Cholesterol-Lowering Treatments and Drugs
If your doctor has determined that you have heightened levels of bad cholesterol, he or she will likely make some suggestions about things you may do in order to improve your health. Some of these suggestions will have to do with diet and lifestyle changes. However, if your cholesterol is quite high or you require an aggressive approach to lowering cholesterol, you may be advised to take certain medications or treatments in order to lower your cholesterol. It is important that you know something about the treatments and remedies that are available now to lower cholesterol, as this will help you to work with your health practitioner to develop a cholesterol treatment regimen that can work for you.
Healthy Cholesterol through Herbal and Natural Remedies
Research is providing good evidence that there several effective natural herbs and supplements to help lower LDL and raise HDL or "good" cholesterol. This research has been done in lab settings. If you visit a naturopath or health care practitioner who specializes in alternative medicines, you may be advised to try some of these treatments. If you are worried about the side effects of pharmaceutical cholesterol-lowering drugs or testaments, you may wish to speak with your doctor about drug-free ways to lower cholesterol or you may wish to ask for a recommendation for a natural health practitioner.
Considering alternative remedies gives those dealing with higher levels of cholesterol new options. It is especially good for those who do not react well to traditional pharmaceutical cholesterol-lowering medications.
Guggul gum resin from the mukul myrrh tree is used to treat obesity. This same remedy is used to help lower cholesterol and decrease blood pressure. Guggul is also named Gugulipid and Gum guggulu. The botanical name is Commiphora mukul. Guggul is used to lower elevated cholesterol and triglycerides. The active ingredients are resin, volatile oils, and gum.
Policosanol is considered to be a safe and effective treatment to lower LDL cholesterol. While preventing oxidation of LDL cholesterol it promotes normal blood flow. It comes from sugar cane wax and has been studied in-depth for some 10 years. Human trials are published in North American and International medical journals.
Pantethine is also a very promising cholesterol-lowering substance. It has significantly reduced serum triglycerides, total cholesterol, and LDL_cholesterol or "bad cholesterol" levels. It increases HDL or “good cholesterol" levels in several clinical trials. Pantethine has the further advantage of not producing the undesirable side effects of synthetic lipid lowering drugs.
Curcumin is also very promising. It is a very strong antioxidant with antiviral, anti-inflammatory, anticancer, and cholesterol lowering properties. Curcumin is an extract from the every day kitchen spice Turmeric and has a number of health benefits.
Garlic has been proven effective by a standard double-blind placebo controlled study. At 900 mg daily garlic will significantly slow the development of atherosclerosis (You can read about this study in the journal article: Koscielny J, Klussendorf D, Latza R, et al. The antiatherosclerotic effect of Allium sativum. Atherosclerosis. 1999;144:237–249).
As an added benefit, garlic has been proven beneficial in fighting off the common cold. It can also add flavor to meals. If you want to enjoy flavorful low-fat meals, using garlic rather than salt or fats will help you stay healthy. Many health experts consider garlic to be a super-food that is generally beneficial for overall good health.
Omega 3/Fish Oil has been shown to be beneficial for heart health and brain function. Dr. Fran Hu of the Harvard School of Public Health has published studies that suggest that high consumption of fish (4_5 times a week) cuts the risk of women dying from heart disease by 45 percent compared to women who rarely ate fish.
Men with the highest levels of omega_3 fatty acids have an 81 percent lower risk of dying suddenly than men with the lowest levels. The fat in fish lowers cholesterol, helps prevent blood clots that form in heart attacks and lessens the chances for the irregular heart beats that cause sudden deaths. One gram daily of an omega_3 fatty acid supplement will reduce risk of sudden cardiac death by 42 percent.
Beta_Sitosterol when taken at 300 mgs twice a day will help to lower blood serum cholesterol and triglycerides, even with few diet changes and little or no exercise.
Psyllium seeds are a common ingredient in bulk laxative products. Studies have shown that psyllium can lower LDL cholesterol. This study showed improvement for both children and adults.
Soy Protein benefits heart heath. To achieve the best results, eat at least four servings of 6.25 grams of soy protein or 25 grams per day. For those with high cholesterol levels of 260_300, soy protein will reduce cholesterol by 15_25%. Countries that enjoy diets rich in soy proteins - and this includes countries such as Japan - have populations that suffer less from cancers, heart disease, and high cholesterol.
Women in countries that have soy-rich diets seem to be less affected by osteoporosis and other dangers of menopause. In fact, the countries that have traditional diets high in soy have populations that seem to enjoy longer and healthier lives. This has lead many researchers to investigate the potential benefits of soy, and many research studies have found that soy proteins seem to contribute to good heart health and good overall health.
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