If this is your first time coming here, you may want to Subscribe to my RSS feed. Remember to Digg it or Stumble it, if you enjoyed this post! :)

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Eggs and Cholesterol

Add to Technorati Favorites

Lower Cholesterol Level Presents:

Eggs and Cholesterol
By Robert Rister

Before writing this article on eggs and cholesterol, I have a confession to make. I love eggs. From my head down to my legs. So to avoid bias, I'll present the evidence on eggs and cholesterol in terms of science, not preference, because I like hundreds of millions of people around the world eat eggs every day. And I have low cholesterol without taking statins.

The relationship between eggs and cholesterol is not what most people have been led to believe. Not only do eggs not always raise cholesterol, sometimes they lower it.

About one-third of the population is unusually sensitive to the cholesterol in egg yolks. Medical researchers at the University of Connecticut gave a population of men and women over the age of 50 either three eggs a day or an equivalent serving of cholesterol-free egg substitute. None of the participants in the trial was on any medication to lower cholesterol

Among the two-thirds of the participants in the trial who were not especially sensitive to the cholesterol in egg yolks, eating three eggs a day not only did not raise cholesterol, total cholesterol went down. In the majority of test participants, eating three eggs a day slightly lowered LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, and slightly increased HDL cholesterol. Conversely, eating an equivalent amount of egg substitute caused slight increases in LDL, total cholesterol, and triglycerides, and a slight decrease in the beneficial HDL.

In the one-third of the participants the researchers labeled hyper-responders, the opposite occurred. For this smaller group, eating three eggs a day raised cholesterol, but in a heart-healthy way. LDL levels increased, but the additional LDL was the larger, less clogging variety of LDL. HDL levels also increased, and also were the larger, less dangerous particles. Moreover, eating eggs increased bloodstream concentrations of eye-protective lutein and zeaxanthin.

Eggs have a similarly unexpected effect on cholesterol levels in overweight men. One study found that when eggs are consumed with a high-carbohydrate meal, they seem to accelerate the release of sugars from the carbohydrate, but also to accelerate the release of insulin from the pancreas. The extra insulin "covers" the extra glucose released from digestion. The problem is, insulin stores fat as well as sugar, so eating eggs with carbohydrates seems to increase weight gain.

Another study found that eating eggs as part of a low-carbohydrate diet, on the other hand:

* Reduces body weight,
* Increases insulin sensitivity,
* Increases HDL-C cholesterol, the kind of "good" cholesterol that "catches" other cholesterol particles so the liver can remove them from circulation,
* Increases adiponectin, a hormone that fights atherosclerosis, and
* Reduces C-reactive protein, a marker of arterial inflammation,

also in tests conducted with overweight men.

A study of 9,734 men and women aged 25 to 74 at the Zeenat Qureshi Stroke Research Center of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey found that eating more than 1 egg a day does not significantly raise the risk of either heart attack or stroke.

Since 2000, even the American Heart Association has recognized that Cholesterol-rich foods that are relatively low in saturated fatty acid content (notably, egg yolks, and, to a lesser extent, shellfish) have a (small) effect on LDL. The effects of dietary cholesterol on plasma LDL levels appear to be greater at low versus high levels of cholesterol intake. In other words, for most people, if you consume more cholesterol, your body just uses it faster.

The exceptions to this rule seem to be male doctors and female nurses. The widely publicized Physicians Health Study reported in April 2008 that male doctors who ate more than one egg a day were more likely to suffer heart attack or stroke, especially if they were diabetic.

The study also found that doctors who ate the most eggs also were older and fatter. They ate less breakfast cereal but more vegetables. They were more likely to smoke and drink and less likely to get regular exercise. It is just possible that excessive consumption of eggs was only part of a pattern of excessive consumption of everything else in this group of 21,337 middle-aged male doctors-do you suppose?

