and cholesterol metabolizing enzyme oxidation. Oxysterols also participate in bile acid biosynthesis, transport of different forms of cholesterol and regulation of gene transcription.

Cholesterol is oxidized by the liver into a variety of bile acids which are in turn conjugated with glycine, taurine, glucuronic acid. A mixture of both conjugated as well as non-conjugated bile acids along with cholesterol is excreted from the liver into bile. About 95% of the bile acids are reabsorbed from the intestines while rest is lost in faeces. The excretion and reabsorption of bile acids form the basis of enterohepatic circulation essential for digestion and absorption of the dietary fats. In certain circumstances, cholesterol crystallizes and forms gallstones especially in the gallbladder. Lecithin and bilirubin gallstones are also known to occur but their percentage is low. Everyday about 1 g of cholesterol is known to enter the colon which comes from diet, bile, desquamated intestinal cells and can be metabolized by the colonic bacteria. Cholesterol is mainly converted into coprostanol which is a nonabsorbable sterol excreted in faeces. A cholesterol reducing bacterium has also been isolated from human faeces. Some cholesterol derivatives are known to generate liquid crystalline cholesteric phase.

Dietary sources of cholesterol


Animal fats are complex mixtures of triglycerides having lower proportions of phospholipids and cholesterol. Major dietary sources of cholesterol include cheese, egg yolks, beef, pork, shrimp and poultry. Human breast milk also contains sufficient amounts of cholesterol. The amount cholesterol present in the plant sources is lesser when compared with the animal sources. Plant products like peanuts and flax seeds bear phytosterols which are cholesterol like compounds helping to lower serum cholesterol levels. The total fat intake especially in the form of saturated and trans fats play greater role in blood cholesterol rather than the intake of cholesterol itself. Saturated fats are abundantly present in the full fat dairy products, animal fats, chocolate and several types of oils.

Trans fats are obtained by the partial hydrogenation of unsaturated fats and do not occur in significant amounts in nature. They are present in good amounts in the margarine, hydrogenated vegetable fats and in many fast foods like snacks, fried or baked goods. Avoiding consumption of cholesterol rich animal products not only reduces the amount of cholesterol taken through the diet but also reduces the synthesis of cholesterol. Individuals interested to reduce their cholesterol levels through diet must consume less than 7% of their daily energy needs from the animal fats and fewer than 200 mg of cholesterol per day. It is debatable that reduced consumption of dietary fat and cholesterol can lower blood cholesterol levels because any declination in the dietary uptake of cholesterol is compensated by the organs involved in its synthesis so that the levels can be kept constant.

Foods that might cholesterol


Dietary fibers play a major role in maintaining our health as well as also protect us from a number of diseases like diabetes and heart diseases. Oats, oat bran and oat meal contain a special type of soluble fiber known as beta-glucan that helps in reducing the levels of LDL cholesterol. Oat fibers are different from other fibers in the manner that they reduce the levels of bad cholesterol while the levels of good cholesterol remain unchanged. So we can say that oat fibers help in reducing the risk of coronary heart disease. Studies have also indicated that if individuals with high levels of HDL consume 3 g of soluble oat fiber per day the total cholesterol levels may be declined. Soy protein also protects against heart diseases and hypercholesterolemia as it reduces the bad cholesterol and raises the good cholesterol. It also prevents the oxidation of bad cholesterol so that it may not coagulate on the arterial walls.

Several studies have indicated that drinking of green or black teas also reduce the blood cholesterol concentration, blood pressure and inhibit blood clotting and also provide some protection against cardiovascular diseases. Green tea is rich in catechins while black tea contains flavins that inhibit oxidation of bad cholesterol. Tea also contains folic acid that helps in reducing the risk of heart attack and cancer. A person can get 25% of RDA for folic acid by drinking five cups of tea in a day. Several studies have indicated that barely has some unique health promoting effects especially for the heart. The cholesterol fighting efficiency of barley is more pronounced than that of oats. Studies have indicated that it can reduce up to 15% of total cholesterol levels in individuals with elevated cholesterol levels. Barley is also a rich source of beta-glucan which retards fat and cholesterol absorption by the intestines. The fiber is known to bind bile salts and thus, removes cholesterol from the body. Psyllium husk is also a rich source of soluble and insoluble fibers known to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases, serum cholesterol, LDL levels, triglycerides and apolipoprotein B. Psyllium husk is rich in a fiber known as beta-sitosterol.

Cholesterol testing and reducing high cholesterol


The American Heart Association recommends that the cholesterol levels of individuals above 20 years of age must be checked in every five years. A blood sample after 12-hour fasting is taken by the medical expert for the determination of the lipoprotein profile. This determines LDL, HDL, total cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Causes of high cholesterol may vary from person to person and are influenced by the lifestyle and gender of an individual. A number of steps can be taken in order to reduce high cholesterol levels for example loss of excessive body weight. Avoidance of consumption of foods derived from animal fats, regular physical activity and exercise can also help in maintaining low cholesterol levels. Levels of cholesterol in both males and females increase after a certain age and the levels in women tend to increase after menopause. Genes also play an important role in a person's health.
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Cholesterol Information

Posted by maiko muki

Cholesterol Information
Cholesterol Information

Future health problems are a definite if you have high levels of cholesterol in your blood. A high amount of cholesterol can put you at risk for heart disease, heart attack, and stroke. Too much cholesterol inhibits circulation, and can cause high blood pressure, gallstones, impotence, and foggy memory.

