Offering a unique reference point on alternative medicine and complementary therapies.

Can we lower cholesterol levels naturally?

By on Oct 16, 2013

If you like this post - share it with others !
Pin It

Can we lower cholesterol levels naturally?This week is National Cholesterol Week. Cholesterol levels seem to be always on the rise, and the number of prescriptions written for statin medications reflects this increase. Cholesterol has become a common term now, with many people limiting the amount of cholesterol they consume in their diet. So can we lower cholesterol levels naturally?

There are a number of factors to look at regarding lowering cholesterol levels naturally. The first is diet. A diet high in saturated fats and processed foods is a big cause of raised cholesterol. Foods that are high in omega 3 fatty acids should be included in the diet. Examples are salmon, almonds, walnuts, flax seeds and mackerel. Try and increase the amount of fibre in your diet, as this lowers the amount of cholesterol in the body. Foods such as brown rice, whole grain cereals, vegetables and fruits are good sources of fibre.

You should reduce the amount of saturated fat and cholesterol in your diet. Saturated fats are can be found in animal sources, butter and coconut oil. Hydrogenated fats (trans fatty acids) should be avoided as these can clog up the arteries. These fats are found in margarines, biscuits, cakes, refined carbohydrates and processed foods. Trans fatty acids increase levels of LDL (bad cholesterol) and decrease levels of HLD (good cholesterol).

Reducing alcohol consumption and quitting smoking are the two most important factors in reducing cholesterol levels. Regular exercise is a good way to keep cholesterol levels in check. This should be done in conjunction with a healthy diet.

There are also a few supplements that can be taken to reduce cholesterol levels:

Fish Oils and Flax seed (linseed) supplements provide an excellent source of omega 3 essential fatty acids, which have been shown to reduce triglyceride and cholesterol levels. The recommended dose is 2 to 3 grams a day, but this can be reduced if taken alongside a diet rich in omega 3 oils.

Garlic can help to lower cholesterol levels. The garlic cloves can be eaten raw or cooked to achieve the cholesterol lowering benefits. Many health companies produce garlic supplements specifically marketed at improving heart function and lowering cholesterol levels. Research has found that garlic increases the HDL/LDL ratio. The active component of garlic is believed to be alliin, which is converted to allicin when the garlic is chewed or crushed.

Co-enzyme Q10  has been shown to reduce levels of “bad” cholesterol and improve circulation. When buying this supplement, look for products that contain a small amount of vitamin E or another oil base, as this helps to preserve the co-enzyme Q10. This supplement is also very important for people who take statins, as these medications can deplete levels of co-enzyme Q10 in the body. The recommended dose is 100-200mg a day, but a lower dose alongside a diet rich in mackerel, salmon and sardines. It is also present in peanuts and spinach should be sufficient.

Psyllium Husks provide a high content of fibre, which has been found to lower cholesterol levels. Soluble fibre helps to lower LDL cholesterol levels and prevent the absorption of saturated fat from the diet.

Antioxidants such as vitamin C, vitamin E, pycnogenol and selenium have also been found to lower cholesterol levels.