Dietary supplements and cholesterol
Find here all about Dietary supplements and cholesterol , all the natural solutions to cholesterol. This category includes a concentrate of our best products to support you naturally, such as Policosanol, rice bran oil, red yeast rice, flaxseed, as well as other essential references.
What is cholesterol?
When François Poulletier De La Salle, a curious soul of the Age of Enlightenment, isolated this lipid for the first time in 1758, he was far from imagining that it would integrate the common language of our contemporaries.
Who has never heard the worried voice of a loved one announce "I have cholesterol... » ? Very often referred to as a harmful or controversial substance, cholesterol is nevertheless an essential element for life... and fortunately... we have some! However, in some cases, it can be present in excess, and become a risk factor for health.
Origin and role of cholesterol
From the Greek "chole" (bile) and "stereos" (solid), it is in solid form in gallstones that it enters the history of medicine.
Cholesterol has two origins:
- endogenous: it is mainly synthesized by the liver.
- exogenous: it is for a quarter brought by the diet.
- An essential constituent of bile, its metabolic role does not stop there and its functions are multiple:
- 90% of cholesterol is used for the constitution of cell membranes
- its role is fundamental for our brain by promoting the formation of synapses
- it is a precursor of vitamin D and certain hormones (testosterone, cortisol)
Good or bad cholesterol?
In everyday language, we differentiate between "two kinds" of cholesterol: "good" and "bad". Yet it is the same molecule.
- The "bad" (LDL) is transported from the liver to the cells. It is to this one that we reproach to clog the arteries in the passage.
- The "good" (HDL) is transported from the cells to the liver and then eliminated by the bile.
It is simply the form of elimination of the "bad". Its role is therefore protective of the arteries. It is then easy to understand that beyond the rate of each, it is above all the relationship between the two that prevails and which indicates whether it presents a risk to the body.
What are the risks of high cholesterol?
When the level of "bad" cholesterol (LDL) increases in the blood, beyond the recommended standards and the "good" (HDL) is insufficient, we will talk about "hypercholesterolemia".
The main risk of hypercholesterolemia is cardiovascular. Circulating in too large quantities in arteries, whose walls are sometimes irritated by various other factors (inadequate diet, tobacco, alcohol, chemicals ...), it will risk agglomerating with the platelet aggregate formed by the healing process caused by the aggression mentioned above.
This is how a deposit is formed that will thicken and harden over time, decreasing the vascular lumen: the atheroma plaque. As a result, arterial circulation is more difficult to increase the risk of different pathologies or vascular accidents (myocardial infarction, stroke, arteritis of the lower limbs ...)
Factors that increase bad cholesterol levels
Poor food hygiene
An inadequate diet, too rich and indigestible presents a risk of dysfunction of the liver, the main organ of cholesterol synthesis. It is therefore essential to avoid anything that can slow down liver function: sugar, alcohol, tobacco, certain medications, chemical food additives etc.
On the other hand, certain foods rich in cholesterol will have a direct impact on the increase in the level of "bad" cholesterol: the abuse of red meats, cold cuts, cheese, fresh cream, whole milk, butter, lard, saturated fats...
It weakens the elimination functions of the body and therefore decreases the activity of "good" cholesterol (HDL) by promoting "bad" cholesterol (LDL).
How to naturally fight against hypercholesterolemia?
An adapted lifestyle and eating behaviour
Since cholesterol is mainly synthesized by the liver, we will understand the importance of ensuring its proper functioning by favoring an adapted diet and by granting detoxification periods, ideally at each change of season.
It will be advisable to remove foods rich in cholesterol in order to favor healthy foods, free of pesticides or other chemical treatments.
The benefits of the "Mediterranean diet" have often been advocated as part of cardiovascular protection. This type of diet has many advantages and can form the basis of a new eating behavior that promotes a good balance, as well as a nutritional and energy intake adapted to needs.
Let's recall these few basic notions:
- a significant contribution of varied seasonal fruits and vegetables
- the use of virgin vegetable oils (olive, rapeseed, camelina, nuts, sesame ...) to be added ideally to the plate
- the consumption of oilseeds (the almond preferably because it is cholesterol-lowering)
- Reduce animal protein to two or three times a week by favoring fish, poultry, rabbit ...
- Avoid animal fats and saturated fats
- Consume legumes (rich in protein): lentils, azuki beans, chickpeas, red beans...