However, cholesterol is not the demon everyone makes it out to be. The body, for the proper function of cells, nerves, and hormones requires it. Life without this substance would be impossible, because it is an essential component of every cell. In order for cholesterol to travel through the body, substances called lipoproteins carry it through the blood. One form of lipoproteins is called low-density lipoproteins (LDLs), which transports cholesterol from the liver that produces it to the cells that require it. The other lipoprotein is called high-density lipoproteins (HDLs), which collects the excess cholesterol from the cells and transports it back to the liver, where it is broken down and transported out of the body or reused.

When everything is working the way it's supposed to, the lipoproteins usually keeps cholesterol levels balanced. However, at times this system can go out of whack when the body produces more cholesterol than the HDL can take away. After the cells take what they need, the HDL carries away whatever they can, and the left over cholesterol remains in the blood. As the cholesterol remain stagnant in the blood, it can become oxidized (usually the LDL cholesterol) where it attaches to artery walls causing inflammation. This inflammation leads to further buildup and deposition of cholesterol and plaque on the interior walls of the arteries. This buildup then inhibits the amount of blood that can pass through the arteries by blocking them. This is what we call arteriosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. Arteriosclerosis is the beginning of heart disease. If this is left untreated, it will surely lead to a stroke or a heart attack.


The Western diet plays a big role in elevated cholesterol, which predominantly consists of saturated fats, animal products, and refined carbohydrates. Diseases such as diabetes, insulin resistance, and heredity can also cause high cholesterol. However, diet can also play a role in these cases. This is proof that high cholesterol can be treated with improved diet and exercise. There are also good non-pharmaceutical ways to bring down cholesterol levels. Reducing stress can also be a major benefit. Before you try any cholesterol lowering medication on the market, it is highly recommended that you try natural remedies or strategies. Although these medications lower your cholesterol, they're toxic to your liver, and can cause other health problems as wells as nutritional deficiencies. However, these drugs may be necessary in some cases, but many doctors prescribe them out of custom. There are also doctors that prescribe these drugs to patients that they may not trust to make the lifestyle changes necessary to lower their cholesterol naturally. If you were to be prescribed a cholesterol-lowering drug, let your doctor know that you are willing to make dietary and lifestyle changes to avoid dependency on drugs. Make sure you decide on which path to take with your physician and what's best for you.
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Cholesterol High Foods

Posted by maiko muki

Cholesterol High Foods
Cholesterol High Foods

Cholesterol is important for normal function in our body. However, when the level of cholesterol on your blood exceeded, that will lead you to heart disease. Heart disease is one of most deadly diseases in the world. The main cause of high cholesterol in our body is eating cholesterol high foods, example of these foods are egg, pork, beef, chicken, crab, fish and cakes etc. On the other hand, foods that are high in cholesterol can be a good source of other essential nutrients for example fatty acids, macro- and micro-nutrients, carbohydrates and protein. To maintain the normal cholesterol level in our body you just have to reduce the high cholesterol food intake on your body.

There are some foods that you can eat that will lower the cholesterol in your body. Tofu is made up of Soybean, Soy is a good source of soluble fiber. Soluble fiber will definitely lower the cholesterol level in your body. Soymilk, soy cheese and textured vegetable can also lower your cholesterol. Garlic is another food that can lower cholesterol levels. Vegetables like carrots, barley, flaxseed and sweet potatoes are also a good source of soluble fiber. If you do not want these types of foods you can just add up a soluble fiber powder in you drinks like for example coffee or tea. Garlic is added to all kinds of food preparation, actually to almost all kinds of cuisines. There is also a garlic supplement that is available in pharmacies and grocery stores. Apple juice can also help to lower your cholesterol level. You just have to drink apple juice everyday. Therefore, there are so many foods that can replace these cholesterol high foods.

Oatmeal is most well known as a low cholesterol food and it also helps to lower the cholesterol on your body. Oatmeal is also a good source of soluble fiber. If you want a food that lowers cholesterol, oatmeal is the best for you. Oatmeal is not only tasty it will also give you jumpstart in the morning. There are natural ways on how to reduce the cholesterol on your body. Just by adding some different foods to your diet it can help to eliminate and reduce the cholesterol level on your body but avoiding cholesterol high foods is the best.

Eating cholesterol high foods will lead to heart disease so it should not be taken for granted. A healthy lifestyle and a balance your diet can prevent you diseases like heart disease. Like most doctors would advise to their patients, prevention is far better than curing the disease.
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Cholesterol Food List - Bad Cholesterol Rich Food List Revealed to Help You Prevent Heart Disease

Posted by maiko muki

Bad Cholesterol Rich Food List Revealed to Help You Prevent Heart Disease
Bad Cholesterol Rich Food List Revealed to Help You Prevent Heart Disease

Food items are wholly responsible for increasing and decreasing the level of cholesterol. Thus, it becomes all the more necessary to control our eating habits to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Moreover, your body produces cholesterol and as such it can be understood why ingesting from the outside can at times force our body to succumb to the bad kind. Thus a cholesterol food list becomes all the more necessary to guide us to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Things to be considered while planning a food list:


* The main thing that needs to be kept in mind is the blood. Any food item that has a blood source can effectively produce cholesterol. Thus animal products need to be avoided as far as possible. Don't believe in any misconception that cooking meat would remove all the cholesterol.