For most of us, eggs are not heart-harmful, and if you avoid excess sugars, they are heart-healthy. If you do not have familial hypercholesterolemia or some other rare condition causing excessive cholesterol, regular consumption of eggs is likely to have a beneficial effect on your triglycerides, LDL-C, and HDL.

Robert Rister is the author or co-author of nine books on natural health and also The Latest Lies about Statins for High Cholesterol.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Robert_Rister

Lower Cholesterol Level

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Seven Benefits of Elevated Cholesterol Levels

Add to Technorati Favorites

Lower Cholesterol Level Presents:

Seven Benefits of Elevated Cholesterol Levels

Elevated cholesterol levels are defined by members of the mainstream medical community as being any number over 200 mg/dl. High cholesterol levels would be any number over 240 mg/dl.

In the United States, we have been brainwashed into believing elevated cholesterol levels are harmful to your health. But consider the benefits cholesterol provides:

1. Cholesterol is essential to life. Every cell in your body requires cholesterol to maintain cell wall integrity.
2. Cholesterol is also the starting material from which your body makes vitamin D, hormones and bile acids for digestion.
3. Cholesterol helps the body fight infections and indeed they may be its most important benefit. Current research has suggested that heart disease and arteriosclerosis may be caused by infectious organisms, and higher levels of cholesterol protect the body from these inflammatory microorganisms.
4. Cholesterol acts as a protective substance against stroke and cancer.
5. Cholesterol is used by the body to repair injuries.
6. The brain uses cholesterol to build the synaptic connections between brain cells. In fact, the brain has special cells whose only job is to make cholesterol for the brain, since blood cholesterol can't get across the blood/brain barrier.
7. People with high cholesterol live the longest. There are multiple studies which support this fact. This is especially true for the elderly.

Cholesterol is so important to your body that it will make it if you don't eat enough. This self regulation makes it very difficult to use a low fat diet alone to lower your cholesterol. The less fat you eat, the more cholesterol your body makes.

Given all the evidence which confirms that cholesterol is protective and necessary for good health, I find it bizarre that the US government and most physicians work very hard to get people to lower their cholesterol levels as much as possible. The message that cholesterol is harmful is embedded deeply in the American psyche, and so the public doesn't question this misguided and harmful agenda.

But make no mistake, the drive to lower cholesterol is big business. Billions of dollars, thousands of jobs, and a multitude of agencies are involved in the overall goal of lowering American cholesterol levels. Huge amounts of money are spent to educate patients on the false benefits of a low fat, low cholesterol diet. Big pharmaceutical companies spend millions on developing and marketing drugs that lower cholesterol, often with injurious or lethal consequences.

For example, statin drugs, which cause serious nerve, muscle and kidney damage, are being prescribed in mind boggling numbers. Between 2000 and 2005, the total prescriptions for statin drugs nearly doubled, bringing the 2005 yearly total to 174 million.

And there are individual perks for physicians who participate in this cholesterol lowering business too. Pharmaceutical companies pay doctors huge amounts of money to "educate" other doctors about the benefits of drugs. In a story from New York Magazine, one doctor speaks of the addictiveness of the $750 he was paid each time he briefly mentioned a particular drug to colleagues during a lunch break.

That's a great deal of money and effort being spent on a goal that in the end, is extremely harmful to the patient.

And here's the real kicker: the cholesterol cut off level of 200 mg/dl wasn't set by doctors using scientific trials and medical results. In classic American political style, it was chosen by three men trying to get funding from Congress to continue cholesterol trials at the NHLBI. (National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute). They reasoned that cutoff of 200 mg/dl would provide the largest population for use in future studies.

So, as you can see, elevated cholesterol levels are actually a cause for celebration, not a dire health problem about which you should worry. If you have elevated cholesterol levels, and have been targeted for statin drug use, please spend some time researching the alternative facts on cholesterol and statins. You may save your own life in the long run.

