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Alternative Medicine for Bad Cholesterol
What exactly is this “Bad Cholesterol”?
Cholesterol is categorized under “Lipids” or “Fats”. They form part of the cell membranes and are very important in cellular functions. In the blood the fats are attached to proteins and they form groups of substances called lipoproteins.
* Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL)
* Very Low Density Lipoproteins (VLDL)
* High Density Lipoproteins (HDL)
Of these Low Density Lipoproteins are called “ Bad Cholesterol”. If the blood level of this bad cholesterol increases, it gets deposited along the walls of the blood vessels blocking the flow of blood. If the blood flow to heart is blocked it causes angina and myocardial infarction. If the blood flow to the brain is blocked it results in stroke.
On the contrary, High Density Lipoprotein is called “ Good Cholesterol” and it has protective function.
The Alternative Medicine
Though statins rule the roost when it comes to bring down and controlling the blood levels of bad cholesterol, the option of using alternative medicine is always there – for its effectiveness, lesser cost and minimal side effects.
Before contemplating alternative medical treatment for decreasing cholesterol, one should know the optimum levels and high-risk levels of cholesterol.
< 200mg/dL is the safe and desired level
* 201-239mg/dL is borderline high risk
> 240mg/dL is high risk level
160 is high risk level
The goal in people with higher risk factors for heart disease is less than 130 mg/dL. In patients who already have heart disease, the goal is under 100 mg/dL, according to FDA guidelines. And also one should increase the HDL levels or the good cholestrol. So now if you want to avoid statins and take only alterative medicine, then you have to follow two steps.
1. Avoid foods rich in fats
2. Take natural supplements
Fatty foods to be avoided:
The highest cholesterol content is found in meat, poultry, shellfish, and dairy products. As far as possible these food items should be avoided.
Natural supplements to bring down cholesterol levels:
There are numerous natural supplements, which are found, be effective in bringing down the cholesterol levels and it has been proved by many studies. Some of them are
* Beta Sitosterol: It is a plant sterol which reduce cholesterol levels
* Niacin: It is Vitamin B3 which lowers LDL cholesterol by 20%
* Fish oils
* Green Tea
* Psyllium and Flax seeds: These contain fibers which reduce the cholesterol levels
* Mangosteen and sytrinol: These are fruit extracts which reduce cholesterol levels
* Policosanol: it is derived from sugar cane and it reduces LDL cholesterol by nearly 25%
* Cholestin: It is a processed form of red yeast fermented with rice. Cholestin lowers LDL cholesterol by 20-30%. It also raises HDL.
* Soy protein: The isoflavones in it brings down LDL cholesterol by 10%
* Garlic: It reduces LDL cholesterol by 12%
* Aphanizomenon flosaquae (AFA): It is blue green algae, which reduces LDL cholesterol by 20%.
* Gugulipid an extract of Commiphora mukul, the gum resin of the mukul myrrh tree and Aspalathus linearis (Rooibos), a medicinal herb of South Africa are also effective
In addition to these supplements, the other treatment options available are diet regimens including Vegetarian diet, Asian diet, and Low Glycemic diet. A regular exercise will add to the beneficial outcome.
About the Author: Markus writes and publishes articles about alternative treatments for cholesterol, and other unbiased health related topics on Independent-views.com.