* Mainly animal and diary products need to be avoided to ensure a healthy lifestyle.

Bad Cholesterol Rich Food List revealed to help you prevent Heart Disease:


Bad cholesterol or LDL can prove to be very harmful for your body. It gets deposited on the walls of your arteries. This in turn forms plagues which effectively make them narrow and hard. In some cases people seek the support of medications but regular exercise and healthy diet can help you to get rid of such complications at ease.

Here are food items which are free from cholesterol and can help you get rid of LDL. Check them out:

* Bambo shoots, drained solids
* Brocolli, raw
* Raspberries
* Asparagus
* Raw watermelon
* Apples
* Raisins
* Oatbran
* Tomato, cauliflower, cabbage, potato, mushroom, lettuce etc.

Apart from the above mentioned food lists you can even opt for some other alternative options such as:


* Regular Exercise: Simple regular workouts such as swimming, running and brisk-walking would help you to lose weight by burning fats naturally. Moreover, it is an established fact that obesity is the root cause of many ailments.

* Opt for Natural Methods: Always opt for natural methods. Don't force yourself to seek the support of artificial medications. In fact, as fat as weight loss is concerned you can readily opt for Acai berry diet along with the colon cleanse supplement. It would be very helpful to you as you shed of extra pounds steadily and without any pain.

* Yoga and Drinking Plenty of Water: Various Yoga postures and plenty of water would help your body to increase the rate of metabolism and keep your internal body system very healthy.
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Cholesterol Free Foods

Posted by maiko muki

Cholesterol Free Foods
Cholesterol Free Foods

When your doctor says you need to lower your cholesterol by eating more cholesterol free foods, here's the main thing you have to remember.

Cholesterol is a fatty substance. Fat is produced in animals and is not found in food that comes from plants.

So, if eating only fruits, vegetables and nuts appeals to you, you will probably never have a cholesterol problem.

But...

There's a pretty good chance that's not to going to work for most people who grew up eating hamburgers, hot dogs and french fries as part of their daily diets.

So what do you do to stop eating all your favorites - foods that are tasty but boost your cholesterol levels - and start eating cholesterol free foods that help you lose weight and reduce the risk of heart diseaseall

Popular Cholesterol Free Foods


There are probably very few individuals who have the desire, willpower and discipline to completely substitute cholesterol free foods for the high cholesterol foods they've been eating for years.

An approach that works best for most people is to eat fewer high cholesterol foods and more cholesterol free foods. In other words, eat larger portions of fruits, vegetables, grains and nuts, but smaller portions of food that comes from animals - or is fried in animal fats.

Here's a quick introduction to some foods that are cholesterol free, and a little information about why they're so friendly to your heart. Incidentally, cholesterol free foods also help you lose weight in addition to reducing your risk of heart disease.

Fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes - Foods in these groups are cholesterol free. But remember that it's possible to add cholesterol and fat during preparation. The best example is french fried potatoes or potato chips, which are loaded with fats that are bad for you.

Oat bran - Oatmeal is a great choice for a number of reasons. It's not only cholesterol free, but it also adds a lot of fiber to your meal. Many people add fruit to oatmeal and eat it like a cereal, but you can also make pancakes with it.


Beans - Cooked beans, such as pinto and kidney beans, can add variety to nutritious soups and salads. Besides being cholesterol free, many kinds of beans have a high protein content, so they provide an alternative to getting your protein from meat.

Carrots - Dietary researchers recently discovered that one raw carrot a day at breakfast could lower total cholesterol by as much as 11 percent.

Olive Oil and Canola Oil - These contain a lot of monounsaturated fats, which are helpful as part of a low-fat, low cholesterol diet. They are a source of "good cholesterol," the type that actually flushes fatty deposits out of the bloodstream.

Final Thoughts

Besides lowering your cholesterol levels and reducing your risk of heart problems, eating cholesterol free foods is a great way to lose weight. But there are some points about weight loss to remember.

Breads, cereals, rice, and pasta are generally high in starch. Although they contain little or no cholesterol (depending again on how they're prepared), they contain a lot of carbohydrates. As you probably know, a lot of "carbs" from such starchy foods will add pounds rather than taking them off.

Certain types of nuts contain no cholesterol, but are very high in calories. They're cholesterol-friendly in small portions, but will not help you lose weight if you eat a lot of them.

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Cholesterol: Can It Be Too Low ?

Posted by maiko muki

Cholesterol
Cholesterol

Can your cholesterol be too low ? Many of my patients recall old news reports of studies that linked very low cholesterol with liver cancer, lung disease, depression, alcoholism and suicide.

The latest studies shows that a low cholesterol may be associated with cancer, but does not cause it. Before a person develops the symptoms of cancer, he often loses interest in eating and loses weight, which causes his cholesterol to drop.

The most famous study on the effects of cholesterol on health is the huge Framingham study, which tested blood cholesterol levels were tested every two years. The researchers showed that cholesterols started to fall up to 8 years prior to a person dying of cancer, and that those with the greatest fall in cholesterol in a 4 years period were those who were most likely to develop cancer.

A study from Russia showed that men who have low blood cholesterol levels are more likely to drink, are much thinner and have far less education than men with normal cholesterol levels. Drinking heavily and getting into accidents caused both the low cholesterol and the early deaths. Lung disease, alcoholism, certain types of cancers and many other illnesses suppress appetite, so people eat less, causing their blood cholesterol levels to drop significantly.

