Incidence of High Cholesterol
We hear about the increasing incidence of people with high cholesterol, so what are the statistics?
“95 million U.S. adults age 20 or older have total cholesterol levels higher than 200 mg/dL. Nearly 29 million adult Americans have total cholesterol levels higher than 240 mg/dL.*
Total cholesterol levels less than 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL) are considered desirable for adults. A reading between 200 and 239 mg/dL is considered borderline high and a reading of 240 mg/dL and above is considered high.
So, if you have high cholesterol you are not alone.
High cholesterol has no symptoms, so many people don’t know their cholesterol is too high until they find out from a blood test.
What is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is part lipid (fat like molecule) and part protein.
Cholesterol is essential and helps the body:
1) Build and maintain cell membranes
2) It is essential for determining which molecules can pass into the cell wall and which cannot (called cell membrane permeability)
3) It is used in the production of the sex hormones – estrogen and testosterone.
4) It is essential for the production of hormones released by the adrenal glands – cortisol, corticosterone, aldosterone, etc.
5) It aids in the production of bile which is necessary for digestion of fats.
6) It converts sunshine to Vitamin D in the body.
7) It is important for the metabolism of fat-soluble vitamins, including A, D, E, and K.
8) It insulates the nerves. Cholesterol is used by the body to make the lining of the nerves (called the myelin sheath) which is similar to a protective coating around an electrical wire.
9) The brain contains 20% of the body’s cholesterol.
What is the problem with cholesterol?
Cholesterol poses a problem when the body is unable to use or eliminate excessive amounts of cholesterol in the blood. When excess amounts of cholesterol build up along the walls of the arteries, the heart faces the risk of a complete blockage, leading to a heart attack or stroke.
Where does most cholesterol come from?
Cholesterol is found naturally in all animal products (such as meats, eggs, milk and cheese). When we consume foods containing cholesterol, we absorb 2 to 4 mg of cholesterol per kilogram of body weight per day.
Our livers make approximately 75% of the cholesterol that exists in our blood. The more cholesterol we eat, the less the body will make. The less cholesterol we eat, the more the body will make.
Two Types of Cholesterol – “Good” and “Bad”
We hear it said that LDL is “bad” cholesterol. LDL stands for Low-Density Lipoprotein. A lipoprotein is any of a group of soluble proteins that combine with and transport fat or other lipids in the blood plasma (fluid).
Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) carry cholesterol throughout the body, delivering it to the different organs and tissues for use by the body’s cells.
If your body has more cholesterol than it needs, the excess keeps circulating in your blood. This can cause a build-up of cholesterol on the vessel linings, called plaque. This is why it’s called “bad” cholesterol.
High-density lipoproteins (HDL) refer to lipoproteins that carry cholesterol from the body’s tissues to the liver. They act as cholesterol scavengers, picking up extra cholesterol in the blood and taking it back to the liver to be broken down.
Because HDL can remove extra cholesterol from the blood and from deposits of lipid-containing plaques on the innermost layer of the wall of an artery and transport it back to the liver for excretion or re-utilization, they are seen as “good” lipoproteins or “good” cholesterol.
High Cholesterol is a Factor of Metabolic Syndrome
High cholesterol, high blood sugar and high triglycerides are in fact three of the many symptoms caused by Metabolic Syndrome (or Insulin Resistance.) They are the result of a metabolic disorder – your cells are not functioning the way they should.
What can you do?
You can do something about your high cholesterol by making lifestyle changes in terms of eating a low-carb diet to reduce the amount of sugar and insulin in your body, doing regular exercise, and providing your cells and body with nutritional support.
Lower Cholesterol Naturally with a Low Carb Diet
“According to the American Heart Association, substituting carbohydrates for fats may raise triglyceride levels and may decrease HDL (‘good’) cholesterol in some people.
“When the situation is reversed, however – when carbs are cut and replaced with dietary fat and protein – the opposite happens. Blood sugar metabolism normalizes, triglycerides go down, HDL cholesterol goes up, and body fat is lost.”
A diet that includes sufficient fiber, protein and vegetables, and doesn’t include processed foods and high amounts of sugar and carbohydrates, will help lower cholesterol.
For diet suggestions see the “Insulin Resistance” page.
Regular exercise is very important, and you can lower your cholesterol just by taking a half hour walk each day.
“Many of you with evidence of insulin/blood sugar problems already have suffered years of nutritional deficits [shortages].”
“Although it might be possible to overcome this accumulated deficit with diet alone, to regain your health as rapidly as possible means supplements are needed.”
“Vitamins and minerals are crucial for the smooth operation of the thousands of chemical processes that are constantly taking place in your body. You need a constant and adequate supply of them.”
High cholesterol can be improved by taking the correct nutritional supplements to support the cells to change the way they operate and improve your metabolism. That means the correct vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and phytonutrients your cells need.
Supplements should be natural, plant-based nutrition with ingredients that are specifically selected to address metabolic disorders. They must provide targeted nutrition at the cellular level and simultaneously support all of the body’s systems.
Natural Help to Lower Cholesterol
Natural ingredients that can help lower cholesterol are:
A tree-resin extract, long used in Ayurvedic medicine, guggul contains plant sterols. Clinical studies indicate that plant sterols can help reduce the absorption of cholesterol in the small intestine by up to 50%.
Grape Seed Extract
May lower cholesterol levels.
Folic Acid (Vitamin B9)
Can improve heart health by controlling the cholesterol levels in the heart.
Vitamin E (Natural Succinate)
May help regulate cholesterol and support heart health.
Improves plasma lipid profiles, making it effective in reducing total plasma cholesterol and triglyceride concentration, while also increasing the HDL (high density lipoprotein) “good” cholesterol level. Is one of the richest sources of dietary fiber.
* Benjamin EJ, Blaha MJ, Chiuve SE, Cushman M, Das SR, Deo R, et al. Heart disease and stroke statistics—2017 update: a report from the American Heart Association. 2017;135(10):e1–458.
The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration and is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent or cure any disease.