About the Author
Ellen Davis researches nutrition and health issues and shares that information with other health conscious consumers. You can find more alternative information about nutrition and health at her website Healthy Eating Politics. The URL is http://www.healthy-eating-politics.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Ellen_L._Davis

Lower Cholesterol Level

Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Dangers of Low Cholesterol

Add to Technorati Favorites

Lower Cholesterol Level Presents:

The Dangers of Low Cholesterol

In today's society, cholesterol is considered a villain. Everyone "knows" that high cholesterol "causes" heart disease. TV ads warn us that "diet and exercise may not be enough," and drugs are increasingly prescribed to reduce cholesterol levels.
You may think you know what the problem of cholesterol is all about, but before you jump on the anti-cholesterol bandwagon, consider these studies:

* A 3 year study on 11,500 patients showed that low cholesterol resulted in increased lung cancer, increase in other cancers, higher risk of cardiac death, erectile dysfunction and infertility, and a loss of memory and mental focus. (European Heart Journal 1997, 18, 52-59)

* A Swedish researcher discovered that individuals with low cholesterol suffer from frequent and severe infections, while individuals with high cholesterol had a lower mortality than the average population. (Uffe Ravnskov, MD, PhD, independent researcher Magle Stora Kyrkogata 9, S-223250 Lund, Sweden)

* A 30 years follow-up on one of the original studies linking cholesterol and heart disease showed no correlation between high cholesterol and mortality, but did show a correlation between low cholesterol and mortality. Death rates from coronary heart disease increased 14% for every 1 mg/dl drop in total cholesterol per year (Anderson KM. Cholesterol and Mortality, 30 years of Follow-up from the Framingham study. JAMA 1987 Apr 24;257(16):2176-80)

* A paper in the Journal of Cardiac Failure on an analysis of 1,134 patients with heart disease showed that low cholesterol was associated with worse outcomes in heart failure patients and impaired survival rates. It also showed that elevated cholesterol was not associated with hypertension, diabetes or coronary heart disease.

(Horwich TB. Et.al. Low Serum Total Cholesterol is Associated with Marked Increase in Mortality in Advanced Heart Failure. J Card. Fail. 2002 Aug;8(4):216-214)

High cholesterol is a "disease" that was created by the pharmaceutical industry in order to sell more cholesterol-lowering drugs, i.e., statins. These drugs have a high profit margin, so the lab ranges for cholesterol have been altered over the last 7-10 years so that more people will show up as having "high" cholesterol and be persuaded to take medications.

Normal (i.e., non-pathological) cholesterol ranges should be 175 to 275, with people with Blood Type O running at the higher end of this spectrum because of the way their body utilizes protein. Since, these are the pathological ranges, levels above or below these values mean the body is seriously imbalanced and probably diseased.

However, for optimal health, one should be in the middle third of this range. So healthy cholesterol should be between 208 and 242. Oddly enough people with these perfectly normal and healthy cholesterol ranges are being encouraged to take drugs to reduce their cholesterol to unhealthy low levels.

So, before you take statin drugs to reduce your cholesterol, do a little research on the dangers of low cholesterol. There are other ways of protecting yourself from heart disease that are much more effective.

About the Author
Steven Horne, RH(AHG) is a professional member and immediate past president of the American Herbalists Guild. He is passionate about spreading the word about how effective herbal medicine can be. You can learn more about his straight-forward healing philosophy at http://www.healityourself.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Steven_Horne

Lower Cholesterol Level

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Powerful List of Foods That Help to Lower Cholesterol

Add to Technorati Favorites

Lower Cholesterol Level Presents:

Powerful List of Foods That Help to Lower Cholesterol
By Freddy Goldstein

Before listing the foods that help to lower cholesterol we must define what cholesterol is. Cholesterol is a fat like substance that is manufactured by the human body and also eaten in the consumption of animal products. Cholesterol is used to form cell membranes and process hormones and Vitamin D. High cholesterol levels contribute to the development of atherosclerosis. Both a low cholesterol level and a high cholesterol level is dangerous for human beings. Too much of the wrong type of cholesterol (HDL) in the human body is closely linked with heart disease, hypertension and cardiovascular health.