There is no evidence that a low blood cholesterol causes you to die early. If you have a low blood cholesterol level, your doctor could check you for a hidden cancer, addiction to alcohol, cigarettes or drugs, emotional disorder or other disease. If none is found, you should be delighted and usually can expect to live a long time.

On the other hand, if your cholesterol is high, you should worry because you are at increased risk for a heart attack or stroke.  Follow your doctor's recommendations for changing your diet and starting an exercise program.  If those lifestyle changes are not enough, you may need medication.
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Cholesterol Free Diet

Posted by maiko muki

Cholesterol Free Diet
Cholesterol Free Diet

If we look around and try to search for foods which are low in or devoid of cholesterol, it's not really that difficult a task. A cholesterol free diet has its origins in the rich flora that Mother Earth offers.

Such food stuffs include fruits, vegetables, whole grains and legumes. People suffering from heart and sleeping disorders should follow a cholesterol free diet. However, it is said that an outright elimination of any specific nutrient from the body is as harmful as its excessive consumption. In the light of this statement, a low cholesterol diet being a combination of cholesterol free and low-cholesterol foods is largely favored.

In terms of fruits and vegetables, three to five servings everyday are necessary to have a proper balance of nutrients and vitamins. Fresh fruits and vegetables are perfect substitutes for foods with high saturated fats and cholesterol. Fruits may include an array of apples, mangoes, peaches, bananas, kiwifruit, watermelon and so many more. Similarly, vegetables like potatoes (not fried), gourds, bitter gourds, okra and eggplant are some of the healthy options.

Next comes the turn of whole grains and legumes. From a minimum of 6 to a maximum of 11 servings each day of whole-wheat bread, whole-grain cereal, whole-wheat flour noodles, beans, chickpeas, bean sprouts, Brussels sprouts, etc. are such a better, healthier and fuller choice to keep the stomach satisfied and free from cholesterol. These are low in saturated fat and total fat and have no cholesterol content in them.

Eating whole grains and legumes may come across like a dull and tasteless event. Obviously, due to its 'healthier' way of life, these food materials actually taste regular and not interestingly spicy. To add some flavor, an olive oil or corn oil dressing with basic healthy herbs of fennel, rosemary, mint and coriander can be used in controllable amount.

Breads, cereals, rice, pasta, and other grains, and dry beans and peas are generally high in starch and fiber and low in saturated fat and calories. They also have no dietary cholesterol, except for some bakery breads and sweet bread products made with high fat, high cholesterol milk, butter, and eggs.

So, to let the taste buds have some fun and not let the patient go overboard with the famous foodie insanity it is safer to indulge in low-fat dairy products such as half-fat milk, half-fat cream, low-fat yoghurt. Also, the animal instinct can be satisfied by gorging on white poultry, lean meats and healthier sea-food.

Choose a cholesterol free diet to minimize the risks of a heart failure.
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What You Should Know All About Cholesterol and Triglycerides

Posted by maiko muki

What You Should Know All About Cholesterol and Triglycerides
What You Should Know All About Cholesterol and Triglycerides

The medical term lipid disorder refers to high blood cholesterol and triglycerides. It means that there are plenty of fatty substances in the blood such as cholesterol and triglycerides.

Cholesterol is used in the building of cell membranes and other hormones while triglycerides are chains of fatty acids that provide energy for the cells to function. Cholesterol and triglycerides may be obtained from two sources; dietary and endogenous (manufactured by the body) sources.

Around eight hours after meal, one of the functions of the liver is to get the dietary cholesterol and triglycerides from the bloodstream. If in cases where there lipids are not available, the liver produces them.

Along with other proteins, the liver packages them into tiny spheres (lipoproteins) and releases these spheres in the bloodstream for delivery to the cells. The cells will now be responsible in getting only the sufficient cholesterol and triglycerides from these tiny spheres.

The body has plenty of LDL (bad) cholesterol and few HDL (good) cholesterol; LDL means "low density lipoprotein" and HDL for "high density lipoprotein".

If the LDL level is too high, the tendency is to attach itself in the blood vessels lining which may lead to the hardening of the arteries or "atherosclerosis". As a result, the arteries will narrow or constrict to and cause high blood pressure leading to heart attack or stroke. On the other hand, the HDL cleanses the "bad" cholesterol that was removed from the blood vessels for dispatch again to the liver for another processing.

Concerning triglycerides, the standard level is the same with the other blood lipid level due to the absence of further medical studies. However, It was noted that if the triglycerides are higher, the HDL cholesterol is lower. Also, there are recent evidences that link high triglyceride level to heart disease.

Causes of High Cholesterol

High cholesterol can be due to poor diet, heredity, sedentary lifestyle, obesity, gender and age. Women undergoing premenopausal stage have low cholesterol level than men. Also, it may be the offshoot of other medical conditions like hypothyroidism (low thyroid), diabetes, chronic kidney failure, obstructive liver disease or the use of drugs such as progesterone, anabolic steroids and corticosteroids.

Moreover, the cholesterol level is affected by high blood pressure, cigarette smoking, men above 45 years old, more than 55 years old for women and the medical term "10-year" risk of heart attack.

Below are the standard measurements of ideal cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

1. Total cholesterol--Desirable level is below 200mg/dl and high risk level is above 240 mg/dl.

2. LDL cholesterol--Optimum level is less than 100 mg/dl. High risk level between 160 and 189 mg/dl. Considered very high risk if 190 mg/dl and above.

