The EclecticPhysician

The Eclectic Physician
Natural Health Care
by Beth Burch N.D.

High Cholesterol-

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.

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