Increasing HDL ( Good Cholesterol)
In addition to the dietary strategies involving types of fats, phytosterol intake or reducing triglyceride levels, there are several other strategies that can help increase HDL cholesterol levels:
- Quit smoking - which can dramatically increase HDL cholesterol levels.
- Start a regular exercise program
- Maintain a healthy weight.
- Drink alcohol only in moderation (no more than one serving daily for women or two drinks daily for men). Moderate alcohol use may increase HDL cholesterol levels. Large quantities of alcohol, however, have the opposite effect and can cause damage to the heart muscle.
Studies of postmenopausal women have found that calcium supplements (calcium citrate) can increase HDL levels. This effect is attributed to calcium's effect on the introduction of saturated into the bloodstream. Calcium is seen to enhance the release of these fats from the body as waste products. Always check with a physician first to see whether a particular over-the-counter drug or supplement is appropriate (and safe) to take.
If these strategies are unsuccessful, a physician may recommend medications that have shown to raise HDL levels, such as fibrates, nicotinic acid or some other cholesterol - reducing drugs, including statins. Fats that increase HDL.
Whereas saturated fat (found in butter, cheese, etc.) can increase a person's level of "bad" LDL cholesterol, monosaturated fat can increase the level of "good" HDL cholesterol. Monounsaturated fat can also reduce levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. The net effect of eating monounsaturated fat (in moderation) is a lower risk of heartdisease.
Foods that contain monounsaturated fats include:
- Olive oil
- Other vegetable oils
- Nuts (for people who are not allergic)
Circumin is a very strong antioxidant that provides antiviral, anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, and cholesterol-lowering effects. It was been widely used for patients suffering from Hepatitis C. An extract from the spice Turmeric,circumin has been shown to have multiple benefits.
In study that followed 152 individuals for 4 years, standardized garlic powder at a dosage of 900 mg daily significantly slowed the development of atherosclerosis. In another study, the results showed a significant reduction of second heart attacks and about a 50% reduction in death rate among those taking garlic.
Fish Oil (Omega-3)
In a controlled study it was found that high consumption of fish (4-5 times a week) cut the risk of dying from heart disease by 45 percent compared to women who rarely ate fish.. Men with the highest levels of omega-3 fatty acids had an 81 percent lower risk of dying suddenly than men with the lowest levels. According tone doctor, "the fat in fish actually lowers cholesterol, helps prevent blood clots that form in heart attacks and lessens the chances for the irregular heart beats .If you don't eat fish or allergic to it, supplements are very effective as shown by the study published .People who took one gram daily of an omega-3 fatty acid supplement reduced their risk of sudden cardiac death by 42 percent.
Beta-Sitosterol, which should be taken as 300 mg twice a day, is one of the natural remedies to lower LDL levels. The great thing about this is that is helps to lower blood serum cholesterol and triglycerides with few diet changes and little or no exercise.
Psyllium is native to Iran and India. The seeds are primarily used in traditional herbal medicine, which is a common ingredient in bulk laxative products. Studies have shown that psyllium found in supplements can lower LDL cholesterol. This study showed improvement in both children and adults. This benefit is believed to come from the soluble fiber component of psyllium.
Other forms of natural herbs and supplements believed to help reduce LDL cholesterol include:
- Licorice extract
- Green Tea
- Vitamin A and E
- Aspirin (80 mg a couple of times per week)
- Virgin Oil (1 tablespoon daily)
Be aware that natural therapy for lowering cholesterol is not intended to replace any medication you may currently be on so before making.