Cholesterol is a fatty substance known as a lipid and is vital for the normal functioning of the body. It is mainly made by the liver but can also be found in some foods we eat. Not all cholesterol is bad because it is necessary for the maintenance of the body’s cells. It also plays a key role in the manufacture of male and female sex hormones, including pregnenolone, testosterone, oestrogen, progesterone and cortisol. These are critical for the health of the immune system, the mineral-regulating functions of the kidneys and the smooth running of the hormonal systems in men and women.
Cholesterol levels in the body are determined by measuring the blood levels of lipoproteins/lipids (proteins that carry fats in the bloodstream.) Having an excessively high level of lipids in your blood (hyperlipidemia) can have an effect on your health. High cholesterol itself does not cause any symptoms, but it increases your risk of serious health conditions.
Cholesterol is carried in your blood by proteins, and when the two combine they are called lipoproteins. There are harmful and protective lipoproteins known as LDL and HDL, or bad and good cholesterol.
- Low-density lipoprotein (LDL): LDL carries cholesterol from your liver to the cells that need it. If there is too much cholesterol for the cells to use, it can build up in the artery walls, leading to disease of the arteries. For this reason, LDL cholesterol is known as “bad cholesterol”.
- High-density lipoprotein (HDL): HDL carries cholesterol away from the cells and back to the liver, where it is either broken down or passed out of the body as a waste product. For this reason, it is referred to as “good cholesterol” and higher levels are better.
However, LDL cholesterol becomes harmful only after it has been oxidized (the process of a substance combing with oxygen.) That is why oxidized cholesterol should be considered the real culprit. The amount of cholesterol in the blood (both LDL and HDL) can be measured with a blood test. The recommended cholesterol levels in the blood vary between healthy adults and those at higher risk.
When should I test my cholesterol levels? Your practitioner may recommend that you have your blood cholesterol levels tested if you:
- have been diagnosed with coronary heart disease, stroke or mini-stroke (TIA) or peripheral arterial disease (PAD)
- are over 40
- have a family history of early cardiovascular disease
- have a close family member has a cholesterol-related condition
- are overweight
- have high blood pressure, diabetes or a health condition that can increase cholesterol levels, such as an underactive thyroid
- narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis)
- heart attack
- mini-stroke (TIA)
Why should I lower my cholesterol? Evidence strongly indicates that high cholesterol can increase the risk of:
This is because cholesterol can build up in the artery wall, restricting the flow of blood to your heart, brain and the rest of your body. It also increases the chance of a blood clot developing somewhere.
Your risk of coronary heart disease (when your heart’s blood supply is blocked or disrupted) also rises as your blood’s cholesterol level increases and this can cause angina during physical activity.
What causes high cholesterol?
There are many factors that can increase your chance of having heart problems or stroke if you have high cholesterol, including the following:
- an unhealthy diet: some foods already contain cholesterol (known as dietary cholesterol) but it is the amount of saturated fat in your diet which is more important
- smoking: a chemical found in cigarettes called acrolein stops HDL from transporting LDL to the liver, leading to narrowing of the arteries (atherosclerosis)
- having diabetes or high blood pressure(hypertension)
- having a family history of stroke or heart disease
There is also an inherited condition known as familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH). This can cause high cholesterol even in someone who eats healthily.
It is important to keep your diet low in fatty food, especially food containing saturated fat, and eat lots of fruit, vegetables and wholegrain cereals. This will also help to prevent high cholesterol from returning. Diet, along with proper nutritional supplementation, regular exercise, and conscious healthy lifestyle choices, including low stress and stress management, no smoking of any kind and little to moderate amounts of alcohol, are important self-care choices you can make to ensure a healthy heart. Unfortunately, poor diet is one of the most common health problems in the United States. To protect yourself against heart disease, you need to eliminate your intake of:
- All unhealthy fats, especially trans-fatty acids
- Hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated fats and oils.
- Avoid foods that contain margarine, vegetable shortening, and lard
- Avoid all fried and commercially processed foods, which are typically high in unhealthy fat content
- Avoid all foods that are irradiated and/or that contain additives and preservatives.
- Avoid foods grown with the use of pesticides, herbicides, steroids, and antibiotics
- Avoid foods that contain powdered eggs or powdered milk.
- Eliminate all refined sugars and simple carbohydrates, which not only reduce immune function, and therefore your body’s ability to fight off infections linked to heart disease, but can also dramatically increase levels of C-reactive protein, homocysteine, blood glucose, insulin, and triglycerides, all of which are markers for heart disease
- Eliminate all refined salt which will dramatically reduce your overall sodium intake; instead use Himalayan mountain, Krystal sea salt or other unrefined salt
- Minimize your intake of red meat, milk, and dairy products
- Limit caffeine (no more than two cups of coffee per day)
- Limit your alcohol intake to no more than one glass of red wine per day, preferably with a meal.
Emphasize a diet rich in organic whole foods, especially plenty of fresh, raw fruits and vegetables, oats, whole grains, nuts, seeds, and organic, free-range poultry and wild-caught, cold water fish, such as halibut, mackerel, orange roughy, and salmon (avoid farm raised salmon). Beans and legumes are also advisable due to their high fiber content. Also be sure to use healthy oils such as extra virgin olive oil, coconut oil, flaxseed oil, and fish oils for the essential fatty acids they contain. Choosing organic, rather than conventionally produced foods gives you a definite advantage.
Throughout the day, drink plenty of pure, filtered water, and avoid drinking—as well as bathing, and showering in—unfiltered tap water, because tap water contains heavy metals and pesticide residues that can contribute to and worsen heart disease.