- Drink pu-erh tea (naturally cholesterol-lowering)
- Add garlic to all preparations
Move... walk... cycling... There is no need to run, as running can generate tension and joint micro-trauma, ideally physical activity is regular. A brisk walk of twenty minutes a day may be enough to keep fit. In order to potentiate the beneficial effects of a healthy lifestyle, supplementation can be very effective.
Phytosterols are plant lipids whose chemical structure is very close to cholesterol. They have the particularity of decreasing the intestinal absorption of LDL cholesterol to the blood.
Foods naturally rich in phytosterols are oilseeds, legumes, cereals and vegetable oils. Particular attention should be paid to rice bran oil rich in more than a hundred antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, trace elements, amino acids, enzymes (co-enzyme Q10, gluthation, methionine, SOD).
The recommended daily intake of phytosterols is 2 grams per day, not exceeding 3 grams.
Niacin or vit B3 or PP
Niacin (nicotinic acid) is a water-soluble vitamin for the synthesis of the coenzymes NAD (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide) and NADP (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate).
These coenzymes break down carbohydrates, fat, protein and alcohol and play a role in the synthesis of fatty acids and cholesterol. It leads to lower LDL cholesterol and an increase in HDL. It also decreases triglycerides and lipoprotein (a) which are a cardiovascular risk factor.
Niacin is mainly present in products of animal origin (white meat, fatty fish, offal ...) even if it is found in a large number of foods (cereals, oilseeds, legumes, potatoes, beans, tomatoes, etc.)
The recommended intake is 11 mg for women and 14 mg for men, but the recommendations can reach 500 to 1000 mg, or even up to 3000 mg depending on the disorder.
Policosanol is an active ingredient extracted from rice or sugar cane whose mechanism of action is not precisely known, but which, after numerous studies, has proven its effectiveness in the prevention of cardiovascular risks. The finding shows that it would act by slightly reducing the synthesis of the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase at the origin of the mechanisms that generate the precursors of cholesterol.
It is attributed a higher effectiveness to phytosterols at a dose of 10mg per day. The decrease in LDL cholesterol levels would vary between 13 and 23% and the increase in HDL by 8 to 29% after two months of consumption.
Policosanol would also have a protective and preventive role on the cardiovascular sphere by reducing platelet aggregation and lipoprotein oxidation. Policosanol is very well tolerated and appreciated for its gentle and progressive action.
Red yeast rice
What is red rice?
It is a brown rice that has undergone a natural mutation and gives it this beautiful color.
It is appreciated for its subtle flavor and its naturally cholesterol-lowering virtues.
Stronger than rice, Red yeast rice:
Red yeast rice is a microscopic fungus containing the pigment that "reddens" rice.
It has the particularity of promoting the fermentation of the rice on which it develops. Once dried and powdered, fermented red rice will serve as a dye and flavor enhancer in different Asian preparations. The cholesterol-lowering molecule in red yeast rice is a natural statin called monacolin K. It works by inhibiting the synthesis of HMG-CoA reductase.
In summary very simplistic, it inhibits the synthesis of cholesterol and increases the catabolism of the cholesterol present and its elimination. Given the adverse effects frequently attributed to statins, particularly on muscle weakening and on the digestive sphere, caution should be exercised.
Omega-3 fatty acids
Omega-3s are a set of polyunsaturated fatty acids, three of which have a significant effect on our health: alpha linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and doxosahexaenoic acid (DHA). ALA comes almost exclusively from plants, it is essential and allows conversion to EPA and DHA in our body. EPA and DHA are also found mainly in foods of animal origin.
Regarding cholesterol, omega-3 would have a regulatory action by improving the ratio of HDL cholesterol to total cholesterol. Thanks to their anti-inflammatory and anti-platelet aggregation actions, they protect the arterial walls from the formation of clots while promoting the elimination of deposits that can form atheroma plaque.
Foods rich in omega-3 are:
- fatty fish: cod liver oil, salmon, mackerel... (but beware: it is difficult today not to be exposed to heavy metals from wild fish and insecticides from farms)
- the rabbit
- eggs from respectful farming
- oilseeds (almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, cashews, pistachios...)
- chia seeds and flax seeds (nearly 2500mg of omega-3 / teaspoon)
- certain oils (rapeseed, camelina, flax, hemp, nuts, perilla)
Nature is full of effective solutions that can balance our cholesterol. It will be enough to remove threatening foods and adopt the reflex to favor balanced, effective and protective food concentrates and "move". Being the age of our arteries... Yes! But on the condition that they remain young