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Cholesterol

Overview

Cholesterol is bad, right? Wrong. Cholesterol is the soft, waxy substance that makes up fat in the body. By itself, it’s nothing more or less – something that’s a part of our body. The actual condition that is the problem is called hypercholesterolemia – too much cholesterol in the body.

 

When the body stores or creates too much cholesterol, it collects on the walls of blood vessels and slows the circulation by blocking arteries and making it difficult for the heart to pump blood out to the bodily systems that need it. The higher the levels of cholesterol in the blood, the higher the risk a person runs of heart attack or stroke. In addition, there are a number of other conditions that are associated with high levels of cholesterol in the blood.

 

What Cholesterol  Does:

There are three kinds of fatty tissue that circulate in the blood – high density lipoprotein, also called HDL, low density lipoprotein, also known as LDL and triglycerides. Current wisdom is that HDL is ‘good cholesterol’, and LDL is ‘bad cholesterol.’ Triglycerides are a ‘dark horse’ – scientists aren’t quite sure yet exactly how triglycerides affect the heart, but research has shown that heightened levels of LDL and triglycerides and lowered levels of HDL are associated with heart disease.

 

Symptoms of High Cholesterol levels:

Few people have symptoms of high cholesterol until cholesterol has impacted a major bodily system like the circulatory system. For that reason, it’s important that regular physical checkups include blood tests to measure serum cholesterol levels. Some risk factors that make those tests more important include:

 

  • Obesity

  • Cigarette smoking

  • Inactive lifestyle

  • Diet high in saturated fats

  • Diets low in fiber

  • Low thyroid function

  • Polycystic ovary syndrome

 

What Causes Cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia):

While there are other causes for high cholesterol, in most cases heightened levels of cholesterol are the result of an overly fatty diet coupled with an inactive lifestyle. The major precursor to high cholesterol levels is obesity – a condition that has reached epidemic proportions in the modern western world. Poor diet habits contribute to cholesterol related disorders, including atherosclerosis, diabetes and strokes.

 

Other causes for hypercholesterolemia include inherited disorders that affect the absorption and metabolism of fats, as well as hereditary hyperlipidemia, poorly controlled diabetes, nephritic syndrome (a kidney disorder), anorexia nervosa, liver disease, overactive pituitary gland, underactive thyroid gland, malnutrition, cigarette smoking, anabolic steroid use, insulin resistance, hepatitis, lupus, pregnancy, estrogens (birth control pills) and lymphoma.

 

Treatments for Cholesterol:

The main goal of treatment for high cholesterol levels is to lower the amount of cholesterol in the blood. This is best accomplished by making changes to the lifestyle and diet of the patient. Specifically, the American Heart Association recommends supplementing the diet with fiber, reducing the amount of fat and sugars in the diet, and increasing the amount of antioxidants in the diet. Research has shown that every point of lowered cholesterol results in a 2% lowering of the risk of heart disease and stroke. To bring those levels down, doctors often prescribe drugs that can lower cholesterol along with the following dietary changes:

 

  • Increase consumption of soluble fibers like psyllium

  • Increase consumption of soy

  • Increase consumption of antioxidants, especially vitamin E

  • Increase consumption of omega 3 fatty acids, which have proven that they protect against heart disease

  • Take folic acid supplements

 

In addition, some health practitioners suggest using red yeast rice, gugulipid and fenugreek to help lower cholesterol.

 

Recently, a great deal of research has focused question on the relationship between saturated fats and cholesterol, and on the relationship between diet and high cholesterol. More and more, researchers are realizing that dietary influences account for only 15-20% of the cholesterol circulating in your blood. The remainder is manufactured by the body. Most traditional doctors prescribe a class of drugs called ‘statins’ to lower cholesterol levels. These statins have negative effects on the liver and kidneys, and can compromise the immune system.

 

Because of the strain placed on the system by the traditional pharmaceuticals that lower cholesterol, many doctors are recommending herbal and alternative treatments to lower cholesterol. Herbs and components like gugulipid, polycosanol, theaflavin (from green tea) and vitamin E and lecithin all have proven effective in lowering the levels of LDL without affecting levels of HDL or damaging the liver. In addition, most of these ingredients show other beneficial effects to the body.

 

Xtend-Life Natural Products offers a product specifically designed to lower cholesterol in the blood without compromising other bodily needs. Cholest-Natural contains 10 of the most effective cholesterol lowering natural vitamins and enzymes in a combination that is designed to synergistically maximize the effects of each. If your doctor recommends statins to lower your cholesterol levels, we strongly suggest that you do your own research on the effects of statins on your body, and contrast it with the beneficial effects of the ingredients in Xtend-Life’s Cholest-Natural – then discuss the possibility of alternative treatment with your doctor.

 

 

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