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Cholesterol – Friend or Foe?

Cholesterol - Friend or Foe

Cholesterol is a fat carried in the bloodstream. It comes from the foods we eat but is made mostly by your liver. Your body needs some cholesterol to work properly, but having too much can create a fatty build up in your artery walls, narrowing the arteries and restricting blood flow.

Your risk for heart disease and heart attack goes up as your LDL cholesterol level rises. The goal is to lower your low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol levels enough to reduce your risk for coronary heart disease, heart attack, and other related health problems.

High cholesterol is best addressed with lifestyle changes such as exercising and a healthy diet but if you've made these changes and your cholesterol levels remain high, your doctor may recommend medication.

Dietary changes include:

  • Reducing fat in the diet, especially saturated fats
  • Increasing fruit, vegetables and fibre
  • Eating complex carbohydrates

Lifestyle changes include:

  • Regular exercise
  • Stop smoking
  • Maintaining a healthy body weight
  • Limiting alcohol

Medicines can help control high blood cholesterol, but they don’t cure it. Two common types of cholesterol lowering medications are “statins” and “fibrates”.  Statins can reduce total cholesterol levels by 30-50%. Fibrates work by lowering LDL and increasing HDL.

Unfortunately statin drugs can cause a variety of side effects, including abdominal pain, constipation, diarrhoea, indigestion, flatulence, nausea, dizziness, muscular pain, headaches and sleep disturbance.

It is recommended that a CoQ10 supplement is taken with statins, as these deplete CoQ10 levels in the body. 

Fortunately, there are natural alternatives available that supports normal-range cholesterol levels.

BergaMet - A naturally sourced supplement made from the rare Calabrian Italian Bergamot fruit, and has been standardised to contain BPF99 (bergamot polyphenolic extract). This extract can help support cardiovascular health, reduce inflammation, help support healthy arteries, maintain healthy immune system function and relieve stress. Bergamot polyphenolic extract has a number of clinical trails* for Cholesterol Management and metabolic health. At healthy.co.nz we stock BergaMet Cholesterol Health and BergaMet Pro+ Cardiovascular Health

Red Yeast Rice - Red Yeast Rice is a natural by-product of fermented red rice that supports the body's ability to maintain cholesterol levels already within the normal range, supports the production of HDL (good) cholesterol in the liver and assists the liver and circulatory system to maintain normal healthy functions. You can find out more information about Red Yeast Rice here

Bio-Berberine - Berberine is a natural alkaloid that is found many plants including Golden Seal & Barberry. Known for its effect on glucose and metabolic levels, Berberine has been shown to help metabolise cholesterol and prevent the accumulation of plaque. See more on this product here.

Kyolic Garlic - While garlic is more commonly known for helping with immune support, Aged Kyolic Garlic was traditionally used for cardiovascular health, as it has been shown to lower serum cholesterol levels. Shop Kyolic Garlic here.

Other ingredients to consider are Lecithin, which helps to improve a healthy HDL and LDL cholesterol balance and metabolise fat, and Essential Fatty Acids, specifically Omega-3's as there is evidence to show that omega-s fatty acids can reduce triglyceride levels. 

We are always happy to help and you have any questions, please feel free to contact us and one of our friendly team will be able to advise you.  

*Clinical trial information and links can be provided on request

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