How To Lower High Cholesterol And Triglycerides Naturally

How To Lower High Cholesterol And Triglycerides Naturally – Cholesterol is perhaps the most misunderstood nutrient of all. For many of us, it basically works like a cheat, which is why the abundance of articles out there promise to give you the most effective natural ways to lower cholesterol.

It’s understandable how he got into that role. After all, the statistics can be overwhelming. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists the following alarming facts about cholesterol:

How To Lower High Cholesterol And Triglycerides Naturally

How To Lower High Cholesterol And Triglycerides Naturally

After considering these sobering facts, you may want to magically remove all cholesterol from your body. But if you were to achieve this, you will soon regret it. Cholesterol actually performs a number of important functions in the body, such as helping to keep your cell walls flexible and facilitating the production of certain hormones.

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Before we dive into my recommendations for really useful strategies to optimize your cholesterol levels, let’s understand what cholesterol is, how it works in the body, and the relationship between dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol.

Cholesterol, in simplest terms, is a waxy, fatty substance produced by the liver. As mentioned above, your body needs some cholesterol for several key functions. But when it starts to accumulate, it can cause problems.

Cholesterol belongs to a category of particles called blood lipids. In fact, cholesterol is the best-known blood lipid. While the term “blood lipids” technically refers to fat particles circulating in the bloodstream, it is conventionally used to refer to particles in the blood that are combinations of lipids and proteins, such as cholesterol.

Since cholesterol is a combination of lipids and proteins, cholesterol-containing particles in the blood are called lipoproteins. These include high-density lipoprotein (HDL), low-density lipoprotein (LDL), and very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL). The other main type of fat in the blood is triglycerides, so named because they are formed when three fatty acid molecules are linked together.

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Each type of lipoprotein affects your health in different ways. For example, excessive amounts of low-density lipoprotein can build up in the walls of blood vessels, resulting in blocked arteries, strokes, heart attacks, and even kidney failure. But high-density lipoprotein actually clears cholesterol deposits from the walls of blood vessels, reducing the risk of the same set of negative health outcomes.

So when we talk about finding ways to lower cholesterol, the exact target of these strategies is low-density lipoprotein, not high-density lipoprotein.

The liver is the main site of production of fatty acids and cholesterol. Fatty acids produced in the liver are linked together to form triglycerides. While triglycerides and cholesterol are produced in the liver, the liver is not equipped to store much of it. Consequently, they are packaged with proteins and secreted into the blood as very low-density lipoproteins (VLDL).

How To Lower High Cholesterol And Triglycerides Naturally

VLDL molecules act as the primary transporters of fat from the liver to peripheral fat depots. As VLDL circulates in the blood, it deposits fatty acids and cholesterol in your adipose tissue – also known as body fat.

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I will briefly point out here that not all triglycerides produced by the liver are secreted as VLDL – some can be secreted as triglycerides directly into the blood. This is another way that fatty acids are transferred from the liver to adipose tissue for storage.

Adipose tissue is the proper storage site for triglycerides. A larger amount of fat can be stored in adipose tissue. Under normal conditions, fat can be stored in adipose tissue without any negative impact on general health, although an excessive amount of triglycerides stores factors in obesity.

Triglycerides in VLDL molecules are taken up by adipose tissue thanks to a protein called lipoprotein lipase. However, this enzyme is not fully efficient, resulting in incomplete elimination of VLDL from adipose tissue. The fat that remains in the blood becomes low-density lipoprotein (LDL), which circulates back to the liver, where it is either cleared from the blood or taken up by other cells in the body. This is the main route by which cholesterol is distributed in the body’s tissues.

A special receptor on the membranes of the liver and other tissues plays a key role in the absorption of cholesterol from LDL molecules. If the cholesterol in LDL is taken up by the liver, it is metabolized and eliminated from the body. Conversely, cholesterol taken from other tissues can remain and interfere with normal body functions.

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I mentioned earlier that low-density lipoprotein has been given the infamous nickname “bad cholesterol.” As you may already know, or can understand, this makes high-density lipoprotein (HDL) the “good” cholesterol, primarily because it removes LDL from the blood.

