The Eclectic Physician
Natural Health Care
by Beth Burch N.D.
Elevated cholesterol levels are associated with increased risk of heart
attack and stroke. Besides total cholesterol, specific types of cholesterol
in the blood are also important. High levels of HDL cholesterol are protective
against risk of heart attack and stroke, while high levels of LDL or VLDL
cholesterol are associated with an increased risk. Low thyroid function
is an important cause of high cholesterol levels. Cholesterol, for all
its bad press is a very important molecule in the body. It is necessary
for hormone production and is an important part of cell walls. If no cholesterol
is consumed in the diet, the liver will produce it from fats. It is possible
to have too low a cholesterol level which is associated with a risk of
other chronic diseases including cancer. The most important way to keep
cholesterol at a normal level is to eat a diet with low to moderate levels
of fat and cholesterol. Most important is to avoid all hydrogenated fats
(vegetable oils that have been chemically process ed to make them solid
at room temperature). More than cholesterol, hydrogenated fats are associated
with atherosclerosis. Increasing fiber rich plant foods like vegetables,
fruits, whole grains and legumes will help to keep cholesterol levels normal.
Eliminating smoking and caffeine consumption is important, as is regular
aerobic exercise. Supplements of niacin(with your health care providers
supervision since it can cause elevated liver enzymes) and vitamin
C are especially helpful in lowering high cholesterol levels. A good
vitamin mineral supplement is also a good idea.
Herb of Choice-
Garlic- fresh garlic
and particularly its constituent allicin (responsible for its odor) are
very effective in lowering cholesterol levels (10-15%) and blood pressure
Fresh garlic- 3-10 grams three times a day (about 1-3 cloves)
Standardized extract (3.4% alliin)-300 mg three times a day.
Other herbs-Gugulipid, Celery, Shiitake, Bilberry, Panax
Ginseng, Ginger, Hawthorn
* The information presented in this web site is intended to inform and educate.
It is not intended replace a qualified medical practitioner to diagnose or treat medical conditions.