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Natural Help With Cholesterol and High Triglycerides

Aug 17, 2007
High cholesterol is a common affliction for those in Western societies. It is estimated that 101 million Americans suffer from high cholesterol which is defined as blood cholesterol greater then 200mg per deciliter. Americans are not the only ones with cholesterol problems, an Australian study found that 51.5% of male Australians have high blood cholesterol.

While some cholesterol is good, it is when the levels get too high that we run into problems. Cholesterol is necessary for hormone production, and is a major component in cell walls. Cholesterol also aids in the production of bile and aids in the metabolism of the fat soluble vitamins A, D, E, and K.

High cholesterol is one of the five leading risk factors leading to coronary heart disease. If your cholesterol levels need to drop a bit and you want to work on your good to bad ratio, drugs are not the only option.

As far as diet goes, adding soluble fiber is a good move as it binds to blood serum cholesterol and helps it leave the body. Good dietary sources of soluble fiber can be found in ground flax seeds, oat meal and oat bran, apples and a variety of other foods.

Niacin, known as Vitamin B3, is a water soluble vitamin that has also been proven to be helpful in lowering cholesterol levels and improving cholesterol ratios. The main function of niacin is to metabolize fats.

Niacin has been shown to reduce LDL, or bad cholesterol levels by 10-20%, reduce triglycerides by 20-50%, and raise HDL, or good cholesterol by 15-30%.

When choosing a Niacin product, be sure to start with 100mg dose and gradually ease your way up to avoid the flushing and tingling of skin that can happen with higher doses. This flushing is a result of niacin's effects on widening blood vessels which usually last beginning at 15 minutes after taking the pill to about an hour after. If you do suffer from the flushing sensation, taking your niacin with food can decrease your risk of these negative symptoms. Also, do not purchase niacinamide as it does not help in lowering cholesterol. It is common to work up to 1.5 to 3 grams per day for therapeutic doses.

Another great benefit of niacin for anyone who has suffered a heart attack or stroke is that the use of niacin has been shown to reduce the risk of having a second heart attack or stroke.

People who take niacin to lower cholesterol typically get their cholesterol levels checked every 6 to 12 months as niacin works gradually over time. Having your blood tested more often then that is not necessary as the cholesterol changes can be slow.

I do want to note that if you have been taking statin drugs or Red Yeast Rice, it is very important to add both Niacin and CoQ10 as statins and Red Yeast Rice both deplete your body of these nutrients. Be sure to consult your physician on this issue too.

It is important to work with your doctor on this to avoid any complications like high blood sugar or liver problems. High doses of niacin can also increase the effectiveness of medication for high blood pressure.
About the Author
The author recommends visting the natural health site, Jeffs Healthy Living and to learn more about alternative therapies visit the health blog at Jeffs Healthy Living Blog
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