Cholesterol and the effects of atherosclerosis
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What is cholesterol?
Most of us associate cholesterol with fatty foods but do you know that most of this waxy substance is actually made by our own bodies? This is indeed true. The liver produces 75% of the cholesterol that circulates in our blood. Only 25% comes from the food we eat. Although at normal levels, cholesterol has an important role in helping cells do their jobs. Cholesterol levels are dangerously high in more than 100 million Americans.
Dangers of high cholesterol
High cholesterol over time leads to plague buildup inside the arteries known as atherosclerosis. This condition narrows the space available for blood flow and can cause heart disease. This is dangerous because it can restrict blood flow. As the lumen narrows, blood pressure rises resulting in hypertension. Hypertension can lead to stroke, heart attack, or other health threats.
What contributes to high cholesterol?
Being overweight and obeses
Family history of high cholesterol
A diet high in saturated fats and cholesterol
Statins are usually prescribed to help control cholesterol levels. They block the production of cholesterol in the liver. Other options include cholesterol absorption inhibitors, and bile acid resins. A combination of these medications may also be recommended by your physician.
Dietary changes such as increasing your fiber intake, plant sterols, oats and barley, and green tea can all improve cholesterol levels.
Some studies have suggested that garlic can help improve cholesterol levels along with turmeric, fenugreek seeds, spinach, artichoke leaf extract, salmon, beans, yarrow, fish oil, ginger, hawthorn, and holy basil.
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Your heart is an important vital organ. It is the core of human life. When it is diseased, it affects other organs. Make sure you eat well, exercise regularly, and maintain moderate stress levels to ensure your heart health is well taken care of.
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* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.