Cholesterol is a steroid alcohol found in animal fats and oils, bile, blood, brain tissue, milk, egg yolk, myelin sheaths of nerve fibers, liver, kidneys and adrenal glands. It is a necessary component of all cell surface and intracellular membranes and a constituent of myelin in nervous tissue; it is a precursor of bile acids and steroid hormones, and it occurs in the most common type of gallstone, in atheroma of the arteries, in various cysts, and in carcinomatous tissue. Most of the body's cholesterol is synthesized, but some is obtained in the diet.

The preoccupation in human medicine with the relationship between cholesterol and the development of atheromatous plaques in the coronary arteries is not reflected in veterinary medicine. The importance of cholesterol to the veterinarian is limited to the measurement of blood cholesterol levels as an indicator of liver disease or thyroid activity.

List of foods that help to lower cholesterol

1. Apples

2. Pumpkin & Pumpkin seeds

3. Salmon and other oily fish such as mackerel.

4. Soy products

5. Walnuts

6. Almonds

7. Avocado

8. Bison, venison and other lean meats.

9. Cholesterol lowering margarines

10. Collard Greens

11. Dark Chocolate

12. Beans & Legumes

13. Egg plant

14. Green Tea

15. Olives

16. Onions

17. Shitake Mushroom

18. Tomato

19. Fresh berries, particularly Blueberries

20. Brown Rice

21. Cinnamon

22. Cranberries

23. Garlic

24. Grapes

25. Oats

Many people advise the daily consumption of apple cider vinegar as being a powerful aid in reducing the levels of cholesterol and helping to maintain a healthy heart. This will also help to keep the arteries clear of plaque.

The latest scientific research said get the delicious recipes that incorporated that cholesterol lowering food.

Cholesterol is a blood fat needed by the body in moderate amounts. However, high cholesterol levels can lead to atherosclerosis and coronary artery disease (CAD) and heart attack. Methods for increasing good cholesterol or lowering bad cholesterol levels include cholesterol reducing drugs such as statins, fibrates, and nicotinic acid and bile acid resins.

Apart from the cholesterol lowering food there are many cholesterol reducing drugs such as:Cholesterol-reducing drugs are medications that lower the levels of fats (lipids) in the blood, including cholesterol and triglycerides. High levels of these fats in the bloodstream increase the risk of coronary artery disease (atherosclerosis), heart attack, stroke and other heart-related conditions. Therefore, cholesterol reducers and other antilipemic medications are often prescribed for people with high cholesterol levels (hypercholesterolemia) or other elevated lipid levels (e.g., high triglycerides).

There are five main categories of cholesterol reducers: statins, bile acid resins, nicotinic acid, fibrates and ezetimibe. Most are available only by prescription, while nicotinic acid, a form of vitamin B3 (niacin), is available over-the-counter. However, niacin should only be taken under the care of a physician to monitor any side effects that could arise, such as severe upset stomach (nausea) and flushing.

So, the big question is this! If you can lower your cholesterol levels by eating the great food a listed above, and if you can supplement this by taking cholesterol reducing natural products, why would you inflict pharmaceutical drugs upon your system? People do, but I will never understand them!

Would you like to lower your cholesterol level naturally with other potentially life enhancing benefits? How to Get Rid of Plaque and Lower Your Cholesterol Level Naturally.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Freddy_Goldstein

Lower Cholesterol Level

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Omega 3's - How Much to Lower Cholesterol?

Add to Technorati Favorites

Lower Cholesterol Level Presents:

Omega 3's - How Much to Lower Cholesterol?
By Lisa Nelson

Increasing the amount of omega-3 fats in our diet and decreasing the amount of omega-6 is beneficial in reducing your risk for heart disease. Most American's consume a high omega-6 diet, with omega 3 being a common deficiency. Omega 3 deficiencies and the imbalance between omega 3 and omega 6 intakes have been linked with serious conditions, including heart attacks. Successfully maintaining a ratio of 4:1 to 1:1 omega 6 to omega 3 will help lower cholesterol levels and control high blood pressure.

