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Article: Hypercholesterolemia (Dyslipidemia) | High Cholesterol | Fats in Blood

Hypercholesterolemia (Dyslipidemia) | High Cholesterol | Fats in Blood

Hypercholesterolemia (Dyslipidemia) 

Hypercholesterolemia (Dyslipidemia)

Cholesterol, steroidal alcohol (C27H45OH), is present in animal cells and body fluids, regulating membrane fluidity and functioning as a precursor molecule in various metabolic pathways. When present in LDL, it may cause arteriosclerosis. The normal level of cholesterol is less than 200 mg per deciliter of blood (mg/dL).

Borderline range: 200 to 239 mg/dL.

Elevated Cholesterol Level: 240 mg/dL or above, known as Hypercholesterolemia.

Since  Cholesterol is insoluble in water, it is transported in the blood plasma within protein particles.

Lipoprotein: Any of a group of soluble proteins that combine with and transport fat or other lipids in the blood plasma.

  • Low-density lipoprotein ( LDL) – Bad Cholesterol
  • High-density lipoprotein ( HDL) – Good Cholesterol.
  • Very low-density lipoprotein - VLDL
  • Intermediate Density Lipoprotein – IDL

Causes:

  • Food rich in saturated fats, obesity, hypothyroidism, nephritic syndrome, Cushing's syndrome, anorexia, smoking, and lack of exercise.
  • Familial hypercholesterolemia ( FH ) causes moderate to severe hypercholesterolemia with a prevalence of at least 0.2% in most populations.
  • (FH  is a genetic disorder. It is caused by a defect in chromosome 19. The defect makes the body unable to remove low-density lipoprotein (LDL, or "bad") cholesterol from the blood. This results in high levels of LDL in the blood.)

Symptoms:

It is a silent condition and does not give any early warning – plaque form can damage and clog the arteries. The main problem which occurs due to increased cholesterol is Heart Attack.

To reduce increased cholesterol, dietary habits should be changed.

Polygenic hypercholesterolemia is the most common cause of mild to moderate increase in LDL–C. Physical signs such as corneal arcus and Xanthelasma may be found in this as well as other forms of lipid disturbances.

The risk of cardiovascular disease is proportional to the degree of  LDL-C Elevation but is modified by other majority risk factors, particularly HDL–C.

Atherosclerosis ( Characterized by atheromatous deposits in  and fibrosis of the inner layer of the arteries – in which narrowing of the arteries occurs.) It can lead to  Angina, Coronary Heart Disease, Heart Attack, and Stroke.

In FH, extremely high cholesterol levels occur i.e. above 300 milligrams per deciliter. In such cases, nodules filled with cholesterol- - Xanthomas:  ( an irregular yellow patch or nodule on the skin, caused by deposition of lipids.) occur on the tendons. Xanthelasmas: Xanthelasma (or xanthelasma palpebrarum) is a sharply demarcated yellowish deposit of fat underneath the skin, usually on or around the eyelids.)

Management:

  • Reduce intake of cholesterol < 250 mg/day
  • Replace sources of saturated fat and cholesterol with alternative food such as lean meat and low-fat dairy products.
  • Reduce energy-dense foods such as fats and soft drinks, whilst increasing activity and exercise to maintain or lose weight.
  • Increase consumption of cardio-protective and nutrient-dense foods such as vegetables, unrefined carbohydrates, fish pulses, nuts, legumes, and fruits.
  • Restrict alcohol intake.
  • Achieve additional benefits with supplementary intake of foods containing lipid-lowering nutrients.

