Cholesterol is widely distributed throughout the body, being especially abundant in the brain, nervous tissue, adrenal glands and skin. It plays an important role in the body, being essential for the production of hormones, as well as the repair of membranes!
There are two types of cholesterol: HDL, high-density lipoproteins and LDL, low-density lipoproteins. HDL is considered good and LDL bad (?) cholesterol. It is worse to be low in good cholesterol, than high in the bad one.
The total amount in the body of a person weighing 70 kilograms (10 stones) is around 140 grams, and the amount present in the blood is 3.6 to 7.8 m.mol per litre or 150 to 250 milligrams per 100 millilitres. A blood-cholesterol level above 6 m.mol per litre (238 mg per 100 ml) is considered high. (Source: Black’s Medical Dictionary)
Natural ways to reduce Cholesterol and to balance blood lipids.
Taken as a food supplement or eat more:
- All sorts of beans / lentils
- Globe Artichokes / Cynara tincture
- Organic porridge oats
- Special aged garlic extract (Kyolic)
- Choline & Inositol, fat emulsifiers found in Lecithin (bran or caps.).
- Omega-3 Fish oil capsules / oily fish like salmon, tuna, mackerels.
- Unsaturated fatty acids, like unrefined sunflower, olive and flax oil.
- Milk thistle, which is a great liver tonic. The liver produces over 60% of the blood cholesterol.
- Niacin (Vitamin B3) increases the activity of enzymes that help to break down fats and cholesterol and decreases the deposition of fats in the liver.
- Plant sterols
- Red yeast extract
Natural ways to reduce Cholesterol by making lifestyle changes and improving diet:
- Eat a Mediterranean diet and avoid high dairy and sugar intake.
- Avoid high glycaemic, processed foods.
- Avoid hydrogenated fats and trans fatty acids found in most processed foods, esp. margarine.
Rule of thumb: fats, which are solid at room temperature aren’t great.
- Eat foods rich in flavonoid antioxidants, e.g. brightly coloured fresh fruits, berries, vegetables, grape juice, green tea – and red wine!
- Aim to get two to three servings of whole grains and pulses a day (porridge, muesli, brown bread, brown rice, lentils, kidney beans, chick peas etc.).
- Eat nuts, seeds, oily fish (not fried) rich in essential fatty acids.
- Exercise regularly.
- Do not smoke.
- Avoid constipation.
- Clear the pathways for elimination!
However, be aware that many authorities believe raised cholesterol is a less accurate indicator of potential heart disease than raised homocysteine levels, which can be controlled simply by taking B vitamins. (It is thought that cholesterol is deposited on blood vessel walls to counteract inflammation caused by high homocysteine level in the first place.)