3. HDL cholesterol--Below 41 mg/dl is considered too low.

4. Triglyceride--Normal is less than 150 mg/dl. High levels are from 200 mg/dl to 499 mg/dl. Very high is greater than 500 mg/dl.

Treatment of High Cholesterol and Triglyceride


Under ordinary circumstances, high cholesterol and triglyceride are treated with exercise, weight loss and diet. Diet includes more starch and fiber, low cholesterol, low total fat and low saturated fat. Recommended exercise is at least 20 minutes of daily aerobic activity.

If no further results are obtained, this may result to medications such as statins, bile acid binding resins, niacin, fibric acid derivatives, antihyperlipidemic agents or combinations, platelet aggregation inhibitors or cholesterol absorption inhibitors.

A visit to the doctor between the ages of 20 to 30 is a good head start to have your cholesterol and triglyceride levels checked.
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Cholesterol And Heart Disease

Posted by maiko muki

Cholesterol And Heart Disease
Cholesterol And Heart Disease

In an instant, heart disease can tear a family apart. Abruptly, it can sever ties among spouses, parents and children, friends, neighbors, and other loved ones. The good news in this grim scenario is that with knowledge and with action, you can take significant steps toward reducing the heavy toll exacted by this disease. Understanding what heart disease is and how cholesterol contributes to it is an important first step.

What Is Heart Diseaseall

A healthy heart and circulatory system are something that many people take for granted-that is, until one day they experience chest pains or breathlessness and realize that something in the body is no longer working the way that it should. But what keeps a heart healthy? Or, what causes a heart to lose its ability to function properly?

The Structure and Function of the Heart

Before we can clearly understand what is going on when the heart dysfunctions, it's necessary to have a basic comprehension of its structure and function. The human heart lies in the upper left center of the chest, next to the lungs. It has four chambers: the right atrium and the left atrium on the top, and the right and left ventricles on the bottom. Blood flows into the right side of the heart and out of the left side. To guide the flow of blood in one constant direction, each chamber connects to the next one through valves that open when the heart contracts.


Blood that no longer contains oxygen enters the right side of the heart through a large vein called the vena cava. This deoxygenated blood flows into the right atrium. When the heart contracts, this blood flows through the tricuspid valve into the right ventricle. From the right ventricle, the blood enters the pulmonary artery via the pulmonary valve to become freshly oxygenated in the lungs. The newly oxygen-rich blood leaves the lungs and flows back to the heart's left atrium through the pulmonary vein. With the next contraction, the mitral valve opens and blood flows into the left ventricle, the strongest section of this miraculous muscular pump. When this section contracts, blood then rushes through the aortic valve into the aorta to repeat its journey around the body. This circulatory process continues automatically for as long as you live.

An electrical stimulus regulates the heartbeat. In the right atrium, a specialized group of cells-known as the sinoatrial node, the SA node, or the sinus node-triggers the electrical impulses that cause the chambers of the heart to contract and push the blood along its path. The rate of the electrical impulses is regulated, but it can vary depending on different chemical stimulators in the body. In this manner, a healthy heart can respond to different needs as required by the demands of life.

For example, when you are reclining on a couch in a primarily horizontal position, your heart does not have to work as hard to circulate blood around your body since it does not have to flow against gravity. When you stand up from the couch-let's say to get a drink from the refrigerator-your heart must work harder to pump blood against gravity and to your working muscles. In a person with a healthy heart, all of these adaptations occur effortlessly. We never pause to think about how our movements increase the demands on our circulatory system; we simply go and assume that our body will be able to respond smoothly and easily.

The function of the heart and the circulatory system is to keep blood flowing continuously at a consistent rate. This ensures delivery of essential oxygen and nutrients to the body's tissues. Other processes that occur simultaneously through the circulation include the removal of waste products from cells back to the lungs, liver, and kidneys for filtering. A healthy nervous system is also important to a healthy circulatory system, since it affects heart rate and vessel function.

A healthy heart is an electronically regulated muscular pump that is about the size of a fist. Each day and night, the average heart beats approximately 100,000 times and pumps 2,000 gallons of blood. Over a normal lifespan, the heart will beat more than 2.5 billion times.
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Cholesterol and Heart Disease - The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

Posted by maiko muki

Cholesterol and Heart Disease
Cholesterol and Heart Disease


"And if you have high cholesterol, you would feel the same as if you had low cholesterol because there are no side effects, no symptoms of having high cholesterol. " Mark Spitz, winner of 9 Olympic gold medals in swimming.

Heart disease remains the leading killer of men and women in the United States. Each year, 1,200,000 people suffer a coronary heart attack, and about 40% of them die. An American dies of a coronary event roughly every 65 seconds. Abnormal cholesterol, besides smoking, diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and physical inactivity, remains one of the main modifiable risk factors for coronary heart disease.

"I drive way too fast to worry about cholesterol." Comedian Steven Wright. But we should. Abnormal cholesterol levels can clog up your arteries. There are several hundred studies confirming the dangerous health effects of abnormal cholesterol levels.  The Framingham Heart Study found that under age 50, total cholesterol levels directly correlated with 30-year overall and cardiovascular mortality. For each 10 mg/dl increase in cholesterol, there is an overall increase in death of 5% and cardiovascular death of 9%. Abnormal cholesterol levels are also implicated in contributing to stroke, limb amputation, erectile dysfunction, Alzheimer's disease and kidney failure.

