Jul 31, 2009

- Lowering High Cholesterol (review)

There are several ways to reduce your high cholesterol levels. The first step is to modify your lifestyle. Eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, and losing weight are all beneficial for lowering your cholesterol. Sometimes an individual must combine lifestyle changes with medications. Medications can be prescribed by your physician and will be different for each person.
Fast Facts:
  • It has been suggested that herbs and dietary supplements such as niacin, soluble fiber, and artichoke leaf can help bring down high cholesterol levels.
  • Eating foods such as oatmeal, oat bran, walnuts, and foods high in omega-3 fatty acids are beneficial for lowering cholesterol.
  • Reducing saturated fats in your diet helps to lower blood cholesterol levels.
Niacin (also called vitamin B3 or nicotinic acid) is essential for the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats. It also reduces the risk of heart disease and lowers harmful cholesterol while raising good cholesterol.
Fast Facts:
  • U.S. Recommended Daily Allowance for adults is between 16 and 18 mg daily.
  • Good sources of niacin include salmon and tuna, eggs, leafy vegetables, broccoli, tomatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, avocados, nuts, whole grains, legumes and mushrooms.
  • Severe deficiency of niacin in the diet causes the disease pellagra.
Dietary supplements are vitamins, minerals, herbs and other substances that are meant to improve your diet. Some play an important role in health, such as folate for pregnant women. 
Fast Facts:
  • Supplements do not have to go through the testing that drugs do.
  • Some dietary supplements may be harmful under some conditions.
  • Dietary supplements aren't meant to be food substitutes.

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