Managing High Cholesterol by Tina Marie

Cholesterol is one of the many risk factors for heart disease, the higher your levels the more likely you are to have cardiovascular problems.

Basic Causes and Concerns of High Cholesterol
– The Cholesterol Myth

During the 70’s and 80’s much research was centered on the causes and effects of high blood serum Cholesterol. Some reports suggested that dietary consumption of cholesterol in the form of eggs contributed to these high levels. Detailed clinical studies found no rise in blood cholesterol levels by eating eggs prompting the statement by the British advisory panel “Most of the dietary cholesterol in Western communities is derived from eggs, but we have found no evidence which relates the number of eggs consumed to heart disease.”
– The New Data

It is true that high cholesterol is considered to be a contributor to the build up of plaque on artery walls which impedes blood flow to the brain, kidneys, genitals, extremities, and heart. High cholesterol may also lead to gallstones, mental impairment, and high blood pressure.

It is important to distinguish between serum cholesterol and dietary cholesterol. Serum cholesterol is the Cholesterol in the bloodstream whereas dietary chol is the cholesterol present in the food you eat.

Cholesterol levels are greatly influenced by you diet but are also dependant on your genetic makeup.

From a holistic viewpoint, high serum cholesterol levels are indicative of liver distress. Eating a low-chol diet may help, but your liver is over producing cholesterol; it usually isn’t enough to correct the problem. Indeed, the link between serum cholesterol and dietary cholesterol has never adequately been demonstrated.

The differences between fats
Not all fats are the same Cholesterol is a fat. Cholesterol is an essential part of every cell structure and is needed for proper brain function, nerve function and is the basis for the manufacture of sex hormones.

Cholesterol is manufactured in the liver and transported to the parts of the body where it is needed. Low density lipoprotein (LDL) are the main transporters of cholesterol through the blood.

Because LDLs seem to encourage the deposit on cholesterol in the arteries it is known as ‘bad cholesterol’. High density lipoprotein (HDL) on the other hand is known as ‘good cholesterol’ because it transports unneeded cholesterol to the liver for processing and removal from the body.

When the system is out of balance a build up LDLs and a lower level of HDLs to cleanse the blood results in arterial plaque which leads to heart disease.

Dietary Recommendations for reducing High Serum Cholesterol
Eggs have been given a bad rap because they have been linked to cholesterol but many researchers now believe that eating eggs has little or no effect on serum cholesterol levels of people who have normal serum cholesterol. Other studies have concurred that eating eggs can actually raise good HDL.

Lipski states that current thinking is that your cholesterol levels are normal, it is fine to eat egg yolks that have not been oxidized (exposed to oxygen) – eggs that are hard-boiled, soft-boiled or poached. Oxidized cholesterol can damage arteries and raise blood pressure.

Dietary fiber has been shown to normalize serum cholesterol. High-fiber diets reduce the risk of heart failure, high blood pressure and certain types of cancer. Taking in plenty of fiber in the form of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is very important in reducing serum cholesterol levels.

Fish is naturally low in cholesterol and studies show that people who eat a high-fat fish twice a week have reduced risk of heart disease and stroke. Other studies found that these fish oils are protective or therapeutic for high serum cholesterol levels, angina, high blood pressure and other disorders. The best way to get the oils is to eat the fish itself.

Cutting out hydrogenated oils and saturated fat can have more far-reaching effects on serum cholesterol and counting eggs.

A whole foods diet generally contains more trace nutrients which stabilize blood fats and promote a balance of essential vitamins and minerals.

Nutritional Supplement Regime
To understand where your test scores come in refer to the following chart:

  Sick Normal Healthy
Cholesterol <120->330mg% 120-330mg% 190-210mg%
Cholesterol/HDL >8:1 >5:1 <3.5:1
Blood Pressure >140/90 <140/90 <125/85
Pulse >85 <85 <70
> = more than <  = less than mg% = milligrams % in blood

Lipski points out that many researchers believe that an increase in vitamin C consumption may be the reason for the large decline in Cardiovascular disease. She also adds that oxidation of cholesterol in the vessels is caused by free radical damage. Vitamin C keeps LDL cholesterol from oxidizing, helps normalize serum cholesterol levels and reduces arthrosclerosis.

The following nutritional supplements provide assistance to a healthy diet in reducing serum cholesterol.

Supplement Suggested Dosage Comments
Calcium As directed on label at night on empty stomach. Lowers cholesterol levels by binding to heavy metals.
Chinese red yeast extract As directed on label Has cholesterol Lowering properties.
Chromium Picolinate 400-600 mcg daily. Lowers cholesterol levels and improves hdl-ldl ratios.
Coenzyme Q10 plus Coenzyme A 60 mg daily. Improves circulation.
Garlic 2 Capsules 3 x a day Lowers cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
Vitamin A As directed on label. If you are taking cholesterol lowering drugs your lycopene levels will be reduced. Lycopene is one of the carotenoids that boosts the immune system. A clear and healthy immune system helps remove serum cholesterol.
Vitamin B Complex As directed on label. Very important in controlling cholesterol levels. Lowers cholesterol. Do not use a sustained-release formula. Suggested source: Sublingual B Total by Nutraceutical Solutions
Vitamin C 3000-8000 mg/day Lowers cholesterol.
Vitamin E Begin with 200 IU a day and then increase up 1000 IU a day ( over a 2 week period) Improved circulation. Use an emulsion form for rapid assimilation. Use a d-alpha-tocopherol form.
Essential Fatty Acids
(Black Currant Seed Oil, Borage Oil)
As directed on label Reduces LDL levels and thins the blood.
Selenium 200 mcg/day Deficiencies have been linked to heart disease.
Lysine 3 grams a day Taken with Vitamin C for reversing arthrosclerosis.

Prescription for Nutritional Healing (Third Edition), Phyllis Balch, C.N.C, , James F.Balch, M.D., Copyright 2000, Penguin Putnam Inc.

The Optimum Nutrition Bible, Patrick Holford, Copyright 1999, The Crossing Press

Digestive Wellness (Updated Second Edition), Elizabeth Lipski, M.S., C.C.N., Copyright 1996,2000, Keats Publishing

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