How To Lower Cholesterol Naturally
I was asked a while back by a client how they could lower cholesterol naturally, as they had been told by their doctor that their levels were on the high side and that they should be taking statins to help lower the cholesterol.
Statins are VERY widely prescribed and cholesterol is VERY misunderstood by the general public, so below is the list of points we went through in our consultation that I thought you might also benefit from knowing:
- Only 25% of your cholesterol comes from diet, the remaining 75% is manufactured by your liver to repair tissues. The more tissue damage you have going on, the more the liver will produce cholesterol.
- The number one thing that will cause tissue damage is inflammation. Notice I did not mention anything about fat in the diet, which is the first thing people think when talking about cholesterol. To lower cholesterol by reducing fat in your diet (assuming it’s coming from a good source) is a recipe for many other problems.
- All hormones are made from cholesterol so without a plentiful supply you can become deficient in many other hormones. Due to the hierarchy of hormones the first ones to suffer are often the sex hormones (low libido). The body performs something called pregnenalone steel where it takes the cholesterol off to make stress hormones instead as they are part of a group of primary hormones (seemingly more important than increasing sex drive).
- Vitamin D is made from cholesterol, which is a hugely important vitamin, involved in many chemical reactions in the body.
- If you already take statins, or have taken statins in the past, you are accelerating the rate of aging of your cells due to the reduction in a substance called CoQ10 which is inhibited by statins.
- With lowered CoQ10 activity you’re also going to be suffering with poor antioxidant activity as CoQ10 recycles vitamins E and C, both of which are important antioxidants.
So those are the headlines. Below are some action items for lowering the cholesterol naturally:
- Follow an anti-inflammatory diet – this means cutting out grains, processed meats, vegetable oils, alcohol, sugar and any foods that you are also intolerant to. The main stay of an anti-inflammatory diet will be: cruciferous vegetables (think dark green leafy veg), organic meats, fish and poultry and increasing omega 3 fatty acids (fish oil supplements).
- Also flax and chia seeds are excellent sources of omega 3 fatty acids.
- Increase aerobic exercise to help improve the mitochondrial function (energy production parts of all cells). Remember aerobic exercise is probably walking for most people (180 beats per min, minus your age gives your aerobic threshold)
- Cinnamon – cinnamon has a property called cinnamate which actually targets the same enzymes as the statins so you can get the positive effects without the drawbacks of the medicine. Teas or essential oils are a nice way to take cinnamon.
- Clargy sage is also an excellent herb to use to balance the hormonal system in this instance. Used as drops in a bath can be an excellent remedy.
- From a supplement perspective – garlic capsules, CoQ10 and omega 3 (fish oils) are the big hitters here.
I hope that is all pretty straightforward and common sense and has given you an alternative way of looking at the cholesterol “myth” that exists.