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Herbs for Cholesterol

Herbs for Cholesterol and a comparison to western medicine

By Veena Deo

 

This article talks about herbs for cholesterol that are useful and makes a comparision to western medicine and use of statins.


Cholesterol is a steroidal alcohol C27H45OH present in animal cells and body fluids, which regulates membrane fluidity, functions as a precursor molecule in various metabolic pathways and as a constituent of LDL may cause Arteriosclerosis or hardening of arteries.

Cholesterol is an essential structural component of mammalian cell membrane and is required to establish proper membrane permeability and fluidity. It is a required component for the manufacturer of bile, acids and vitamin D.

The National Cholesterol Education Program developed the following classifications for people over age 20, who do not have heart disease.

Desirable Blood Cholesterol – Total Blood Cholesterol should be less than 200mg/dl. LDL – Lower than 130mg /dl

Borderline for high cholesterol – Total level is between 200 and 240mg / dl

For people with heart conditions - LDL – above 100mg/dl should be considered high.  HDL level – less than 35mg / dl again could increase the risk of heart disease.

The word cholesterol has acquired a negative connection in modern culture. Yet this important fatty substance produced naturally by the liver, is an essential component of every cell membrane in the body and is used by the body for synthesizing Pregnenolone, which is an unsaturated hydroxyl steroid ketone {C21H32O2 } that is formed by the oxidation of steroid (as cholesterol) and yields progesterone on dehydrogenation, and is the precursor of all endogenous steroid hormones. During chronic stress, the body shunts an increased fraction of Pregnenolone towards the production of cortisol. As the Pregnenolone level decreases, the liver manufactures more cholesterol in an attempt to meet demand of Pregnenolone, thus raising cholesterol level in the blood. Sourced  From – Managing Cholesterol  Naturally  April 2005, Ellen Kamhi  Ph D ; R. N. and  Eugene   Zampieron, N.D. A.H.G.

LDL produced by the liver is carried through blood to cells throughout the body, where it performs variety of functions. When the amount of LDL is more that the HDL, atherosclerosis can occur which is characterized by atheromatus deposits in and fibrosis of the inner layer of the arteries. This situation can lead to heart attacks.

For thousands of years, Ayurvedic products have played an important role throughout the world, not only in treating but also in preventing the diseases. Herbal products are a part of Ayurvedic solutions and they improve the immunity to fight against various disorders. They can be used to help more than one problem. For example Garlic can act as an antiviral product as well as one that  helps to lower cholesterol levels and Pomegranate extracts, Arjuna, Green Tea provide synergistic actions on various conditions including Cholesterol.

Check out and buy useful herbal solutions for cholesterol.

Read more on- Turmeric Curcumin


It has been documented that Statins have many side effects like, liver problems, severe life threatening muscle breakdowns and the increase of liver enzymes like AST (aspartate aminotransferase) and ALT (alanine aminotransferace).

Statins and women 2003

There are not many studies that have shown a significant reduction in mortality in women treated with Statins. The University of British Columbia, Therapeutics initiative, came to the same conclusion with the finding that Statins offer no benefit to women for prevention of heart disease. Ref. Jenkins AJ BMJ 2003 Oct 18:327 (7420): 933

Yet in February of 2004, a circulation published an article in which more than 20 organizations endorsed cardiovascular disease prevention guidelines for women  mentioning that prevention should preferably be through a Statin.. Ref. Circulation, 2004 Feb 17;109 (6): 714-21.Heart Protection Study (2002). Carried out at  Oxford University - Ref. Heart protection Study collaborative Group. Lancet 2002, 360:7-22

The benefits of Statins were not significant. Those that took a Statin called Simvastatin had an 87.1% survival rate after 5years compound to an 85.4% survival rate for the control group. These results were independent of the amount of cholesterol that was lowered. The authors of the heart protection study never published cumulative mortality data. Even though they received many request to do so and even though they received funding and carried out a study to look at cumulative data. According to authors, providing year by year mortality data would be an inappropriate way of publishing their study results. Sourced from – Dr. Mary Enig and Sally Fallon in their Statin report, Dr. Enig has summarized same of the more popular “telling” studies.

The world is increasingly recognizing herbal remedies as a safe as alternative therapy for many health problems. Cholesterol control is one of them.

How should cholesterol  be controlled? As per Ayurveda cholesterol plays an important role in supporting and lubricating ‘Strota’ in the body. Ama Tatva, is produced in the body when it gets circulated in the body blockage of Arteries happens and this may lead to a heart attack or stroke. Herbal products have also strong clinical evidence supporting their efficacy to reduce cholesterol.

Herbs for Cholesterol that are useful including certain vegetables-

Carrots can lower cholesterol -Ref. Robertson research at the University of Florida with fresh or raw carrots to be consumed as much as 200g. A day for three weeks, can reduce cholesterol level by 11percent.

Guggul extract is effective in lowering increased cholesterol level naturally. The active component is lipid soluble steroids classified as a Guggulsterones. They  inhibit LDL oxidation, thereby protecting against atherogenesis. It reduces serum cholesterol and triglycerides.

Policosanol – Main component is octacosanol. This supplement has been shown to lower blood cholesterol level in animal models.

Garcinia – It not only inhibits conversion of excess calories to body fat but also suppresses appetite by promoting synthesis of glycogen. A very effective herbal solution to lower cholesterol.

Triphala – Improves digestion and fat metabolism

Some practitioners use Vit B3 (Nicotinic acid) to reduce cholesterol levels. But by taking about 3g/day patients have experienced side effects like stomach pain, headache, stomach inflammation etc.

To keep normal cholesterol level one should avoid dairy products, sour and salty foods, bread, rice etc. The foods which enhance fat metabolism should be preferred like pulses, Spinach, Barley etc. Herbal products have a body friendly pathway to lower cholesterol levels ( More studies are required). In herbal supplements, the molecules of various herbs can unite and give a synergistic action. But still, the actual mechanism is unknown and more research is needed.

I hope the above article on herbs for cholesterol is useful to all people that are addressing this condition. Again, it is important to see advice of a medical doctor all the time.

Read more on- Green Tea Antioxidants, Home remedies for weight loss

Dr. Veena Deo is an Ayurvedic Doctor in India. All the information provided and on supplements above and opinions expressed above are her own and should not be construed as medical advice. This information is provided for educational purposes only. For questions email to veenadeo@herbsbenefits.com

 

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