How much omega 3 do you need to add?

This is under debate and more research is being done. Right now the range experts recommend is from 500-2000 mg/day. Here are the current American Heart Association (AHA) recommendations.

The AHA recommends that individuals without heart disease eat a variety of fish twice a week, use heart healthy oils (flaxseed, canola, soybean oils), and consume flaxseed and walnuts.

For individuals with heart disease, the AHA recommends 1 g of EPA (eicosapentanoic acid) + DHA (docosahexaenoic acid) daily, preferably from fatty fish.

The AHA recommends 2 to 4 g of EPA + DHA daily, under physician's care only, for individuals that need to lower triglycerides. High doses, > 3 grams/day, can result in excessive bleeding. (Do not self medicate! Talk to your MD before supplementing greater than 2 grams.)

Omega 3 Content of Different Foods

Wild Salmon, 4 oz. 1700 mg (DHA 700 mg, EPA 400 mg)

Tuna canned in water, 4 oz. 300 mg (DHA 200 mg, EPA 50 mg)

Cod, 4 oz. 600 mg (DHA 160 mg, EPA 50 mg)

Flaxseed, 1 Tbsp. 1000 mg (ALA - alpha-linolenic acid - 1000 mg)

Soybeans, dried, cooked ½ cup 500 mg (DHA/EPA 250 mg, ALA 250 mg)

Walnuts, 1 oz. 2570 mg (ALA 2570 mg)

Pecans, 1 oz. 280 mg (ALA 280 mg)

Wheat germ, ¼ cup 210 mg (ALA 210 mg)

Canola oil, 1 Tbsp 1300 mg (ALA 1300 mg)

Olive oil, 1 Tbsp 100 mg (ALA 100 mg)

There's a reason I included details on amounts of DHA, EPA, and ALA for each omega 3 source. Right now, DHA and EPA have a greater link with lower cholesterol levels, lower triglycerides, and higher HDL levels than ALA. The body is able to convert ALA to EPA and DHA, but the conversion rate is low; therefore, it is best to include high DHA and EPA sources in your eating plan.

My recommendation:

As a preventive measure and to promote lower cholesterol and blood pressure control, I recommend eating fish twice a week, select a supplement that will provide you at least 1000 mg of omega 3 fatty acids daily (choose a good source of DHA and EPA), and use ground flaxseed when appropriate in your meal preparation.

Now, to receive regular heart health and weight loss tips from dietitian Lisa Nelson, go to http://www.enutritionservices.com/f/The_Heart_of_Health.html and subscribe to The Heart of Health today!

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Lisa_Nelson

Lower Cholesterol Level

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Red Yeast Rice - Lowering Cholesterol Naturally

Add to Technorati Favorites

Lower Cholesterol Level Presents:

Red Yeast Rice - Lowering Cholesterol Naturally

For those who have been advised to lower their cholesterol, but are concerned about the serious side effects associated with taking statin drugs (e.g. liver dysfunction, muscle atrophy, memory loss, etc.), clinically proven natural alternatives are available. The Chinese condiment Red Yeast Rice, for example, was judged by the Physician's Desk Reference On Nutritional Supplements to "significantly reduce total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol and total triglyceride concentrations, compared to a placebo." Considering the fact that the PDR is the authoritative text in the medical field on supplements, and it is written by doctors for doctors, it is disappointing that few doctors are recommending Red Yeast Rice to manage hypercholesterolemia in their patients. After all, Red Yeast Rice contains the same cholesterol lowering HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor (lovastatin) as the drug Mevacor. And yet, even at doses six times lower, Red Yeast Rice out performed the pharmaceutical isolated lovastatin, showing a wider range of benefits and incomparably higher safety margin.

