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Natural Health from A to Z
Wednesday, September 18, 2013 • Posted September 19, 2013

It seems like everyone wants to reduce their cholesterol. There are some great natural ways to do this, but everyone is unique – so what works for one, may not work for another. Cholesterol is necessary for many body functions, meaning that you don’t want to reduce it completely, but you don’t want unhealthy levels either.

If you want to work on the cause, a good place to start is looking at the diet. Eliminate foods full of unhealthy transfatty acids and hydrogenated oils which tend to increase cholesterol.

If both cholesterol and triglycerides are high, there is a good chance that you are insulin resistant or have diabetes - which means you are eating too much sugar or too many refined carbohydrates. A great way to bring both triglycerides and cholesterol down is to balance your diet and take a multi-vitamin for blood sugar control (I recommend one called Gluco Balance) along with a good quality omega 3 oil.

Another area to consider is how cholesterol is eliminated from the body. Bile from the liver carries the cholesterol to the digestive tract where it is eliminated from the body. Constipation or slow transit time through the digestive tract will cause cholesterol to be reabsorbed rather than eliminated. Adding fiber to the diet will absorb the cholesterol, encourage more regular elimination, and lower cholesterol. Oat fiber is advertised as being cholesterol lowering, but other forms of fiber such as psyllium will work as well.

One of the most common factors I find that leads to high cholesterol levels is poor liver or gallbladder function. There are several common foods in the American diet that cause the bile to congeal and not flow to the digestive tract properly. A liver cleanse would be helpful, particularly if it thins the bile so that it flows naturally. I have seen good results with a product called Beta TCP and also with lecithin.

If you really don’t know why your cholesterol is high, but want to do something natural, a good step is to do an herbal cleanse for the whole body. The one I recommend is a 30 day program that includes herbs, fiber and omega 3 oil. Customers have brought cholesterol down 20-40 points using this cleanse.

There are many natural products that will help keep cholesterol levels healthy. Some of the best known are red yeast rice, niacin, lecithin, chlorella and garlic. But there are others such as policosanol. Studies show that policosanol can lower total cholesterol 17 to 20 percent with “bad’ LDL cholesterol reductions of 15 to 25 percent and “good” HDL cholesterol increases of 18 to 20 percent. A companion product to policosanol is phytosterols which has been shown in studies to reduce cholesterol an average of 10 percent in total cholesterol and 13 percent in LDL cholesterol. Both policosanol and phytosterols are often included in cholesterol lowering programs since they enhance the effect of both prescription and nonprescription treatments for lowering cholesterol. Our customers report favorable results using a product called CholestRice – a blend of red yeast rice, Co Q-10, policosanol and phytosterols.

Remember that high cholesterol is a response to an imbalance in the body - fix the imbalance and you will be healthier all over.

Margaret Durst owns The Green House, a vitamin, herb and health food store in Mason, Texas. www.naturalcowgirl.wordpress.com

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