Heart Health

Heart Health

Following a heart-healthy diet can do a lot to reduce risk, but for a lot of people, it’s not enough. Heart-protecting drugs usually come with bothersome side effects, such as fatigue and the chance of liver disease. For some risk factors, like homocysteine and low-density lipoprotein prescriptive drugs aren’t available.

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I. Total Cholesterol: Desirable cholesterol is below 200; borderline high is between 200 and 239; high is 240 and above.

Plant sterols. Beta-sitosterol and other plant sterols have a chemical structure similar to that of Raccoon Removal cholesterol, which enables them to decrease the absorption of cholesterol from the gut. Several studies have found that plant sterols can lower cholesterol levels by an average of 6 to 8 percent. Take sterol supplements 2 to 3 times a day, products labeled plant sterols, phytosterols, or beta-sitosterol.

Niacin: This kind of vitamin B-3 has been known since the 1950’s to decrease cholesterol levels. Approved by the Food and Drug Administration for reducing cholesterol, it’s sold both by prescription and over the counter. As effective as niacin is, it triggers the release of histamine, which frequently will turn the skin beet red and tingly for about one hour. If you keep taking niacin, the intense flushing episodes should eventually ease. Once or twice a day and work up to 500 to 1,000 mg. Three times a day.

Coenzyme Q10: Individuals who have to take statin drugs should also take 100 to 200 mg. Of CoQ10 a day because statins can deplete the body’s natural source.

Low-Density Lipoprotein (LDL) Cholesterol: Small, dense LDL globules are a lot more likely to cause blood clots than are larger, less dense ones. And when a individual’s antioxidant intake is reduced, LDL oxidation increases, which seems to be a vital step in the progression of heart disease. If complete LDL is high, it may be wise to have an additional blood test to find out which type predominates.

Beneficial Nutritional Supplements: Plant sterols can lower LDL levels by an impressive 8 to 14 percent. Take sterol supplements two to three times per day, products labeled plant sterols, phytosterols, or beta-sitosterol.

Vitamin E: Won’t lower LDL, but will curb its tendency to promote heart disease. Contrary to common thinking, LDL is not entirely bad – it’s needed to transport fat-soluble nutrients, such as vitamin E and coenzyme Q10, throughout the bloodstream. Take 400 to 800 IU of natural-source vitamin E.

Dietary Options: To lower LDL, lower your intake of saturated fat (in fatty meats and dairy products) and avoid processed foods containing trans fats such as most shortenings, partially hydrogenated oils, and most cookies and crackers in the marketplace.

High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) Cholesterol: HDL is widely regarded as the “good” type of cholesterol, mainly because it helps transport the LDL or bad cholesterol to the liver where the LDL is then processed for excretion. The higher your HDL levels, the lower your risk of cardiovascular disease.

Ideal HDL levels are 55 mg. /dL or greater for girls and 45 mg/dL or greater for men.

Beneficial Nutritional Supplements:

L-carnitine: A part of protein, is highly recommended.

Fish Oil “Omega 3” Supplements: Contain eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) – both essential dietary fats that boost HDL. They’re also powerful blood thinners so that they stop clotting, and they help to regulate heart rhythm.

You may experience an intense one-hour flushing sensation after your take it. Aim for 500 to 1,000 mg. three times daily.

Dietary Options: To boost HDL, do not worry too much on fats, particularly heart-healthy fish oils and olive oil. Low-fat diets, long suggested to decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease, actually lower HDL levels. Cut back on refined carbs, which can decrease HDL.

Triglycerides: Triglycerides actually account for many fat found in the blood and in body fat. A higher ratio of triglycerides to HDL has been associated with a significant increase in heart attack risk.

/dL is considered normal. or less. Levels of 150 to 199 mg. are borderline high, and 200 mg. and above are considered high.

Beneficial Nutritional Supplements:

Fish Oil Supplements: Can lead to remarkable reductions in triglyceride levels. In certain studies, plant sterols also have been shown to reduce triglycerides.

Dietary Options: Triglyceride levels are directly linked to the quantity of processed carbohydrates you eat, so lower your intake of table sugar, white bread, cookies and other sweets, refined pasta, and bagels, and focus instead on whole grains.

Homocysteine: Homocysteine is normally a short-lived byproduct of protein metabolism – it is only when levels become elevated that they cause trouble. If you eat lots of veggies, particularly the ones that include folic acid such as spinach, romaine lettuce, and other greens, there’s a great chance your homocysteine is at healthy levels.

The American Heart Association considers normal levels to be from 5 to 15 micromoles per liter of blood. Ideal levels are under 7.

Beneficial Nutritional Supplements:

Three B Vitamins are particularly helpful in breaking down homocysteine: folic acid (1,000 to 5,000 mcg. daily), vitamin B-6 (25 to 50 mg. daily), and vitamin B-12 (2,000 mcg. daily.)

Dietary Options: Load up on leafy greens: spinach, romaine lettuce.

V. Glucose Tolerance

Beneficial Nutritional Supplements: Many supplements can help stabilize and lower glucose and insulin levels, but in the event that you already take glucose-regulating drugs, be sure to work with your physician to adjust their dose.

Alpha-Lipoic Acid: An antioxidant, is widely used in Germany to treat peripheral neuropathy, a nerve disease brought on by diabetes. Studies have found that it can lower both insulin and glucose levels. Take 100 to 300 mg. daily.

Chromium Picolinate: An essential mineral, has been shown to lower cholesterol and glucose levels. Take 400 to 1,000 mcg. daily.

Cinnamon: Can lower fasting glucose, total cholesterol, and cholesterol levels.

Ginseng Supplements: 1 to 3 grams of American ginseng (Panax quinqufolius L.) significantly reduced the increase in blood glucose.

Silymarin: The antioxidant-rich extract of milk thistle, is well known for increasing liver action. Italian researchers found that 600 mg. Of silymarin daily reduced several important measures of glucose tolerance, including fasting glucose and insulin, over the course of a year.

 


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