Everything in excess is bad. The word cholesterol’ in general stresses us all out. We think cholesterol is bad but, cholesterol is essential for many bodily functions. It is bad only when unbalanced.
What is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that your liver produces. It’s vital for the formation of cell membranes, vitamin D, and certain hormones. Your body needs cholesterol to build healthy cells, but a high level of cholesterol can increase the risk of heart diseases.
Cholesterol is carried through your blood, attached to proteins. This combination of proteins and cholesterol is called a lipoprotein. There are different types of cholesterol, based on the lipoprotein carries. They are:
• Low-density lipoprotein (LDL): LDL, or "bad" cholesterol, transports cholesterol particles throughout your body. LDL cholesterol builds up in the walls of your arteries which making them hard and narrow.
• High-density lipoprotein (HDL): HDL, or "good" cholesterol, picks up excess cholesterol and takes it back to your liver.
A lipid profile also typically measures triglycerides, a type of fat in the blood. Having a high triglyceride level can also increase your risk of heart disease.
Eating many foods that contain high amounts of fat increases the level of LDL cholesterol in your blood. This is known as high cholesterol, also called hypercholesterolemia or hyperlipidemia.
If levels of LDL cholesterol are too high, or levels of HDL cholesterol are too low, fatty deposits build up in your blood vessels. These deposits will make it difficult for enough blood to flow through your arteries. This could cause problems throughout your body, particularly in your heart and brain, or it could be fatal.
Symptoms of High Cholesterol
The doctor may ask you to get your cholesterol checked if you
• have high blood pressure
• are overweight
• have pain while walking caused by the blocked arteries that that are unable to send blood to the legs
• Sometimes in case of family history too
Factors you can control — such as inactivity, obesity and an unhealthy diet — contribute to high cholesterol and low HDL cholesterol.
High cholesterol can be inherited, but it's often the result of unhealthy lifestyle choices, which make it preventable and treatable. A healthy diet, regular exercise, and medication can help reduce high cholesterol.
Natural or complementary treatments for heart disease often aim to control cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and improve heart health.
Herbs that help you fight Cholesterol:
Garlic is made up of amino acids, vitamins, minerals, and organosulfur compounds These sulfur compounds have active ingredients that lend therapeutic properties to garlic. Several scientific studies have proven garlic to be effective in reducing total and LDL cholesterol significantly.
Ginseng is an herb that has been used in Asian medicine for centuries, typically mixed with other herbs. Ginseng is used to treat a variety of ailments and support heart health. Studies show that ginseng may support healthy levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol and "good" HDL cholesterol.
Flaxseed is rich in fiber and provides essential omega-3 fats, which may help lower your cholesterol by lowering LDL cholesterol, as well as triglycerides levels. Flax seeds also contain both insoluble and soluble fiber which prevents the absorption of cholesterol within the body.
Astragalus is a natural dietary supplement that's used for various health conditions. Astragalus can lower the levels of bad cholesterol, and this, in turn, can boost heart health.