How to control BAD cholesterol in the body!
Cholesterol is made in the liver and is vital for human life. Cholesterol aids in the production of sex hormones, it assist the liver in bile production and is a building block for human tissue. Cholesterol is know as VLDL, LDL and HDL they are all lipoproteins which are compounds made of fat and protein that are responsible for delivering the cholesterol where is most needed in the body. LDL stands for low-density lipoprotein or bad cholesterol. LDL could lead to plaque accumulation on the walls of the arteries narrowing the blood vessels and straining the necessary flow of oxygen in the blood throughout the body. It could also lead to blood clots that if breaking loose they could block the flow of blood causing a heart attack or stroke. LDL ideally should be lees than 100 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl) in blood test (1).
HDL stands for high-density lipoprotein or good cholesterol. HDL keeps the cardiovascular system healthy and it aids on the removal of LDL from the arteries by carrying it back to the liver were it’s broken down and excreted by the body. Cholesterol levels are measured in milligrams (mg) or cholesterol per deciliter (dL) of blood or millimoles (mmol) per litter (L). HDL ideally should be 60 mg/dL (1.6 mmol/L) or above the higher numbers are better (1).
Triglycerides are the end product of digesting and breaking down fats in the food; they are a type of fat found in the blood. When people eat more calories than their body needs, the body stores those extra calories in the form of triglycerides, and they are use later by the body for energy. Atherosclerosis increases the risks of heart attack, stroke and heart disease. According to the National Institute of Health NIH, women are especially at risk of heart disease if they have high triglyceride levels. High triglycerides are also link to obesity and metabolic syndrome. The ideal number in blood test is less than 150 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) or less than 1.7 millimoles per liter (mmol/L) (2).
Patient example: "Maria" my client, was diagnosed with hyperlipidemia. Maria is taking Lipitor 40 mg Tablets Atorvastatin Calcium. Atorvastatin is a prescription used to treat high cholesterol, is a drug class HMG-CoA inhibitor (Statin). Statins are usually the type of drug used to treat patients with high cholesterol. Atorvastatin and other statins work by decreasing the production of cholesterol in the body by blocking the cholesterol production enzyme in the liver. Therefore, the amount of cholesterol that is in the arteries consequently may be reduced. Maria reported that she started taking 20 mg daily and it she had to take the medication every day at the same time, with or without food. After taking the medication for 2 years without much change of her nutrition intake she is now taking 40 mg once a day. She reported experiencing diarrhea when her dose changed for a few days, she also reported feeling tired and muscle weakness. Maria was advised by her PCP to start taking CoQ10 100 mg to avoid potential side effects such as heart failure, muscle pain and weakness, irritability, mood swings, and depression.
I would recommend that Maria start changing her diet by reducing her saturated and trans fat intake and increasing her vegetables and fresh fruits intake by at least 5 cups per day. Maria’s diet will aim to replace unhealthy saturated and trans fats with healthier monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats. Increase her fiber intake from whole grains such as oats and barley, legumes, beans, peas, nuts and seeds such as ground flax seed. Eat more fish at least 2, 6 oz. per week. Fish contains an excellent source of omega 3 fatty acids the good fat for your body; Wild caught oily fish are the best such as salmon, mackerel, tuna and sardines. Limit refined foods that contain sugar such as white flour, desserts, juices, fruit, soda pop, and all sweetened beverages. Maria is also to exercise daily at least 150 minutes of cardiovascular exercise per week.
Continue taking CoQ10 100 mg or 200 mg daily
Fish oil EPA, DHA once a day
Flaxseed use it daily
Green tea extract: The antioxidants of green tea help lowering cholesterol and prevent the cholesterol in the blood from oxidizing.
Niacin as a second line of therapy to improve cholesterol levels about 500 mg daily.
Increase Garlic intake use it daily with foods.
Alfalfa: This herb has been clinically proven to be most effective in lowering LDL cholesterol in the body. One study showed that consuming 40 grams of alfalfa three times each day had significant effects on LDL cholesterol levels, lowering them as much as 18 percent! Artichoke: The leaves of plants contain a very powerful fiber that is able to block the absorption of cholesterol by the body, which will decrease the production of LDL compounds. Ginger: Studies suggested that ginger activates an enzyme that increases the body’s use of cholesterol and lowers it, this may be related that ginger also reduce inflammation in the body and researchers believed that that it is also beneficial for the heart and lowering high cholesterol in the body (3).
1. NIH. High Blood Cholesterol. Also know as Hypercholesterolemia. Website https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health-topics/high-blood-cholesterol Accessed on October 5, 2018.
2. Ramkumar S, Raghunath A, Raghunath S. Statin Therapy: Review of Safety and Potential Side Effects . Acta Cardiologica Sinica. 2016;32(6):631-639. doi:10.6515/ACS20160611A.3. PubMed Health. High cholesterol: Lowering cholesterol without tablets. Website. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0072500/ Accessed on October 5, 2018.