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The Best Supplement To Lower Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a waxy fat-like substance naturally produced in the body. 

Cholesterol exclusively found in animals is the most abundant animal sterol. 

It is widely distributed in all cells and is a significant component of cell membranes and lipoproteins. 

It is insoluble in water and soluble in organic solvents such as chloroform, benzene, ether, etc.

Two varieties of lipoproteins carry the parcels of cholesterol:

  • low-density lipoprotein (LDL): Good cholesterol
  • High-density lipoprotein (HDL): Bad cholesterol

Various functions of cholesterol responsible for the normal functioning of the human body include:

  • Role in membrane structure and function
  • Synthesis of bile acids
  • Hormones (sex & steroid)
  • Vitamin D

Normal level and ranges

Cholesterol levels less than 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) are considered healthy in adults. Levels between 200 and 239 mg/dL are borderline high, whereas a level of 240 mg/dL and above is deemed to be high.

Low-Density Lipoproteins (LDL) levels should be below. It should be less than 100mg/dl.

High-Density Lipoproteins (HDL) levels should be kept high. These should be 60mg/dl or higher.

Imbalance in cholesterol levels

High cholesterol levels are a critical risk factor for coronary heart diseases. It mainly occurs due to the accumulation of cholesterol in the lumen of arteries leading to narrowing and ultimately blockage of blood supply. This pathological process is called Atherosclerosis.

Obesity, excessive weight gain, and Genetic factors are also involved in contributing to high LDL levels.

Conditions that may lead to excessive cholesterol levels encompass:

  • Liver and kidney diseases
  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Pregnancy
  • Polycystic ovarian syndrome
  • Certain drugs

Reduced intake of fat through diet is essential in maintaining cholesterol levels. In addition, certain foods such as meat, cheese, dairy products, chocolates, baked goods, and processed foods, if avoided, can help maintain cholesterol up to normal levels.

Specific lifestyle changes such as:

  • Healthy diet
  • Avoidance of smoking 
  • Regular exercise

It can help maintain normal cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.

A high cholesterol level may be asymptomatic. Specific tests and screening procedures, however, can detect abnormal levels.

High cholesterol can result in a variety of complications:

  • Angina
  • Stroke
  • Peripheral vascular diseases
  • Chronic kidney disease

Certain medications are in use to lower cholesterol levels. The most common are the statins (simvastatin, atorvastatin, lovastatin).

You can also try using supplements that contain vitamins and herbs proven to lower cholesterol levels.

Natural or complementary treatments for heart sickness frequently govern cholesterol levels, decrease blood pressure, and enhance coronary heart fitness.

Herbs and vitamins to lower cholesterol

  • Astragalus
  • Ginseng
  • Artichoke
  • Hawthorn
  • Green coffee extract
  • Ashwagandha
  • Garlic
  • Niacin

Astragalus

It is an herb that is used in traditional Chinese medicine. Its root is used to make various forms of supplements such as powders, teas, and capsules. Many active compounds that are present in their roots are considered to possess multiple health benefits. [1]. its active compound may also help to boost up the immune system and also have an anti-inflammatory effect. [2]

It also helps to improve heart function. It is thought to increase blood flow from the heart through its action on blood vessels, thereby widening their lumen. [3]

Limited studies are present on how Astragalus benefits the heart, and its cholesterol-lowering effects are still under investigation.

Ginseng

It is an herb that is used in Asian medicine. Its active compounds, ginsenosides, and gintonin work complementary to one another to provide health benefits. Ginseng root is available in capsule form and various other conditions such as teas, coffees, and energy drinks.

Ginseng has been shown in specific trials to help maintain healthy “bad” LDL cholesterol and “good” HDL cholesterol. [4]

Artichoke leaf extract

Artichoke leaf extract has been used in medicine for a long time. Its most popular use is that it aids in supporting healthy cholesterol. Artichoke leaf extract has been found in multiple clinical trials to help maintain healthy “bad” LDL and total cholesterol. [5]

Artichoke leaf extract could be one of the most effective herbs for maintaining good cholesterol levels on the market.

Hawthorn

The hawthorn berry plant has long been used in traditional medicine in China, America, and Europe. The berry and leaves are edible, and the entire plant can be used for its health advantages. Hawthorn, like Astragalus, contains antioxidant qualities that aid in the correct functioning of the cardiovascular system. Hawthorn has been shown in studies to help maintain healthy levels of cholesterol. [6]

Green coffee extract

Green coffee bean extract is a dietary supplement that is made from unroasted coffee beans. It is available in pill form and can be made by grinding up unroasted coffee beans and boiling them in water. Another advantage of green coffee is its significantly higher proportion of chlorogenic acid, a micronutrient. 

Green coffee has demonstrated in studies that it provides various health benefits, such as reducing blood pressure, weight reduction, and healthy skin.

