It is no mystery that cholesterol can be a killer and everyone over the age of thirty has probably given some thought as to how they might lower their levels. Cholesterol appears to affect both men and women equally.
Before we condemn cholesterol understand it is vital for proper functioning of the body. It is our overindulgence of cholesterol rich foods that cause the health problems associated with it.
Cholesterol is used produced in the liver and is used by the body to build cell membranes, and it is also used by the sex hormones along with aiding digestion. Cholesterol travels through the bloodstream where it is delivered to the cells. The cells utilize what they need and the rest stays in the bloodstream. Cholesterol becomes a problem when an excess of low-density lipoproteins or LDL's are present in the body. This excess forms plaque on the artery walls and this is what may eventually lead to heart disease. High-density lipoproteins or LDL's are good as they sweep the body clean of excess LDL's. Too much or too little of either substance creates problems. The levels of these are greatly influenced by diet.
There has been research that suggests water soluble dietary fiber is very important in reducing bad cholesterol. Fiber also absorbs the minerals from the food it is in so consider taking extra vitamins with minerals separate from the fiber.
The foods to avoid or consume in minimal portions primarily can be found in meat and dairy products. Coffee and stress have shown to raise cholesterol also.
It is always a good idea to have your high and low density lipoproteins checked annually. The National Cholesterol Education Program suggested the safe level of cholesterol to be at 200 or less. Anything higher should be cause for concern and steps taken immediately to start bringing the levels down. As mentioned earlier there are some vitamins and minerals to consider that shown to be effective in lowering cholesterol:
- B complex to work in the liver.
- Coenzyme Q10 to improve circulation.
- Garlic tablets to lower cholesterol levels and blood pressure.
- Lecithin has shown to lower cholesterol.
- Vitamin C
Remember none of this is intended to serve a diagnostic tool. Get checked yearly. Take smart precautions and stay healthy.