Cholesterol is not totally a bad thing. Cholesterol keeps cell membranes fluid, flexible and functional. Cholesterol helps in the manufacture of bile, and thereby helps in the digestion of fats. It  is also important for the metabolism of fat soluble vitamins, including vitamins A, D, E and K. It is involved as a major precursor in  the synthesis of vitamin D and many steroid hormones, including the adrenal hormones cortisol and aldosterone, and the sex hormones progesterone, estrogen, testosterone, and their derivatives. Cholesterol is water insoluble, and is carried to its destinations by lipoproteins. About 80% of the cholesterol is made by the liver via carbohydrate metabolism through the HMG-CoA reductase pathway. This amounts to about 1000 mg per day. Diet in the Western countries adds about 200 - 300 mg for intestinal intake. Most of dietary cholesterol comes from animal food, including meat, poultry, fish, egg yolk, butter, cheese and whole milk.  Trans fats are hydrogenated fats and are found in margarine and many commercially prepared processed and deep fried foods like cookies, cakes, crackers, french fries and donuts. These are also unhealthy and consumption is associated with atherosclerosis.  Plant sources of food ( fruits, vegetables, nuts and cereals ) are free of  cholesterol. Phytosterols found in certain plant products like flax seed and peanuts may actually help lower serum cholesterol. However, cooking oils of plant origin, especially palm and coconut oil, are high in saturated fats and are heart unhealthy. But there's another kind of fat called essential fatty acids. These are unsaturated fats and include omega-3 and omega-6 fats. These help are cell membranes and are required for the production of certain hormones that are essential for blood clotting, blood pressure control, and eye and brain function. Overall, they lower blood pressure and cholesterol, and reduce mortality from heart disease.

"Somewhere, over the rainbow, way up tall, there's a land where they've never heard of cholesterol." Musician Allan Sherman. However, in the real world, we have to monitor its levels. Total cholesterol should be measured after a 9 to 12 hour fast. A level of less than 200 mg/dl is desirable. A level of 200 to 239 mg/dl is borderline high and a level above 240 mg/dl is associated with a higher risk of coronary heart disease. However, a lipoprotein analysis is more reliable as it better profiles the risk. A lipid profile gives the levels of the bad low density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, the good high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and the triglycerides. LDL levels should ideally be less than 100 mg/dl. Levels over 160 are high and associated with an increased risk of heart disease. HDL provides protection against heart disease if it above 60 mg/dl. A level less than 40 mg/dl is associated with increased heart disease. Triglyceride levels should be less than 150 mg/dl. Higher levels, especially when associated with abnormal LDL or HDL levels, increase your risk of heart disease.

Does lowering cholesterol helpall Scientific medical literature is filled with research data confirming the beneficial effects of lowering cholesterol. A 1995 study called the West of Scotland Coronary Prevention Study (WOSCOPS) followed 6500 men with high cholesterol levels for 5 years. One half the people were given a cholesterol reducing statin drug, provostatin, while the other were given a placebo. The drug reduced the total cholesterol levels by 20 percent and the bad LDL cholesterol levels by 26 percent. The heart attack risk was reduced by 31 percent in those receiving the statin drug. The need for bypass surgery or angioplasty was reduced by 37 percent. Overall deaths from all causes were reduced by 22 percent, and deaths from cardiovascular causes by 32 percent.  In 1998, the results of the Air Force/Texas Coronary Atherosclerosis Prevention Study (AFCAPS/TexCAPS) showed that cholesterol lowering with another statin drug, lovastatin, also reduced the risk of a first major coronary event by 37 percent when given to generally healthy men and women with average cholesterol levels. The total cholesterol levels in the treatment group were lowered by 18 percent and LDL-cholesterol levels by 25 percent, after a year of treatment. Like in the WOSCOPS study, significant reductions in events were also noted: heart attack was reduced 40 percent, unstable angina 32 percent, the need for bypass surgery or angioplasty 33 percent, and all cardiovascular events 25 percent. Recent scientific data suggests that higher doses of statins may provide even greater benefits.

The commonly used drugs to lower high total cholesterol or the bad LDL cholesterol are statins. The statins lower cholesterol by inhibiting the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase, which is the rate-limiting enzyme in cholesterol synthesis. Inhibition of this enzyme in the liver results in an increased clearance of LDL from the bloodstream and a decrease in blood cholesterol levels. Results are seen as early as after one week. Maximal effect occurs after four to six weeks. There are over ten statin drugs available commercially in the United States. Other agents are also available to reduce total cholesterol and LDL levels and act mainly by preventing absorption of the cholesterol in the intestines. They are often used in combination with the statins. Although the statins can raise the good HDL cholesterol, this effect is small. HDL can be raised by the common vitamin niacin. A class of drugs called fibrates not only help raise HDL but also help lower triglycerides.

There are many ways to improve the lipid profile without drugs. Reduce the amount of animal fats and saturated fats you consume. Regular exercise and weight loss not only will help reduce the LDL and triglyceride levels, but also raise the good HDL levels. Moderate alcohol intake also increases HDL cholesterol .Eating more fruits and vegetables and consuming more monounsaturated fats  also improves the lipid profile. Remember, our health always seems much more valuable after we lose it. So let us listen to the motivational speaker Jim Rohn, who said, "Take care of your body. It's the only place you have to live."
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Cholesterol - How To Make Lower Naturally Without Medication

Posted by maiko muki

How To Make Lower Naturally Without Medication
How To Make Lower Naturally Without Medication

Instead of going to the doctor and getting medication to lower cholesterol, some individuals choose to lower it naturally. Besides, when you take prevention medications in order to lower cholesterol, it can cause undesired side effects. Some say that the natural way is the best way. If you would like to take the natural route, then continue reading this article as we are going to tell you more about how to make your cholesterol lower. Naturally lowering cholesterol is not difficult if you know some basic information.

