by Ward W. Bond, PhD
THERE ARE THREE MAIN TYPES OF LIPOPROTEINS
Cholesterol is carried in the blood by molecules called lipoproteins. A lipoprotein is any complex or compound containing both lipid (fat) and protein.
The three main types are:
LDL (low density lipoprotein) - people often refer to it as bad cholesterol. LDL carries cholesterol from the liver to cells. If too much is carried, too much for the cells to use, there can be a harmful buildup of LDL. This lipoprotein can increase the risk of arterial disease if levels rise too high. Most human blood contains approximately 70% LDL - this may vary, depending on the person.
HDL (high density lipoprotein) - people often refer to it as good cholesterol. Experts say HDL prevents arterial disease. HDL does the opposite of LDL - HDL takes the cholesterol away from the cells and back to the liver. In the liver it is either broken down or expelled from the body as waste.
Triglycerides - these are the chemical forms in which most fat exists in the body, as well as in food. They are present in blood plasma. Triglycerides, in association with cholesterol, form the plasma lipids (blood fat). Triglycerides in plasma originate either from fats in our food, or are made in the body from other energy sources, such as carbohydrates. Calories we consume but are not used immediately by our tissues are converted into triglycerides and stored in fat cells. When your body needs energy and there is no food as an energy source, triglycerides will be released from fat cells and used as energy - hormones control this process.
Natural Treatments for High LDL, Low HDL and High Triglyceride Levels
Omega 3s - The best source will be Fish Oil, but Flax Oil sources of Omega 3s will work too. Omega 3s will help to reduce the overall inflammation inside the arteries. This is why cardiovascular disease is called the 'silent killer'. If your LDL is high, it's because you are lacking antioxidants which will help to prevent the cholesterol from oxidizing leading to increased levels, but we'll talk more about that in a minute. The dose of Omega 3s should be at least 3,000mg per day for maintaining healthy levels and 6-10,000mg to effectively help lower dangerous levels of LDL. Omega 3s will help to increase the HDL which will lower your cardiovascular risk. It is the number one choice in lowering dangerously high levels of triglycerides. This is very important for diabetics to keep in mind as high blood sugar levels will lead to high triglyceride levels which can increase the risk for stroke.
Antioxidants - Eat your fruits and vegetables each and every day. The antioxidants will help keep the cholesterol from oxidizing which lead to higher levels. Cholesterol can be healthy and is needed by the human body for numerous functions including hormones and nerve insulation. We live in a world full of free radicals from water, pollution, environment, stress and poor eating habits. The antioxidants are needed daily. Focus on the dark blue, purple fruits and vegetables for the highest levels of antioxidants called anthrocyanins. Your heart and arteries will love you.
Lecithin - Sourced from Sunflower or Soy (does not contain enzyme inhibitors or the bad properties from the soy plant), lecithin will emulsify the cholesterol in the arteries and the liver. Lecithin is very inexpensive and will help the arteries stay pliable. I call Lecithin a cardiologist worst nightmare. This simple nutrient when taken daily in either the granule or capsule form can help prevent cholesterol buildup and keep the liver as well as the brain healthy. The dose should be 1-2 tablespoons per day or 3 capsule (1200mg) twice daily. Will help in lowering LDL cholesterol.
Bergamonte - This is a fruit that looks like a lemon and taste bitter like a grapefruit. The extract of Bergamonte comes from the inside of the rind. This happens to some sort of miracle fruit that is grown in a particular area of Italy. Bergamonte can effectively lower LDL cholesterol, raise the HDL and lower high triglyceride levels as well as maintain proper blood sugar levels. This is a diabetics best friend. Many people are seeing drops of 20-40 points in their LDL cholesterol in 4-6 weeks using the extract. For more information on Bergamonte: HerbalUltra.com
Other: Turmeric, Artichoke, Milk Thistle, Alpha Lipoic Acid are just a few of the nutrients one needs to maintain optimal antioxidant levels as well as placing a focus on maintaining a healthy liver. If the liver isn't healthy, one will have a difficult time maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. Turmeric is a potent antioxidant that works in every cell of the body. Artichoke and Milk Thistle will help to improve the flow of bile in the liver to help remove toxins (a must if you are taking statins for cholesterol) and they will help strengthen liver function too. Alpha Lipoic Acid is an antioxidant that works with both fat and water-soluble antioxidants. It is responsible in working with the glucose in the liver as well.
Diet: Always eat the foods the Lord created. Fruits, vegetables, whole grains (gluten-free in this day and age), high quality foods that contain Omega 3s such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, flaxseeds, walnuts, kale to name a few. Drink plenty of water. High quality proteins such as salmon, bison, ostrich and lean cuts of beef or chicken. Learn to eat one raw food meal per day. The vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and enzymes in natural foods will increase your energy, mental clarity and give your arteries and heart new life!
Exercise: Check with your doctor first. Walking, running, swimming, cycling and weightlifting are all good forms of exercise. When you move, your heart becomes healtheir and your arteries will love you even more!