Herbs for Cholesterol

Herbs for Cholesterol that are useful

By Veena Deo

 

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


Cholesterol is a steroidal alcohol 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 (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. 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. Ref: Dr. Ellen Kamhi.

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 provide synergistic actions on various conditions including Cholesterol.

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.

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.

Herbs and vegetable for Cholesterol that are useful -

Carrots can lower cholesterol. Ref: Robertson research at the University of Florida. Fresh or raw carrots to be consumed as much as 200gms a day for three weeks, can reduce cholesterol level by 11percent.

Guggul extract is effective. 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 also.

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 people use Vit B3 (Niacin) to reduce cholesterol levels. But by taking about 3gms a day some 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.

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.


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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