Before we continue any further, we want you to look at the entire picture. Yes, you could turn to prescription medications, but they are going to have side effects. Some of the side effects include loss of memory, liver inflammation, irritability, tiredness, and when you use it for a long term, it could lead to congestive heart failure. When you choose the natural route, you will not have as many side effects.

First of all, you need to eat a healthy diet. Yes, there are some fats out there that will help lower your cholesterol, but at the same time, there are fats out there that can raise it. So, it is important that you make sure you are able to get the right fats. Avoid those trans fats and reduce your overall fat intake. Going for foods that are high in fiber is also going to help lower those levels naturally. The key here is to increase the HDL cholesterol and lower the LDL.

Next, you need to get out and move around. It is important that you engage in something physical, such as walking or jogging for at least thirty minutes a day. Lack of physical activity can raise the bad LDL levels, and it can also cause you to gain weight.

Third, you need to watch your weight. It is important that you are at a healthy weight, because being overweight is going to decrease the good HDL levels and increase those bad LDL levels. You can calculate your BMI online in order to learn what your healthy weight is.

Fourth on our list, you need to get rid of refined foods as well as sweet foods. Some individuals do not realize that eating sweet foods and others that are high in sugar increases cholesterol production, not to mention the fact that these type of foods tend to be addictive. Once you are able to eliminate them from your diet, you will find that whole grains, vegetables and fruits actually have a sweet taste to them.

Fifth, you should stop drinking alcohol and caffeine because they raise the levels in your body. In fact, it would be best if you stuck to drinking just water.

Sixth on our list involves not smoking. Smoking is known for damaging those blood vessels and many other things. It can lead to heart disease and other degenerative diseases.

For those of you that were searching for how to lower cholesterol naturally, we believe you should try the six "remedies" we just gave you in the paragraphs above. There is much more information available on how to lower your cholesterol, so if you have high cholesterol, it is important to learn everything that you can on this important subject.
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Cholesterol Lowering Foods

Posted by maiko muki


Cholesterol Lowering Foods
Cholesterol Lowering Foods

Lower Cholesterol with Key Nutrients


You've heard the way to a man's heart is through his stomach. Where high cholesterol is concerned, there's a lot of truth in that familiar saying - for both men and women. That's because virtually every bite of food can affect your body, and in particular your cardiovascular system, either positively or adversely.

Watching what you eat, along with weight control and physical activity, is well worth the effort. The National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute reports lowering your level of low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or "lousy") cholesterol can reduce your risk of heart disease by as much as 40 percent.

For your taste, there's probably been way too much emphasis on what you can't eat (baked goodies and snacks containing trans fats) or can only consume in moderate amounts (meats high in saturated fat, high-fat dairy products). Instead, let's focus on key foods - many with healthful nutrients in common - you can, and should, wholeheartedly embrace to improve your cholesterol profile:

Feel your oats

Starting your day with a bowl of oat bran or oatmeal provides about four grams of soluble, or viscous, fiber. Also found in beans, lentils and other legumes, barley, eggplant, okra, fruits and psyllium, viscous fiber dissolves into a sticky gel that helps lower LDL cholesterol and other lipids (fats) from the bloodstream. The American Dietetic Association recommends 25-30 grams of dietary fiber - both soluble and insoluble - each day; additional servings of viscous fiber will help lower LDL cholesterol levels. If your diet has been lacking fiber, increase your intake gradually to avoid intestinal distress.

Pass the nuts, please

Thanks to an abundance of monounsaturated fats that help lower LDL cholesterol, raise HDL (healthy) cholesterol and keep arteries clog-free, the FDA suggests nuts may reduce the risk of heart disease. As long as allergies are not an issue, moderation is the only word of caution when reaching for walnuts, almonds and other tree nuts. To avoid calorie overload, refrain from eating more than a 10-15 of these high-fiber, cholesterol-free snacks each day.

Good things come in 3s

Among numerous other health benefits, omega-3 fatty acids help fight heart disease on multiple fronts - lowering blood lipids (total and LDL cholesterol, as well as triglycerides), easing high blood pressure levels, and helping prevent arterial blood clotting factors and inflammation. Experts recommend two dietary servings a week of fish high in omega-3s, such as salmon, mackerel and herring; fish oil supplements are also convenient. Excellent plant sources include walnuts and flax seed (also high in soluble fiber, by the way).

Time for tofuall

Cholesterol-free soy protein- whether as edamame, soy milk, tempeh or soy nuts and butters - does your heart good. The American Heart Association concluded in Circulation (Jan. 2006) that soy does not significantly decrease LDL cholesterol; even so, the AHA advises substituting high-fat, high-cholesterol meats and dairy with soy may prove beneficial to heart health. Moreover, the FDA says eating 25g of soy protein daily may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

Pucker up

Israeli researchers who prescribed a daily serving of red or white grapefruit to coronary bypass patients with high cholesterol cite significant decreases in cholesterol levels after 30 days. Fresh red grapefruit proved even more effective than white at lowering cholesterol. No changes occurred in a third patient group, which did not eat grapefruit. (Consult your doctor or pharmacist before increasing your consumption of grapefruit, which is known to interact with certain medications, including those for cholesterol.) Oranges - which, like grapefruit, are high in antioxidants - appear to have a beneficial effect, as well.

