In this fast-paced life, one needs to sit back to introspect if we happen to do justice to our bodies in terms of care or not. And surprisingly in most cases, the answer is a NO. It is unfortunate that we consider this important only when it is already too late. In the present era, several external factors such as to increased stress levels, intake of unhealthy and inadequate diets, sedentary lifestyle, together put us at an increased risk of several health problems, including elevated cholesterol levels.
Excessive and regular intake of unhealthy foods eventually causes cholesterol build-up in the blood vessels and narrows the passage of blood leading to serious heart problems. Elevated cholesterol levels itself paved the way for several associated health problems such as cardiovascular problems, heart attacks, and associated problems.
Natural Ways To Reduce Cholesterol Level
The mainstay treatment option for elevated cholesterol, no doubt, is medications such as statins and other medical formulation. However, fortunately, there are some natural ways by which we can effectively lower the cholesterol levels in the body. Pharmaceuticals have formulated plant-based products such as phytosterols using synergistic botanicals and have evaluated them for reducing cholesterol levels. Some of the natural ingredients that have been found to be effective in reducing elevated cholesterol levels are:
Red yeast rice, first discovered in China, helps to improve the blood circulation. Statistics suggest that use of red yeast rice helps to lower the cholesterol by 11-32% and triacylglycerol levels by 12-19%.
Grape Seed Extract, along with the other parts of the grapes, is considered to be a rich source of oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes that act as powerful antioxidants. One of the studies stated that regular intake of grapeseed extract significantly increased the levels of antioxidants.
Vitamin B (Niacin), is one of the first ever known treatments for high cholesterol. This form of the vitamin helps to increase the high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (also called the good cholesterol) and helps to remove the bad cholesterol from the bloodstream. Together it helps to reduce the chances of heart associated diseases.
Black pepper, the famous Indian spice, alike others have several health benefits to its name. Anti-carcinogenic, immune-stimulatory in nature, carminative and anti-cholesterolaemic in nature, also has strong phytochemical properties. Peperine, a substance present in black paper helps to increase the absorption of selenium, vitamin B complexes, and beta-carotene. It also aids the process of digestion and therefore averts the accumulation of fat in the human body.
Vitamin B9 (Folic acid), one of the essential vitamins needed by the human body, helps to convert the carbohydrates to glucose. Studies are suggestive that together with other vitamin Bs, folic acid helps to regulate the blood levels of homocysteine, whose high levels are commonly associated with heart problems. It has also been stated that people with high levels of homocysteine are 1.7 times more prone to develop coronary artery disease and at an increased risk (2.5 times) of getting a stroke.
So importantly, rather than adding medications to the list of prescriptions, isn’t it wise to be cautious of what we eat and how in the best of the ways can we keep these problems at bay. A healthy lifestyle which includes regular exercise, healthy eating, along with giving up on unhealthy practices such as smoking and excess of drinking can help keep a check on the cholesterol levels.
Also, make sure you go for regular checkups to avoid any sort of complications later. An important addition to this checklist of preventing and managing elevated cholesterol levels would be to try the novel plant-based formulations that are in the market. These naturally formulated preparations can help you lower bad cholesterol and add healthy years to your lives!
- Cholesterol-lowering effects of a proprietary Chinese red-yeast-rice dietary supplement, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, David Heber, Ian Yip, Judith M Ashley, David A Elashoff, Robert M Elashoff, and Vay Liang W Go
- Niacin and cholesterol: role in cardiovascular disease (review), J Nutr Biochem. 2003 Jun;14(6):298-305, Ganji SH, Kamanna VS, Kashyap ML.
- Chemical Composition, Nutritional, Medicinal And Functional Properties of Black Pepper: A Review, Open Access Scientific Reports, Murlidhar Meghwal and TK Goswami