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Supplements Maintaining Lower LDL Levels

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Alternative Medicine and Dietary Supplements for Heart & Cardiovascular Health

Did you know that approximately 61 million Americans currently suffer from heart disease – roughly 20% of the total population? The combination of high-fat, high-sodium processed foods, increased portion sizes, and sedentary lifestyles has started an epidemic in the United States that is largely based on our own consumption and activity habits.

This means it is vital to keep your LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels as low as possible if you want to maintain a healthy heart. If you have done basic research into cardiac health, then you know about the "good" (HDL) and the "bad" cholesterols. One thing you may not know, though, is that less than one–quarter of the cholesterol in your body comes from your diet. The rest comes from your liver – which means that you need to do as much as you can to keep your LDL levels low – and this can mean adding a variety of dietary supplements to your food intake to work on the cholesterol coming from your endocrine system.

You may already know about CoQ10 and Omega-3 fatty acids. However, there are other supplements that also can help maintain low LDL cholesterol levels.

Policosanol – This supplement comes from rice bran and sugar cane wax, and not only reduces LDL levels but also boosts HDL cholesterol levels. It also boosts your metabolism. This supplement has been popular in China for over 2,000 years.

Pumpkin Seed Oil
– This oil has high levels of necessary fatty acids, and will help other supplements lower LDL cholesterol levels even further than they would alone.

Green Tea – Yes, green tea can be calming and aid in stress management. However, it also keeps your blood vessels from constricting, and reduces the LDL cholesterol levels in your blood.

D-Limonene
– This supplement comes from orange peel, and cuts down on harmful levels of LDL cholesterol in the bloodstream.

Guggulipid
– This supplement dates back to ancient India, and not only cuts down on LDL cholesterol levels, but also reduces triglycerides – at a higher rate than many modern prescriptions for cholesterol reduction.

L-Carnitine
– This is a naturally occurring amino acid that helps beneficial fatty acids find their way into your mitochondria – the source of energy for each cell – where they become fuel, and then carry toxins away in the blood. This amino acid also is instrumental in improving brain function.

Beta Sitosterol
– This supplement has a chemical structure very similar to cholesterol – and it can keep your body from absorbing the true cholesterol.

You may wonder why you should consider natural supplements as opposed to prescription medicines for cholesterol management. Most of these prescriptions are called statins, and they do cut down on your body's LDL cholesterol levels.

However, there are two side effects of statins that are important to consider:

  • Statins cut down on your body's natural levels of CoQ10. This nutrient helps keep your cardiac muscles strong. So if you cut down on CoQ10, you could be harming your heart – even if you're lowering LDL cholesterol levels.
  • Statins also can cause liver damage and muscle pain. Baycol was one statin pulled by the FDA from pharmaceutical dispensing because of dangerous side effects.

In addition to the side effects, statins also fail to boost HDL cholesterol levels. You can effectively double the benefit of your regimen if you use natural supplements. Plus, statins still offer advantages and should be considered as part of your overall heart health program, if recommended by your physician.

A key recommendation is that you should consult with your physician before getting started in any program so that you have an integrated approach to heart health. Your individual situation may rule out one or more of these supplements, may make one of them more useful, or may require a prescribed statin. You and your doctor can make these informed decisions together. The most important thing to remember is that by following an active and defined program, you are helping your heart – and helping yourself to live longer.

Copyright © 2010 by Jack Osborne - All Rights Reserved

 

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