So, here we are again with the Omni-hated “cholesterol talk”. This time it’s not those depressing harms it poses but a beam of hope- ways to reduce cholesterol levels with ayurveda.
Let us first understand that when cholesterol is not dangerous by itself, why do we fear it? And why do we need to keep our cholesterol levels in check? This is because a high level of cholesterol increases the risk for coronary heart disease and then heart attack.
How Does Cholesterol Affect Us
An optimum level of cholesterol is necessary for providing defence mechanism to the body, protection of red blood cells, and muscular membrane of the body. Since cholesterol cannot dissolve in the blood, it is transported to the cells by carriers known as lipoproteins, especially, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL).
Too much of LDL cholesterol in the blood causes formation of plaques in the arteries. This is because smaller particles of LDL easily penetrate the thin layer of cells that line the interior surface of blood vessels, forming an interface between circulating blood and the rest of the vessel wall. This increases the risk for coronary heart disease.
Ayurveda to Reduce High Cholesterol
Along with lifestyle changes, some natural remedies are a good way to fight cholesterol. Here are a few:
Evening Primrose Oil
According to a research published in the Journal of Oleo Science, oil from the evening primrose seed is very rich in gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) which has been found to significantly decrease serum triglyceride (TG) and LDL, and significantly increase HDL cholesterol.
An earlier study had shown that evening primrose oil was more effective in controlling cholesterol when compared with sunflower oil and linseed oil. It is available for consumption as supplements in the form of capsules or in liquid form.
Red Rice Yeast
Researchers from UCLA School of Medicine found that hyperlipidemia subjects treated with 2.4 g/day of Chinese red yeast rice dietary supplement for 8 weeks had significantly lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triacylglycerol. However, HDL cholesterol did not change significantly. Red rice yeast is readily available in the form of capsules.
Dietary Soluble Fibre
A meta-analysis of 67 controlled trials by the Harvard School of Public Health researchers revealed that dietary soluble fibres had total cholesterol -- and LDL cholesterol-lowering effects.
According to them, ‘3 g soluble fibre from oats (3 servings of oatmeal, 28 g each) can decrease total and LDL cholesterol by approximately 0.13 mmol/L. Increasing soluble fibre can make only a small contribution to dietary therapy to lower cholesterol’. Examples of such soluble fibre are beans, oats, guar gum, and psyllium.
A study published in the Journal of American Dietetic Association found that fat free foods supplemented with soy stanol-lecithin powder at 625 mg per day reduced cholesterol absorption by 32.1 percent during the 4-week treatment.
Lecithin is a phospholipid produced naturally by the liver to emulsify fats. Lecithin is also found naturally in the soybean and egg yolk.
To lower cholesterol naturally, Ayurveda doesn’t just focus on cholesterol lowering foods, but rather on dietary recommendations, which will balance the overall fat metabolism of the body. We advise you to consult your doctor before starting any medications for high cholesterol- ayurvedic or allopathic.
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