Cholesterol is one of the body's fats. Cholesterol levels in the blood rise slightly with age, and women generally have a higher HDL-cholesterol level than men. Cholesterol is also found in the blood circulation of humans. Cholesterol is naturally present in cell walls or membranes everywhere in the body, including the brain, nerves, muscles, skin, liver, intestines, and heart. Having too much cholesterol in the blood is not a disease in itself, but can lead to the hardening and narrowing of the arteries in the major vascular systems. When the cholesterol level is measured in a blood sample, the levels of all forms of cholesterol can be calculated. The cholesterol in a person's blood originates from two major sources; dietary intake and liver production. Dietary cholesterol comes mainly from meat, poultry, fish, and dairy products. High cholesterol is the best known of all the many threats to a healthy heart. High cholesterol can cause the formation and accumulation of plaque deposits in the arteries. A person's lifestyle, including inactivity, obesity and eating a high-fat diet, can contribute to high levels of total cholesterol.
People who smoke and also have high cholesterol are at even greater risk for heart disease. Food cholesterol comes exclusively from animal products: meat, eggs, milk products, butter, etc. Most people wrongly believe that the cholesterol contained in food is responsible for their high cholesterol levels. Lipid disorders are more common in men than women. Excess cholesterol in the bloodstream can be harmful and lead to a condition in which fat and cholesterol are deposited in the walls of the arteries. It is currently recommended that your total cholesterol level be less than 200mg/dl. A healthy diet, regular exercise and other lifestyle changes can go a long way toward reducing high cholesterol. Sometimes medication is needed, too. Statins block a substance the liver needs to make cholesterol. This depletes cholesterol in the liver cells, which causes the liver cells to remove cholesterol from the blood. Statins may also help the body reabsorb cholesterol from plaques that accumulate on the walls of the arteries, thus making them less likely to cause complications such as a heart attack or stroke.
Prevention of High Cholesterol
- Eating a diet low in saturated fats and cholesterol may help prevent high cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
- Quitting smoking and exercising may raise levels of “good” HDL cholesterol.
- Maintaining a healthy weight - or losing weight, if necessary - can help prevent lipid abnormalities.
- Eliminate the use of caffeine, alcohol and tobacco.
Home Remedies for High Cholesterol
- Garlic is a wonder drug for heart. Clinical trials have shown that fresh garlic and garlic supplements may lower cholesterol levels, prevent blood clots, and destroy plaque.
- Arjuna is a coronary vasodilator. It protects the heart, strengthens circulation, and helps to maintain the tone and health of the heart muscle.
- Ginger reduces cholesterol and thins the blood improving circulation.
- Shudh Shilajit was found to lower serum cholesterol, liver cholesterol, serum triglycerides and serum phospholipids in test subjects feed high cholesterol diet.
- Sunflower seeds are extremely beneficial, as they contain linoleic acid that helps in reducing the cholesterol deposits on the walls of arteries. You just need to modify your cooking style a bit and substitute sunflower seeds for solid fats such as butter and cream.
- Incorporate loads of fiber in your meals, as fiber helps a great deal in lowering the cholesterol pressure in blood.