What is High Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a naturally present waxy, fat-like substance that your body requires to function normally. Cholesterol is found in cell walls or membranes everywhere in the body, including muscles, nerves, the brain, skin, liver, intestines, and also the heart. Cholesterol plays an important role in the body. It uses cholesterol to produce many hormones, the bile acids that help to digest fat, and vitamin D. The amount of cholesterol your body needs is a very small amount in the blood.
It is when your cholesterol becomes too high however that health issues as well as putting yourself at risk for serious problems such as; heart disease, heart attacks, and stroke. It takes only a small amount of cholesterol in the blood to meet these needs. If you have too much cholesterol in your bloodstream, the excess may be deposited in arteries, including the coronary (heart) arteries, where it contributes to the narrowing and blockages that cause the signs and symptoms of heart disease. Too much cholesterol can cause impotence, gallstones, loss of mental acuity, and high blood pressure.
Who Gets High Cholesterol?
Approximately seventeen percent of adults in American aged 20 years and older have high cholesterol. Cholesterol levels vary all over the world. In places such as Japan for example there are lower rates of heart disease. While Finland, has very high rates of coronary heart disease,and high cholesterol rates. High cholesterol is more common in men younger than 55 years and in women older than 55 years.
What are Normal Cholesterol Levels?
- Total cholesterol: 165 – 200 mg/dL.
- LDL cholesterol: below 130 mg/dL.
- HDL cholesterol: 50 mg/dL. or higher.
- Total cholesterol/ HDL ratio: less than 3.7
- LDL/HDL ratio: less than 3.0
The relative amount amount if total cholesterol to HDL, and the ratio of LDL to HDL is considered more important than total cholesterol.
What are the Symptoms of High Cholesterol?
Often times there are no symptoms associated with high cholesterol. Which is why it is important to get regular blood tests. When symptoms are present the most common ones are; mental confusion, or dullness, circulatory problems, dizziness, and difficulty breathing after minor exertion.
What are the Root Causes of High Cholesterol?
A poor diet is probably the most prevalent root cause of high cholesterol. Eating a day which is high in fat, especially saturated fat, and refined carbohydrates. Hereditary plays a significant role in the chances of getting high cholesterol. Diabetes, or insulin resistance, stress, Hypothyroidism, and inactivity are also root causes.
Eating a diet high in fiber, organic fruits, beans, brown rice, vegetables, and oatmeal is a great place to start. Limit the amount of meats, and high fat foods.
For additional information on how to reduce cholesterol naturally check the updated post on cholesterol level!
||Policosanol– Take 10 – 20 mg each evening. Policosanol reduces LDL cholesterol and increase HDL, or good cholesterol.|
||Red Yeast Rice– Take 1,200 mg twice a day. Red yeast rice reduces bad cholesterol, and increase good cholesterol.|
||Garlic– Take 300 to 500 mg twice a day. Garlic reduces LDL cholesterol and increase HDL, or good cholesterol.|
||Niacin– Take 1,500 – 3,000 mg daily in the no-flush form. Niacin reduces LDL cholesterol and increase HDL, or good cholesterol.|
||Fish Oil– Purchase a Fish Oil with at least 480 mg of EPA and 360 mg of DHA. Take as directed on the label. Fish oil reduces inflammation in the arteries and lower cholesterol as well as triglyceride level.|
||Guggul– Take a daily dose of 1,500 mg. This herbs helps to reduce cholesterol levels and increase HDL cholesterol.|
||One and Only Multi-Vitamin– Take as directed on the label. Incorporating both a multivitamin, and an antioxidant complex would be the most beneficial.|
*Please check with your doctor before taking any supplements, and also read the warning labels on each product, especially if you are pregnant or breast-feeding. Also read the labels carefully when giving your child any natural supplement, to ensure that it is safe to give a child.