A study showed that green coffee stimulates weight loss. In one study, it was discovered that it prevented mice from gaining weight and accumulating fat. [7] Another study conducted in humans who drank coffee fortified with chlorogenic acid, the major active element in green coffee, shed more weight and belly fat than conventional instant coffee. Chlorogenic acid also promotes weight loss by boosting levels of a hormone called adiponectin.

Green coffee has even been shown to lower cholesterol and triglycerides. Green coffee bean extract was administered to rats for three weeks to see how it affected their fasting cholesterol and triglyceride levels. Green coffee bean extract decreased fasting plasma cholesterol by 44% and triglycerides by 58%. Because this extract is expected to drastically cut your cholesterol and triglycerides, using it may lower your risk of heart disease. [8]

Green coffee has also been shown to lower blood sugar levels and lower the risk of diabetes. Chlorogenic acid encourages your body to absorb fewer carbohydrates from the food you eat, according to studies.

Another study suggested that drinking three to four cups of decaffeinated coffee with chlorogenic acid every day lowers the incidence of type 2 diabetes by 30%.

Ashwagandha

It is a small evergreen and ancient medicinal herb that grows mainly in India, the Middle East, and Africa. 

The root and berry are used to make medicine. In addition, it can help the body manage stress and anxiety and is also used as an adaptogen.

By lowering cholesterol and triglyceride levels, Ashwagandha may help to lessen the risk of heart disease. Ashwagandha may assist improve heart health by reducing cholesterol and triglyceride levels, in addition to its anti-inflammatory properties.

Studies in animals found a significant decrease in blood fats. Another study in rats showed a reduction in triglyceride levels by 53% and nearly 45%, respectively. [9]

Controlled human studies have found some impressive improvements in these markers. However, the outcomes have been less striking. [10]

A 60-day study was conducted on chronically stressed patients. The group taking the highest dose of standardized Ashwagandha experienced a 17% decrease in LDL (bad) cholesterol and an 11% decrease in triglycerides. [11]

Garlic

Garlic is an edible bulb that has been used for thousands of years as a cooking component and medication. Some studies suggest that Garlic may help lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol levels, and prevent Atherosclerosis. However, mixed results are shown by studies on Garlic and its cholesterol-lowering effect.

Niacin

Niacin (nicotinic Acid) is a B vitamin. Niacin has long been utilized as a pharmacologic medication to treat atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease and regulate plasma lipid and lipoprotein metabolism anomalies.

Niacin reduces triglycerides and Apo lipoprotein-B-containing lipoproteins (e.g., VLDL and LDL) primarily through the following mechanisms: a) reducing fatty acid mobilization from triglyceride reserves in adipose tissue.

Hepatocyte diacylglycerol acyltransferase and triglyceride production are inhibited, resulting in enhanced intracellular apo B breakdown and decreased VLDL and LDL particle release. [12]

HDL is raised by lowering the fractional catabolic rate of HDL-apo AI without changing synthetic rates.

Conclusion

Cholesterol is a kind of lipid found in the blood. Cholesterol is present throughout our body as a component of the cell membrane. 

Despite its production in the body, we can get cholesterol from a variety of foods. 

Lifestyle, age, genetics, diet, and other factors determine cholesterol levels in our body.

High levels of cholesterol are a significant risk factor for heart diseases. Low-density lipoproteins (LDL), also called bad cholesterol, are mainly responsible for increasing the risk of developing these diseases. It also increases the risk of stroke.

Lifestyle modifications and certain medications are in use to lower cholesterol levels. The most common of these are statins. 

However, certain natural herbs and vitamins are also believed to maintain cholesterol levels within normal ranges. Natural herbs like Astragalus and ginseng have cholesterol-lowering effects; however, limited studies support them. Trials with herbs such as artichoke leaf extract and hawthorn also showed positive results.

Green bean coffee extract having chlorogenic acid is believed to minimize weight gain and lower plasma cholesterol. In addition, Ashwagandha, an adaptogen, also proved to lower cholesterol levels in patients under study.

Niacin, a vitamin B, has been used to lower cholesterol levels and increase LDL levels.

Most natural therapies are available without a prescription, and most of them can be beneficial when used in conjunction with a regular treatment plan for some patients. 

REFERENCES

  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25087616/
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24325861
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3306992/
  4. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12967598/ 
  5. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0011986/
  6. http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-527-hawthorn.aspx?activeingredientid=527&activeingredientname=hawthorn
  7. https://bmccomplementmedtherapies.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/1472-6882-6-9
  8. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/12550056/
  9. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16713218/
  10. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23125505/
  11. https://blog.priceplow.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/08/withania_review.pdf 

“I have the metabolism of a sloth and a body that hates putting on muscles. This curse motivated me to study weight loss and nutrition. I want to share my experiences and knowledge to help you achieve your ideal body.”

— Christian Tanobey

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