Research has shown that one of the best dietary approaches to a healthy heart is the Mediterranean diet, which is high in plant foods eaten with garlic, onions, extra virgin olive oil, and moderate amounts of whole grains, fish, and poultry, along with an occasional glass of red wine at meal time. The near-vegetarian “reversal diet” developed by noted health author and researcher Dean Ornish, M.D., has also been clinically proven to help improve overall heart health. It emphasizes meals composed primarily of fresh vegetables and whole grains, and eliminates nearly all cholesterol-containing foods, animal fats, and oils. Dr. Ornish recommends that, for best results, his patients also commit to an exercise program and stress reduction techniques, such as meditation.
- Take Vitamin D3 50,000-100,000 International Units a day http:/// for a period of up to 4 weeks. Vitamin D has been shown to be a key factor in maintaining health cholesterol levels in the blood as high cholesterol can be the result of inadequate exposure to the sun.
- Beta Carotene – Research done at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland found it could lower heart disease by up to 50 per cent.
- Niacin – Vitamin B3 – known to lower cholesterol levels
- Vitamin B6 – helpful in preventing strokes and heart attacks, prevents oxidization of cholesterol
- VitaminB12 – associated with lowering homocysteine (a non-protein amino acid) levels. Homocysteine is one of the major contributing factors in heart disease.
- Folic Acid – essential for proper metabolism of homocysteine
- Vitamin C – prevents formation of oxysterols
- Coenzyme 10 – strengthens heart muscles
- Proanthocyanidin (PCA) – antioxidant derived from pine bark (or grape seeds) which enhances heart health
- Wholefood supplements are the best way of ensuring your nutritional needs are met.
- Omega 3s:
- Intravenous Chelation – www.oaktreewellness.com
- Calcium and Magnesium
- Vitamin E (Unique E) – fat soluble antioxidant which can prevent abnormal blood clot formation www.acgrace.com
- Amino Acids
- Able Heal
- Deer Antler Velvet
- Eliminate Candida: Click here to find out how
- Do the Hydrogen Peroxide Protocol to strengthen the immune system:
- Drink 3oz of Colloidal Silver, three or four times a day for 60 days www.utopiasilver.com/ Silver has long been recognised as a powerful natural antibiotic. Colloidal silver is silver that has been removed electronically from its source and then suspended in water. It is used to treat a myriad of diseases.
- Go on a fast to clear your system of toxic waste www.wecarespa.com
Prescription and non-prescription medication:
What non-prescription and prescription drugs are you taking? Your non-prescription and prescription are partially the reason that you have this illness or disease – you need to get off these medications but do so only under the guidance of a licensed health care practitioner.
Lowering Cholesterol Naturally, Dennis Goodman MD: www.naturalnews.com/020056_HDL_cholesterol_natural_medicine.html
Underactive thyroid and high cholesterol: www.naturalnews.com/028816_thyroid_high_cholesterol.html
The natural alternative to lowering cholesterol: altmedicine.about.com/od/highcholesterol/a/highcholesterol.htm
Yoga and cholesterol: theyogadr.com/yoga-cholesterol/
Natural Ayurvedic remedies: www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sv_gu4rxN5o
Acupuncture for cholesterol: www.ehow.com/video_7343353_acupuncture-cholesterol.html
Natural cholesterol treatment: www.dailymotion.com/video/xm9klw_natural-cholesterol-treatment_news
How grapefruit can lower high cholesterol: www.naturalnews.com/032527_grapefruit_high_cholesterol.html
Non-stick cookware and high cholesterol in children: www.naturalnews.com/029676_PFOA_non-stick_cookware.html
Omega 3 benefits for cholesterol: www.naturalnews.com/021998_omega-3_oils_heart_health.html
Healing foods beat statin drugs for lowering high cholesterol: www.naturalnews.com/008310_cholesterol_high.html
Pu-erh Tea a remedy for cholesterol: www.naturalnews.com/026747_tea_Pu-erh_cholesterol.html
Charcoal can lower cholesterol: www.naturalnews.com/032570_activated_charcoal_cholesterol.html
Further Information (links and books)
Good Cholesterol, Bad Cholesterol, Eli M. Roth, Natural Alternatives to Lipitor, Zocor & Other Statin Drugs: What to Use and Do to Help Lower Bad Cholesterol, Jay S. Cohen; Cholesterol Cures: More Than 325 Natural Ways to Lower Cholesterol and Live Longer, Editors of Prevention Health Books.
Red yeast rice
www.mysupplementstore.com (877) 505-1777
Omega-3s, Hemp Seeds
www.nutiva.com (800) 993-4367
Omega-3s, Cod Liver oil
www.drrons.com (877) 472-8701
Garlic capsules, Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract
www.kyolic.com (800) 421-2998
Policosanol, Royal Nutrition
Dietary Supplement, Ultimate Heart Support
Real Advantage (800) 913-2602
Protein Powder, RiSoTriene
Andrea Butje | Aromahead [email protected] – aromatherapy
Carrie Vitt [email protected] – organic food recipes.
David Spector-NSR/USA [email protected] – meditation, stress
Judith Hoad [email protected] – herbalist.
Kath May [email protected] – reiki, tai chi.
Lillian Bridges [email protected] – Chinese medicine, living naturally.
Monika [email protected] – aromatherapy.
Rakesh [email protected] – Ayurvedic Practitioner.
Joanne Callaghan – [email protected] www.RogerCallahan.com Thought Field Therapy (TF) releasing unresolved emotions, stress and illness.