These are scary statistics. They should be a serious warning for those Americans with untreated high LDL, which doctors say is a major precursor of vascular disease, heart disease and stroke.
Could you be at risk for high cholesterol?
Medical professionals believe people who eat too many trans fats, fried foods and dairy and meat products, who are obese, get little physical exercise, smoke cigarettes and have a family history of high cholesterol are at an increased risk for developing this common condition.
We need some cholesterol in the body to produce bile to digest our food, for the formation of healthy blood cells and to produce steroid hormones required for normal development and functioning. But scientists say too much dietary cholesterol from fried foods, saturated fats and meats and dairy products can cause fatty deposits to form in the blood vessels, which can restrict blood flow to the heart. If this vital muscle doesn’t receive the oxygen-rich blood it needs to survive, your risk of a heart attack rises rapidly.
If you’ve been diagnosed with high cholesterol and you’re worried about your cardiovascular fitness, there is hope. You can take the sting out of that fearsome word with lifestyle modifications, such as diet and exercise and by incorporating natural alternatives to medication into your health regimen.
- Fish oil is effective for reducing cholesterol
- Manage your high LDL
- Increase your good HDL
- Gain heart-healthy benefits with easy to take supplements
Numerous scientific studies show that fish oil supplements can be beneficial for lowering high cholesterol. According to experts at the University of Maryland Medical Center2 (UMMC), the essential fatty acids found in fish oil may increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL) or the “good” cholesterol, decrease high triglycerides and lower the risk of coronary heart disease.
UMMC researchers also believe EPA and DHA (eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid), those beneficial omega-3 fatty acids contained in fish oil, can help decrease the risk factors for a heart attack, including high cholesterol and high blood pressure. They say fish oil has been shown to lower the risk of death, stroke and abnormal heart rhythms in patients who have already experienced a heart attack.
Atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries, is a serious condition that has also responded well to the regular consumption of fish oil. Medical professionals say these supplements can slow the development of plaque and blood clots, which can clog arteries.
High-density lipoproteins are the human body’s natural fighters. These friendly scavengers scour the blood stream, on the hunt for LDL cholesterol to remove from the system. According to WebMD3, HDL also escorts bad cholesterol to the liver where it can be recycled, diminishing its negative impact on the body.
Medscape Education, a leading resource for medical professionals, points out that fish oil supplements can have a positive effect on high-density lipoproteins.4 Researchers say EPA and DHA found in fish oil were shown to increase HDL by eight percent in patients suffering from hyperlipidemia (high blood cholesterol levels). The study was conducted over an eight-week period using capsules containing 1.48 g of DHA combined with 1.88 g of EPA. Two servings of the fish oil supplement OmegaMx delivers nearly the same amount of the essential omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA used in the above study.
As mentioned above, low-density lipoproteins are the bad boy cholesterol that can wreak havoc on our cells and tissues. Scientists say that LDL collects in the walls of blood vessels, causing plaque buildup and obstructions. Higher levels of LDL in the bloodstream put you at greater risk for a heart attack from a sudden blood clot in an artery narrowed by atherosclerosis.5
A study conducted by Dr. David J. Becker, a cardiologist at Chestnut Hill Hospital and the University of Pennsylvania Health System, shows that fish oil supplements can reduce unwanted LDL cholesterol. Dr. Becker tested 74 people with high cholesterol.
Half of the participants took medication to control the condition while the other half took three fish oil capsules twice daily. Those with an LDL cholesterol level greater than 160 mg/dL took 3.6 grams of red yeast rice as well. At the conclusion of the 12-week study, Dr. Becker and his colleagues determined that the LDL levels declined by 42 percent in the group taking fish oil supplements and only by 39 percent in the group taking medication. The findings of this study are good news for people who are searching for natural ways to control elevated LDL levels.
- Fish oil promotes cardiovascular wellness
- Is a natural alternative to medication for high cholesterol
- Is safe and effective to use
A diagnosis of high cholesterol doesn’t have to be a death sentence. There are simple steps you can take right now to lower your risk for developing heart disease and stroke. Eating a diet rich in fiber, fresh fruits and vegetables, cutting back on cigarettes and taking a brisk walk three or four times a week is a good start on the pathway to cardiovascular wellness.
Before beginning a health regimen of regular exercise and other lifestyle adjustments, talk to your family doctor. Then discover why many medical professionals and other researchers in the scientific community suggest that fish oil supplements should be a part of a cholesterol management program.