Herbs To Treat Hypercholesterolemia:

  • Eat Garlic i.e. Allium sativum on an empty stomach early in the morning. Fibers from the outer skin of onion and garlic lowered total lipids, total cholesterol, and glyceride levels of plasma and tissues in rats. If a clove of garlic is not available take a Garlic Herbal Supplement. Ref: Vadhera S et al, 1995, hypocholesterolemic/hypolipidemic effect of dietary fibers of an outer skin of garlic and Journal of Food Science and Technology, v32(1), 62-64.
  • Allium-cepa (Onion) is also advisable. Continuous consumption of onion for 5 months (80g daily) decreased serum cholesterol below normal in healthy humans. Ref: Indian Med Gaz, 1977, 111, 378.
  • The extract prepared from the onion skin has pronounced anti-oxidant properties. Ref: Wealth of India. rev Vol 1, 1985, 179.
  • Curcuma longa ( Haldi, E: Turmeric) If it suits your constitution, take a pinch of Curcuma longa – Derivative  -  Curcumin lowers serum cholesterol and also acts as an anti-oxidant and helps to lower blood sugar level. If a powder of Turmeric is not available, take the Turmeric Herbal Supplement. Ref: Soni KB et. al, 1992, Indian J physiol and Pharmacol, 32, 273-275; Shinde S and Rao SS, 1991, Indian J Pharmacol 23, 31.
  • Grape seed extract is also effective in lowering increased cholesterol levels. If the seed extract is not available, then the Herbal Supplement containing Grape seed extract as an ingredient should be taken.
  • Cynarine – is a hydroxycinnamic acid and the biologically active constituent of Artichoke.
  • European scientists first documented cynarin’s ability to lower cholesterol in humans.
  • Take a Herbal supplement of extract of the leaf of Artichoke.
  • Trichosanthes dioica seeds (Patol, E: Pointed Gourd ): Not only the seed, T.dioica,  whole fruit and pulp are also found to exert significant Hypocholesterolemic and hypotriglyceridemic effects in normal as well as mild diabetic subjects. HDL Cholesterol is increased, whereas VLDL Cholesterol levels are decreased significantly.  Ref: Sharma G  et al, 1998, Indian Drugs,  v 27 (1),24-28.
  • Terminalia arjuna (Arjuna)  helps to lower the increased cholesterol level. Take half a teaspoon churn( Powder) of Arjun bark daily.

Natural Home Remedies:

  • Krill Oil – Some studies show that it has a potential benefit in maintaining healthy cholesterol as it contains omega-3 fatty acids. It also contains an antioxidant called astaxanthin.
  • Red-yeast rice – It is made by fermenting a type of red yeast called Monascus–purpureus over rice. Contraindication- Pregnant Women, Children, Nursing women. One of the most important ingredients of Red – Yeast – Rice is “lovastatin”.( Some people say that it is a traditional medicine to lower cholesterol, But the pharmaceutical manufacturer of “Mevacor” argues that it owns the right to the ingredient) “lovastatin”. Red yeast – rice helps to lower your cholesterol level.
  • Soak 2 teaspoonfuls of coriander seeds in a glass of water. Keep it overnight. Filter it early in the morning. Then drink it.
  • Coenzyme Q10 is noted to reduce total cholesterol serum levels.
  • A study performed in Brazil where people were given green tea extract in capsule form resulted in a 4.5% lowering of LDL cholesterol levels.
  • Eat  Salmon fish which are rich in omega 3 fatty acids.
  • Take whole grain bread, whole wheat flour, and brown rice.
  • Green Beans have an ample amount of soluble fiber that helps to control and reduce high cholesterol levels.
  • Drink Soya milk daily.
  • Barley is beneficial.
  • Daily Carrot and Spinach juice is advisable.
  • Have Oatmeal regularly.
  • Take a fresh juice of  Bottle Gourd (   Lagenaria siceraria, Dudhi bhopala) one teaspoon daily.
  • Give the combination of Terminalia arjuna, Extract  - 300mg, Curcumin – 30mg, Garlic Extract -100mg, Inula racemosa – 70 mg = Capsule – 475mg.

Avoid:

Smoking and excessive alcohol intake.

Though quantities are mentioned for some natural home remedies, it is advisable to consult an Ayurvedic physician for proper dosages and guidance.