HDL cholesterol, which is also released by the liver, transports unabsorbed and unused cholesterol back to the liver in a process called reverse cholesterol transport. This keeps your arteries clear of cholesterol buildup, reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke.

The more HDL in your bloodstream compared to LDL, the faster the cholesterol is cleared out of the liver, broken down and excreted. When evaluating your cholesterol levels, doctors typically test and give serious weight to your LDL:HDL ratio.

How To Lower High Cholesterol And Triglycerides Naturally

During a physical examination, it is routine to measure the concentrations of these blood lipids, and if the values ​​are outside the normal range, treatment options are recommended. This gives us a very clear sense that blood fats are bad.

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While elevated levels of certain blood lipids are certainly associated with poor health outcomes, let’s first review some of the beneficial roles of blood lipids.

Cholesterol plays many roles in the body, including helping the body make certain hormones, vitamin D, and enzymes that help you digest food. Cell membranes are mainly composed of lipids. However, problems arise when you have high cholesterol levels, high triglyceride levels, or both. Excess is never good.

As previously mentioned, LDL has the reputation of being the worst of the blood fats. The cholesterol in LDL can build up and form plaques that harden your arteries. This condition is called atherosclerosis.

Cholesterol-rich plaques can block arteries, making less room for blood flow. Plaques can also rupture, causing platelets to arrive at the rupture site and form blood clots. If the clot is large enough, it can block blood flow. If this happens in a vessel that supplies blood to the heart, it will cause a heart attack, and if it happens in a vessel that supplies blood to the brain, it will cause a stroke.

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Triglycerides are also a risk factor for atherosclerosis and therefore for heart attack and stroke. Recently, doctors have paid even more attention to a high level of triglycerides, as this is one of the underlying factors that lead to metabolic syndrome. Accumulation of triglycerides in the liver has specifically been shown to promote the development of metabolic syndrome, which itself is a precursor to diabetes. This means that the diagnosis and treatment of metabolic syndrome is essential to prevent diabetes.

A class of drugs called statins are commonly prescribed to lower LDL cholesterol levels. While statins are usually effective in doing this, they come with side effects – most commonly muscle pain. The side effects of statins may be particularly pronounced in older individuals. In some cases, this muscle pain can be relieved by switching to a different type of statin, or by taking a dietary supplement called Coenzyme Q10 or CoQ10. One of the side effects of statins is depletion of CoQ10, and given that CoQ10 contributes to the body’s energy production system, restoring healthy levels can be quite valuable.

There are other medications to lower LDL levels, including cholesterol absorption inhibitors, fibrates, and niacin. Again, all of these drugs usually come with negative side effects. Cholesterol absorption inhibitors that block fat absorption can lead to diarrhea, fibrates can impair normal liver function (again, especially in older individuals), and niacin can cause itching and rashes.

How To Lower High Cholesterol And Triglycerides Naturally

Keep in mind that while these medications can help lower cholesterol, they usually do not affect triglyceride levels. Fibrates are the most effective prescription drugs for lowering triglycerides, but adverse effects on the liver limit the use of these drugs.

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Plus, of these medications, only fibrates have been shown to effectively lower triglycerides, and their adverse effects on the liver limit their use.

Thus, although there are several prescription drugs that have been shown to effectively lower LDL cholesterol levels, most do not treat high triglyceride levels. This, combined with the many potential side effects associated with these medications, inspires many people to look for more natural ways to lower cholesterol.

The cholesterol myth is still strong: that you can lower cholesterol by lowering cholesterol in your diet. This is a mistake. Cholesterol in the blood is produced in the liver, it is not absorbed from digested food.

Although food manufacturers continue to promote low-cholesterol products, the truth is that dietary cholesterol has very little effect on the amount of cholesterol circulating in the body. One reason for this is your liver’s ability to adjust the amount of cholesterol it produces in response to the amount of cholesterol in your diet. If you get more cholesterol from the food you eat, your liver reduces cholesterol production accordingly.

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