Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Mercola.com: How to Lower Your Cholesterol Naturally

Awhile ago, the my friends at Mercola.com did a write up about my story and posted it on their site for all to see. They asked if I would publish one of their articles about lowering your cholesterol naturally and I am happy to oblige.

How to Lower Your Cholesterol Naturally

In the last two decades, cholesterol has been labeled as a cause of worry. Along with saturated fats, it gained its reputation as the leading cause of heart disease. Having high cholesterol levels, often around 220, was an indicator of poor health among both children and adults. Soon, pharmaceutical companies intervened and introduced statins. These cholesterol drugs were then hailed as a hero for their success in lowering cholesterol.

However, nothing could be farther from the truth. This level is not an indicator of heart disease, let alone, high cholesterol levels. At the same time, using statins to lower cholesterol can bring more harm than benefits. If faced with abnormal levels of cholesterol, there are many ways in order to lower it naturally.

But first, here are some information on cholesterol and statins.

Cholesterol: How Does It Benefit Your Health?

Your body needs cholesterol. Seventy-five percent of cholesterol is produced in your liver, and is utilized by your body for the production of cell membranes, hormones, and bile acids that aid in metabolizing fat.

Also, cholesterol is needed for the synthesis of vitamin D. Once your skin absorbs ultraviolet-B (UVB) rays from the sun, it interacts with the cholesterol underneath your skin and produces vitamin D3. Cholesterol also contributes to your memory formation and neurological function.

Having high cholesterol is not an indicator that you have poor heart health. In fact, there are people with levels over 250 but have a very low risk of heart problems, while there are those who have below 200 but possess a great risk.

Ironically, research reveals that there are several side effects associated with low cholesterol levels, such as:

    •    Memory loss
    •    Higher risk of depression, violent behavior, and suicide
    •    Higher chance of contracting cancer or Parkinson’s disease

Why You Shouldn’t Trust Statins to Lower Cholesterol

Statins are a HMG-CoA reductase (cholesterol) inhibitor. They work by blocking the enzyme in your liver that produces cholesterol. Despite their success in lowering cholesterol, they also bring about several side effects.

The most reported side effect of statin drugs is muscle problems, such as muscle pain and weakness. Statins trigger the atrogin-1 gene, which is a factor for muscle atrophy. In advanced cases, a serious condition referred to as rhabdomyolysis can occur. This is when your muscle cells break down.  Often times, the muscle problems disappear once the drugs are halted.

Statin drugs can also be linked to the following adverse consequences:
    •    Cognitive loss
    •    Polyneuropathy or nerve damage in the hands and feet
    •    Hepatic and pancreatic dysfunction
    •    Immune system impairment

Statins also inhibit the production of coenzyme Q10 or CoQ10, which is formed within the same pathway as cholesterol. CoQ10 plays a role in cellular energy production and supports your organ functions.

There is also evidence that statins contribute to the increased risk of hyperglycemia and diabetes, as it prevents your liver from converting sugar and grains into cholesterol and triglycerides. At the same time, it can increase your insulin levels, leading to serious problems like chronic inflammation. This condition is linked to numerous disorders, including heart disease, the very disorder that statins are thought to prevent.


The Lifestyle Approach: Modifying Your Lifestyle to Lower Cholesterol

If you keep your cholesterol levels too high or too low, there are implications of health problems. It is key to keep these levels at normal range, so you won’t need to take any cholesterol drug. Instead, you can safely lower cholesterol and keep your levels at a normal range by:

1. Normalizing your insulin levels – You can do this by lessening or eliminating foods rich in sugars and grains from your diet.

2. Consuming more healthy dietary fats – One example of a healthy fat is omega-3 fatty acids.

3. Eating more raw foods.

4. Adding more heart-healthy foods to your diet – Some recommended choices are coconut oil, olive oil, avocados, raw nuts and seeds, and grass-fed meats.

5. Checking your iron levels – Men and menopausal women have a higher chance of having elevated iron levels. This can inflict oxidative damage on your blood vessels and other important organs.

6. Avoiding smoking and alcohol drinking.

7. Exercising regularly – Exercise is important as it improves your circulation and blood flow.  This enables your immune system to fight off illnesses and infections before they can spread. Your exercise program should not only include aerobics, but also several types of exercise, such as high-intensity interval training, strength/resistance training, core exercises, and stretching.

8. Getting enough rest and sleep – This enables your body to recharge.

9. Addressing your emotional baggage – Emotional stress often affects your physical health. Use stress management techniques, such as meridian tapping, meditation, and journaling.


About the Author

Adrienne Nicole works as a web copywriter for Mercola.com, the world’s most visited natural heath site. She is cautious of her health, as high cholesterol runs in her family. With Dr. Mercola’s steps to optimal health, she has discovered how to lower cholesterol naturally. At the same time, she applies Dr. Mercola’s tips in order to raise her resistance against other health threats.

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