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Health Topics > Cholesterol
Cholesterol

The word cholesterol is derived from a Greek word “chole” and “stereos” meaning “bile” and “solid” respectively. This fat lipid is present in every cell and is responsible for many crucial functions in the body including manufacturing of Vitamin D, building and maintaining cell walls, and hormone synthesis. Our body is capable of producing cholesterol naturally mainly through liver which also regulates its excretion and absorption. At the same time, our body also gets cholesterol from food, especially from meat, shellfish and eggs.    

What is high cholesterol? 
High blood cholesterol or hypercholesterolemia is a medical condition when cholesterol levels especially LDL are increased in your bloodstream.  Usually there are no signs or symptoms, so many people remain unaware about their high cholesterol levels. These light dense particles have a tendency to stick to the arterial walls causing an inflammatory reaction. This eventually gives rise to plaque formation which can progress to atheroma, atherosclerosis and eventually complete blockage.
HDLCholesterol (low density lipoprotein) : LDL is not good for health and is called bad cholesterol. LDL delivers cholesterol to cells from the liver. If excess amount of LDL is carried in the blood, it gets accumulated in the arteries. High levels of LDL increase the chances of arterial disease.
(high density lipoprotein): This is also known as good cholesterol as it helps to prevent arterial disease. HDL works reversely; it carries the cholesterol from cells to liver and possibly removes excess cholesterol from arterial plaque. Liver breaks the cholesterol or it throws it away from the body as waste.

Causes of increased cholesterol
Heredity: Genes play a significant role in an individual developing hypercholesterolemia. If your parents suffer from this medical condition, you are more likely to follow their footsteps.

Weight:   Americans weigh more now than in the past. Hectic life and busy work schedules has increased their tendency to grab fatty foods. Lack of time to prepare fresh and balanced meals makes them rely on poor diet which tends to increase body weight and abdominal obesity; this in turn elevates the bad cholesterol.

Age and gender:  As people grow old, cholesterol levels also go  up. Women are prone to have lower levels as compared to men between the age of 50 and 55. However, the onset of menopause in women makes their cholesterol level shoot up
Alcohol consumption: Though 1 or 2 drinks a day may elevate good cholesterol, it does not lower bad cholesterol. Excess consumption of alcohol is injurious to the heart muscle and liver leading to high blood pressure and increased triglycerides levels.

Food:  Animal source foods, especially red meat should be restricted as they are loaded with saturated fat which is the prime reason for elevated cholesterol levels. Use unsaturated or vegetable fats in cooking and start using low fat oils instead of heavy oils.

Stress: Studies reveal that stress contributes more towards high cholesterol level. In stressful situations, people gravitate towards fatty and oily foods to console them. The saturated fats in these foods and high cortisol levels because of stress are responsible for high blood cholesterol.

Lifestyle
Lifestyle changes are essential to maintain your cholesterol levels.  To lower bad cholesterol lose excess pounds, eat healthy diet, and indulge in regular workouts.

  • Physical Activity: Regular exercise is the best way to fight bad cholesterol. Daily workout lowers cholesterol levels and keeps your body in a healthy condition. Exercising does not mean strenuous workouts such as running 10 - 15 miles or several hours together at the gym. 20 to 30 minutes of aerobic exercise and brisk walking everyday works well in managing your cholesterol levels.
  • Shed excess pounds:  Additional pounds contribute to high levels of bad cholesterol.  Shedding the excess pounds would surely help you to reduce your cholesterol levels.
  • Heart healthy diet:  Eat lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, as these are rich in fibre and can control cholesterol levels.
  • Smoking and drinking:  Quit smoking, as it reduces the level of good cholesterol and acts upon the HDL, chemically making it inefficient to perform the beneficial functions in our body. Reduce intake of alcohol as excess intake gets accumulated as bad cholesterol.

Complications

Atherosclerosis:  This is a condition where cholesterol and other fatty substances are settled in the walls of the arteries.  The accumulation hardens over time and turns into plaque. Plaque minimises the blood flow in the arteries and finally it blocks arteries.

Heart attack and stroke:  Elevated cholesterol level can devastate the lining of the blood vessels. This condition can lead to plaque build up. Once these plaques rupture, a blood clot may form blocking the blood flow. In case the blood flow to your heart ceases, it would lead to heart attack.

Coronary Artery Disease (CAD)
CAD also referred to as heart disease is a medical condition caused due to atherosclerosis.  As your cholesterol level elevates, the chances of you developing CAD also increases. Today, in the US major, a cause of death is coronary artery disease and the incidence is growing worldwide

Herbal Supplements for Cholesterol Management
Arjuna CardioComfort has been developed to help support healthy cardiovascular and circulatory systems. Useful for: Hypertension, High Cholesterol
Each Pack contains 120 Tabs
Buy1 pack @ US$ 15.78
Cholesto-Rite is a 100% safe, non-addictive, natural herbal remedy formulated by a team of experts in the field of natural medicine. It has been designed to safely support the body in its ability to maintain healthy levels of LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol, while also acting as a general cardiovascular tonic, supporting the body's natural ability to deal with harmful free radicals. Useful for: Herbal supplement for supporting balanced cholesterol levels and cardiovascular health
Each Pack contains 60 V capsules.
Buy1 pack @ US$ 43.95
Buy3 packs @ US$ 87.90

Lifestyle
Lifestyle changes are essential to maintain your cholesterol levels.  To lower bad cholesterol lose excess pounds, eat healthy diet, and indulge in regular workouts.

  1. Physical Activity: Regular exercise is the best way to fight bad cholesterol. Daily workout lowers cholesterol levels and keeps your body in a healthy condition. Exercising does not mean strenuous workouts such as running 10 - 15 miles or several hours together at the gym. 20 to 30 minutes of aerobic exercise and brisk walking everyday works well in managing your cholesterol levels.
  2. Shed excess pounds:  Additional pounds contribute to high levels of bad cholesterol.  Shedding the excess pounds would surely help you to reduce your cholesterol levels.
  3. Heart healthy diet:  Eat lots of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, as these are rich in fibre and can control cholesterol levels.
  4. Smoking and drinking:  Quit smoking, as it reduces the level of good cholesterol and acts upon the HDL, chemically making it inefficient to perform the beneficial functions in our body. Reduce intake of alcohol as excess intake gets accumulated as bad cholesterol.

Reduce Cholesterol Naturally:

  • Intake of garlic is beneficial for high cholesterol.
  • Mix one teaspoon of lime juice with one teaspoon of honey in lukewarm water.  Take this mixture every morning to control high cholesterol.
  • Boil dry coriander seeds in water and drink the decoction regularly.
  • Intake of Fenugreek seeds is helpful to lower high serum cholesterol.
  • Taking isabgol seeds or husk twice a day is also very good helpful in reducing bad cholesterol.
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