Learn more about cholesterol and its impact on your health.
Discover effective methods to assess your cholesterol levels, reduce LDL (bad cholesterol), and increase HDL (good cholesterol).
Find out about normal cholesterol levels, cholesterol medications, and the benefits of a low-cholesterol diet.
Additionally, explore natural treatments such as Coenzyme Q10, red yeast rice, omega-3 fatty acids, berberine, garlic, psyllium, and essential oils.
Take control of your cholesterol levels naturally and improve your overall health.
How can I lower my cholesterol naturally? Explore diet, exercise, and supplements as effective methods to naturally manage cholesterol levels and promote a healthier heart. Take control of your well-being today!
Understanding the role of cholesterol in your body
Cholesterol, a fatty substance produced by the liver and found in certain foods, circulates in your blood and plays crucial roles in your body.
It is a major component of cells, aids in vitamin D production and absorption, is used to make bile for digestion, and acts as a precursor for hormone production.
However, high levels of cholesterol, particularly LDL cholesterol, can contribute to the formation of plaque in your arteries, leading to atherosclerosis and an increased risk of heart disease.
Why is this fat substance dangerous?
Since, as we have just seen, cholesterol plays a crucial role in the body, why is it considered so dangerous for health?
The answer lies in what are called lipoproteins.
In fact, lipoproteins are transporters.
They transport fats – cholesterol and triglycerides – from one point to another via the bloodstream.
There are two kinds of lipoproteins:
– low-intensity lipoproteins also called LDL (low-density lipoprotein)
– high-intensity lipoproteins or HDL (high-density lipoprotein)
A normal level of these two types of lipoproteins is very important.
But to answer the question of its danger, you have to explain cholesterol!
Assessing cholesterol levels: Traditional and advanced methods
The first method is also the most common, the second is based on recent research.
LDL cholesterol is also called “bad cholesterol” because it contributes to the formation of plaques, a thin fatty deposit that can clog arteries.
These LDL lipoproteins can lodge in tiny cracks in arteries and release cholesterol into their walls.
Gradually, the plaque forms, and by accumulation effect becomes substantial.
If clot forms and blocks a narrowed artery, a heart attack or stroke may occur.
High-density lipoproteins or HDL are what is called the “good cholesterol” because they contribute cleanse LDL cholesterol from the arteries.
Researchers believe that HDL cholesterol is the scavenger of LDL, which it removes from the arteries and brings back to the liver where it is recycled and excreted from the body.
Thus, it has been proven that excessive LDL levels inevitably lead to heart disease.
The higher the HDL level, the lower the risk of disease.
This is why too much cholesterol is dangerous, as we hear it so frequently.
For this reason, health agencies recommend checking its levels starting at age 20 and every 4-6 years.
Blood tests reveal LDL and HDL levels as well as triglyceride levels.
The rate is calculated as follows:
HDL + LDL + 20% triglyceride level = cholesterol level
To determine the heart risks inherent in your level, the doctor associates other risk factors such as:
– high blood pressure
The difference with the previous method is that this technique focuses on the size of LDL lipoproteins based on two categories: small and large density of particles.
Studies have shown that people with small particles are three times more likely to develop a heart condition.
Small LDL particles can more easily infiltrate and lodge in artery walls, forming arterial plaque.
Let’s imagine that a person is tested to assess his cholesterol level.
His LDL level is estimated at 95, which according to the traditional method is within the norm.
By following method 1, the doctor judges that cholesterol is normal and does not involve any risk.
But according to method 2, what if all the particles are small?
Unknowingly, the person is at risk of developing heart disease because no one has looked at the size of the cholesterol particles.
I advise you to ask your physician about the chosen evaluation method and the consideration of particle size.
That being said, the two methods of analysis should lead to three crucial questions:
*How to lower cholesterol?
* How to increase LDL?
*How to increase LDL particle size?
There is no definite answer to these questions, but researchers insist that for most affected people, diet and physical exercise have an obvious effect that should not be overlooked.
What are the normal cholesterol levels?
A normal cholesterol level without any risk factors is estimated at 1.60 g/liter.
To protect the heart, the level of bad LDL cholesterol should be below 1.30 g/liter.
If you have diabetes, it is best to be below 1.00 g/liter.
Cholesterol medications and their use
In many cases, adopting a healthy lifestyle is the first approach to achieving normal cholesterol levels.
However, in certain situations, such as after a cardiovascular incident, cholesterol-lowering medications may be necessary.
Two common categories of these medications are fibrates and statins.
Fibrates have a modest effect on cholesterol, while statins are more effective but may have notable side effects.
Medication should be prescribed and monitored by a healthcare professional.
How can I lower my cholesterol naturally: Diet and lifestyle changes
While there is no definitive answer to lowering cholesterol levels, research suggests that adopting a healthy diet and engaging in regular physical exercise can have a significant impact.
A low-cholesterol diet includes fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean meats, and healthier fats like olive oil and omega-3 fatty acids.
Avoiding foods high in saturated and trans fatty acids, such as dairy products, fried foods, and processed foods, is crucial.
