Cholesterol is a waxy fat like substance insoluble in water, produced in liver, helps in formation of cell membranes, Vitamin D synthesis and some hormones. Liver produces 80% of body’s cholesterol and rest comes from dairy, fish, poultry etc. Plant derived foods like vegetables and fruits does not contain cholesterol. Cholesterol is transported through blood supply with the help of particles called lipoproteins formed in Liver. There are several types of lipoproteins which has important effects in our health.
LDL or Low Density Lipoproteins – It is considered as bad cholesterol. Elevated levels of this causes deposition of hardened mixture of cholesterol, fat and other elements called plaque in blood vessels causing narrowing of arteries and blocking blood supply. In long course it may lead to serious problems like stroke, heart attack etc.
HDL or High Density Lipids – Good Cholesterol. Is needed for healthy heart function. Improve levels of HDL helps to extract plaque from arterial wall and dispose them to liver.
VLDL or Very Low density Lipoproteins : It is also categorised under bad cholesterol
Effects of High Cholesterol Levels :
Our body need cholesterol but if we have excess cholesterol in blood than we normally need may lead to serious health issues. Arteries or blood vessels help to transport blood from heart to body. Too much of Cholesterol or LDL and reduced HDL may cause formation of plaque( hardened mixture of cholesterol, fat and other elements) causing the arteries to narrow and harder for the blood to reach to heart or the other organs. If plaque beaks out it causes blood clot that may lead to serious block putting one at greater risk of heart attack. Symptoms like discomfort in chest, pain in jaw and neck, left arm, shoulder or back may be experienced during heart attack.
Similarly if plaque develops in the blood vessels supplying brain, it may end up in having stroke following symptoms like weakness in moving limbs, speaking and vision trouble etc.
Building up of plaques in arteries supplying kidneys or stomach may also occur due to high cholesterol levels.
High cholesterol may also lead to formation of gall stones.
Tips to manage high Cholesterol Naturally :
Diet plays major role in fluctuation of cholesterol levels. Cut foods with high sugar, high sodium or increased saturated fats. Avoid Red meat, full fat dairy, egg yolk, deep fried foods like french fries, Peanut butter, oily foods, chocolates, White rice, White bread, baked foods, soft drinks etc.
Fishes like salmon, dry fruits like almond and walnut is rich in Omega 3 fatty acids may be helpful in protection against Cardiac ailments by reducing Triglyceride and cholesterol levels. Stick to veggies and fruits , nuts like walnuts, almonds, legumes etc.
Brisk walking for 30 minutes or cardiac workouts 5 days a week helps to improve HDL and lower VLDL and Triglyceride and also helps to strengthen heart muscle.
Avoid Smoking and Alcohol :
Self analysing Cholesterol level. A simple blood test of Lipid Profile may help one check his or her Cholesterol levels time to time. This test should be performed at least once in a year or six months.
Drink plenty of water : Make sure to drink 6-8 glasses of water daily.
Total Cholesterol – Should be less than 200 mg/dl
LDL – Less than 100 mg/dl
HDL – Should be more than 40 mg/dl
Triglyceride – Should be less than 150 mg/dl
In Western medicine, Statins are commonly used drug of choice. It works by blocking liver from producing more Cholesterol. The main problem of taking such drugs is possibility of long time or life long usage with multiple side effects.
Natural Treatment :
Along with healthy diet and exercise there are herbs and medicines which are safe and effectively reduce the cholesterol naturally. According to Siddha herbs like Marutham (Terminalia arjuna), Garlic (Allium Sativum), Coriander (Coriandrum sativum), Curry leaves (Murraya koenigii), Turmeric (Curcuma longa), Kukkil or Guggulu (Commiphora wightii), Tulsi (Holy basil), Ginger (Zingiber officinale) etc are used in treatment of increased cholesterol levels.
Always approach a Siddha or Ayurveda doctor to know about the dosage and right herb or medicine suitable to one’s body. Avoid self medication. If one has family history of High Cholesterol levels/Cardiovascular diseases/ Hypertension or if one is suffering from Diabetes, Hypothyroidism or other metabolic diseases then the chances of getting high cholesterol level is more. Get yourself checked regularly. Follow the above said Cholesterol managing tips. If needed get prescribed for herbs or natural medicines from an efficient Medical practitioner. Several Siddha herbs or medicines help in reducing high cholesterol levels. By doing so you can keep your body safe from Cardiovascular diseases which is fatal and one of the main cause of death. Go natural, be safe and live cholesterol free life.