Despite these findings and in defiance of both common sense and the rights of consumers to control their health, both the FDA and the manufacturer of lovastatin lobbied the courts to outlaw the sale of Red Yeast Rice, arguing that its efficacy qualified it as a drug, requiring FDA and medical regulation. In 1999, the Federal District Court in Utah ruled against the FDA, stating that Red Yeast Rice was not a drug but a dietary supplement. More recently the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled on July 24, 2000 that Red Yeast Rice is subject to the regulation of the U.S. FDA. At present the future of Red Yeast Rice is uncertain, but what all this legal debate reveals is the rather profound collusion that exists between the private interests and the FDA. If something works great and is safer than expensive drugs, why should it be kept from the public?

Part 2: The Lower the Cholesterol The Higher The Profits

If you watch prime time television these days - even just on occasion - it is nearly impossible to miss the barrage of commercials trying to get you, and the rest of adult America, to sign up for the newest cholesterol lowering medication on the market. These advertisements would have us believe that if we care about our health, and those we love, we should keep our cholesterol low with drugs. The problem is that statins, like many of the drugs being marketed so aggressively to the public these days have dangerous, even fatal side effects.

No longer the exception, side effects and fatalities from drugs have hit astronomical levels. According to the one of the most respected and widely read medical journals in the world - The Journal of American Medicine (JAMA) - approximately 108,000 Americans die each year from the "non-error negative side effects of drugs." Throughout the entirety of our involvement in Vietnam, 53,000 Americans died. People flooded the streets in protest. The entire nation stood divided. History is still reeling from the sense of horror and disgust the senseless violence of the war brought before popular consciousness. And yet if the the JAMA statistics are accurate, annual fatalities from prescribed medication today are occurring at a rate 14 times higher than those occurring during the Vietnam war. What may be even more disturbing than the statistics themselves, is the fact that there is little, if any open and meaningful discussion occurring about them. When it comes to lowering cholesterol, plenty of sound research exists that calls into question the very concept of high cholesterol causing cardiovascular disease. Low cholesterol levels, in fact, have been shown to increase the risk of stroke and cancer.

Cholesterol, after all, is something our bodies have been equipped to produce plenty of. It is essential for the production of all the steroid hormones and Vitamin D, for maintaining the fluidity of cell membranes, and for transporting and distributing throughout the body fat soluble nutrients like vitamin E, carotenoids, and coenzyme Q10. CoQ10 is a co-factor for energy production in the mitochondria of every cell of our bodies. Since heart muscle has the most mitochondria of any muscle cell in the body (5000 mitochondria per heart muscle cell versus 50 for skeletal muscle), when levels of coq10 drop, the heart is one of the first organs effected. Why then, if statin drugs are known to cause a drop in coenzyme q10, are they being used to prevent heart disease? Unfortunately, because the drug companies are making a killing - both literally and figuratively - selling these drugs, they have every reason to distort or disregard information that contradicts their "lipid hypothesis" of heart disease. The mercurial relationship between drug companies and the "experts" who decide what strategies should be used by Americans to prevent heart disease, was made public by a consumer group recently. The following excerpt from an Associated Press article dated July 17th, 2004, addresses this relationship poignantly:

"Most of the heart disease experts who urged more people to take cholesterol-lowering drugs this week have made money from the companies selling those medicines."

The article went on to say that the new guidelines these experts drafted would add 7 million more Americans to the 36 million already encouraged to take the pills to lower cholesterol. Whether or not you choose to lower your cholesterol, or investigate in greater depth the validity of doing so, be advised that safe and natural methods of doing so exist.

To learn more about the benefits of Red Yeast Rice, visit: http://www.patienthealthyself.info/red_yeast_rice.html

Sayer Ji is a philosopher of nutrition and nutrition educator. He founded http://www.patienthealthyself.info this year in order to provide the public strictly scientific information on the therapeutic effects of herbs, foods, spices and vitamins. Without freedom of information, there can be no health freedom.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Sayer_Ji

Lower Cholesterol Level