Increasing fiber intake and reducing added sugars also help lower cholesterol levels.
How can I lower my cholesterol naturally: Best supplements
It is highly recommended to take coenzyme Q10 when you are already on cholesterol-lowering treatment.
In fact, when you take statins, these drugs literally suck out coenzyme Q10, which is an essential antioxidant that is very much involved in heart and cardiovascular health.
You are therefore advised to take 200mg per day if you have taken statins before or are currently on treatment.
You can also opt for ubiquinol (ad) which is the most active form of Coenzyme Q10 at the same dosage.
In any case, be sure to choose capsules containing oil and not a dry form in capsules for better absorption.
Red yeast rice
Red yeast rice is a fermented extract that contains monacolin K, a molecule that belongs to the statin family.
Its operation is therefore the same as that of statins, blocking the secretion of hydroxymethylglutaryl (HMG) CoA-reductase, the enzyme that catalyzes the synthesis of cholesterol.
Red yeast rice (ad) is excellent for fighting it but should be preferred in case of very excessive levels over a short period since its long-term use has not been studied.
Omega 3 fatty acids
Studies show that Omega 3 essential fatty acids help lower triglycerides and have a variable impact on other cholesterol-related parameters.
So they can lower LDL and thus protect against heart disease.
It is recommended to take 1000mg once or twice daily from an Omega 3 fish oil supplement (ad), dosage to be doubled if the levels are very high.
Berberine is found in the roots and bark of many plants.
According to study findings, taking 900-1500mg per day improves overall cholesterol, LDL, and triglycerides.
It is therefore recommended to take 1000mg per day of a berberine supplement (ad).
Garlic is known to significantly lower blood lipid levels, which has the effect of lowering LDL cholesterol.
You can add fresh garlic to your dishes, but if you don’t like its taste or smell, you can also opt for an odorless garlic supplement like this (ad).
The recommended dosage is 1-2mg per day depending on your levels.
Psyllium is a natural fiber commonly found in medications such as bulk-forming laxatives and cholesterol-lowering medications.
A study published in 2018 on 1924 adults followed for eight weeks concluded that the consumption of 10 grams per day of Psyllium manages to significantly reduce LDL cholesterol.
You can find psyllium in capsules or packaged in powder (ad).
In any case, be sure to drink enough when taking it, 2 hours away from your usual medical treatment.
How can I lower my cholesterol naturally: Essential oils
Cinnamon Bark essential oil
Cinnamon contains 60-80% cinnamaldehydes which are actually the same enzymes found in statins.
They, therefore, lower cholesterol levels in a completely natural way.
So you can ingest one to two drops of cinnamon bark essential oil on half sugar once a day.
Prefer a cinnamon essential oil CO2 extract (ad) which is its most efficient distillation.
Clary Sage essential oil
Sage is very interesting for reducing inflammation and balancing hormonal levels.
It is particularly effective for women with high cholesterol.
Here, it is not advisable to ingest it but to integrate it into a lukewarm bath by adding 5 drops each day.
Note that the clary sage essential oil (ad) is not recommended during pregnancy.
Cilantro essential oil
Cilantro is very helpful in supporting the liver and blood sugar.
Its essential oil is therefore very interesting for stabilizing cholesterol levels.
Take a drop of cilantro essential oil (ad) on half a sugar once a day.
Extracted from the roots of a flowering plant, nard oil has very interesting anti-inflammatory properties.
Apply 3-5 drops to the neck and take one drop on half a sugar daily.
Note that just like clary sage, spikenard oil (ad) is not recommended during pregnancy.
Lavender essential oil
Studies have shown that topical use of the lavender essential oil (ad) helps balance blood sugar, cholesterol, and blood pressure.
Simply apply 3 drops to any part of the body two to three times a day to enjoy its benefits.
How to lower cholesterol fast?
By adopting a healthy lifestyle, making dietary changes, incorporating natural treatments, and discussing options with your healthcare provider, you can actively manage and stabilize your cholesterol levels.
Remember that cholesterol management is not just about lowering LDL but also increasing HDL and improving overall heart health.
Take the necessary steps to control your cholesterol levels naturally and enhance your well-being.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can exercise help lower cholesterol levels?
Yes, regular exercise can contribute to lowering cholesterol levels. Engaging in physical activity promotes the production of HDL (good cholesterol) and improves overall cardiovascular health. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise per week to reap the benefits of exercise on cholesterol management.
Can genetics influence cholesterol levels?
Yes, genetics can play a role in determining cholesterol levels. Certain genetic factors can affect how your body produces, processes, and removes cholesterol. If you have a family history of high cholesterol or heart disease, it is important to be vigilant about monitoring your cholesterol levels and to make appropriate lifestyle choices to mitigate any genetic predisposition.
Can losing weight help improve cholesterol levels?
Yes, losing weight can have a positive impact on cholesterol levels. Excess weight, especially around the abdominal area, is associated with higher LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels, as well as lower HDL cholesterol. By adopting a healthy diet and engaging in regular physical activity to achieve weight loss, you can lower LDL cholesterol, increase HDL cholesterol, and improve overall cholesterol profiles.