Go green

Present in small quantities in the cell membranes of many fruits, vegetables, grains and other plants, plant stanols and sterols are "functional foods" - a category of foods that deliver health benefits above and beyond their nutritional value. In the digestive tract, plant stanols and sterols work similar to soluble fiber, inhibiting the absorption of LDL cholesterol. Studies show eating 2 grams of stanols/sterols each day can reduce LDL levels by up to 14 percent. Specially formulated margarines and orange juice are among products currently supplemented with these natural compounds.

A Combined Effort

While adding even one or two of these items to your regular diet is certainly smart, the latest research indicates eating a combination of lipid-lowering foods boosts their effectiveness (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, March 2006). Study participants who successfully adhered to a diet high in viscous fiber, soy protein, almonds and plant sterol margarine for a year saw their LDL cholesterol level drop more than 20 percent - comparable to the results of others in the dietary study who also took a statin drug.

Ideally, we recommend lowering your health risks with lifestyle alternatives rather than medication However, if your cholesterol level is seriously elevated or you have previously had a heart attack, a cholesterol-lowering drug in conjunction with therapeutic changes may be necessary."
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Cholesterol - A Risk Factor in Heart Disease

Posted by maiko muki

Cholesterol - A Risk Factor in Heart Disease
Cholesterol - A Risk Factor in Heart Disease

Cholesterol is essential to life and is used by every single cell in the human body. Some people are genetically predisposed to a high cholesterol level but diet and lifestyle changes can help to lower cholesterol naturally. Cholesterol is a white flaky substance ,different from other waxy substances. Cholesterol is produced by the liver and is found in bile which helps to digest fatty foods in the intestine. Cholesterol is found in human blood and brain tissue. It is also found in arteries that has plaque buildup. Significant changes occur in the arterial walls during the process of plaque buildup. The actual hardening is due to the formation of bone tissue in the arterial wall. This hardening is referred to as atherosclerosis or the hardening of the arteries. Fat and cholesterol work their way into the artery wall to produce the dreaded build up of plaque. Obviously the main role of cholesterol in the body is not the production of a heart attack. Cholesterol is produced by the liver for several vital purposes.

Cholesterol serves various important functions in the body. It is a vital component of the microscopic wall or membrane that surrounds each cell, providing the cell with support and protection. Cholesterol is also required for the formation of Vitamin D and for the hormone testosterone estrogen, progesterone and cortisol. In the brain and spinal cord, cholesterol serves as part of the insulation that covers your nerve cells and keeps your nerve signals going to the right locations. It also forms a key role in the formation of bile. Without cholesterol we would not be able to digest the fats found in many of the foods we eat. When the cholesterol level in the blood rises because of diet , the production of cholesterol by the liver is reduced in an attempt to keep the level of cholesterol in the blood constant.

Cholesterol comes from two sources, your diet and the cholesterol manufactures on its own. The vast majority of cholesterol is supposed to be made in the body. However, in our modern "fat and calorie overload" we consume far more than our bodies can use. To make matters worse the high calorie and fat content in our diets can stimulate excess cholesterol production making it harder for cholesterol to be removed from the blood stream.

Cholesterol does not travel around the blood stream by itself, It is generally packaged with fats called triglycerides. Triglycerides are the body's preferred form of energy storage. The only reason you can survive for long periods without food is because of your body's triglycerides stores. Triglycerides make up about 95% of the fats in the foods you eat, and the vast majority of the fat in your body. Triglycerides are constructed from fatty acids. When a triglyceride is needed for energy it is broken down in the fat cell into three fatty acids. Your body can make some fatty acids, however, there are two fatty acids which must come from the diet, and these are called "essential fatty acids"namely linolenic and linoleic acid. So you do need to eat a small amount of dietary fat each day, about 5 to 10 percent of your total calories.

Carefully count the fat calories you consume as excess cholesterol in the bloodstream can cause major damage to your cardiovascular system resulting in various forms of heart disease and even death. Your body is an amazing biological machine, but it can only tolerate so much abuse, you need to be working with your body by reducing the amount of fat, calorie and cholesterol you consume.

CardiOmega 3 Seal Oil is excellent for bringing down cholesterol levels..

CardiOmega 3 Seal Oil is excellent for bringing down cholesterol levels. CardiOmega 3 Seal oil is by far superior to other omega 3 oils from fish oil and flaxseed oil. It contains DPA, DHA and EPA. Omega 3 Fatty Acids can reduce the risk of heart attack by up to 70%! It keeps the artery walls soft and plaque free, smoother and more elastic. Harp Seal oil is 100% free of chemicals and toxins such as mercury. It is important to know that the oil is a residual product of a chartered harp seal oil hunt in Newfoundland that is humane and does not affect the seal population. In fact the hunt is chartered for population control and is done in a proper manner.

Omega 3 seal oil relieves arthritis, combats circulatory problems associated with diabetes, reduces cholesterol, softens arteries to prevent heart problems, reduces blood pressure, lowers serum triglyceride levels, improves skin, improves memory and helps with rheumatoid arthritis.
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