Holistic cholesterol treatment offers a lifelong approach to improved cardiovascular health. It enables the daily intake of effective levels of key nutrients.
Overall, holistic cholesterol treatment can significantly lower LDL (bad cholesterol), raise HDL (good) cholesterol, and create an overall blood lipid profile that can meaningfully enhance your cardiovascular health.
Cholesterol: The Basics
We all need cholesterol. We just need the right types in the right amount. High levels of the wrong types of cholesterol play a leading role in the development of arterial plaque. This elevates the risks for heart disease, strokes and other ailments related to the cardiovascular system.
To date, the focus has been on two broad types of cholesterol. Low density lipoprotein (LDL) is the “bad” cholesterol. It is the villain in plaque development. High-density lipoprotein (HDL) is the “good” cholesterol. It returns cholesterol to the liver where it is reprocessed and excreted. HDLs also may play a role in reducing existing plaque.
Within these broad categories, the scientific community continues to find that different types of LDLs and HDLs affect our health in different ways. Other categories of blood lipids, notably triglycerides and very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL), also play a role in a range of complex interactions that affect the health of our cardiovascular systems.
As a general guide, cholesterol management seeks to promote cardiovascular health by lowering LDLs, VLDLs, and triglycerides and raising HDLs.
Achieving Results with Natural Cholesterol Management
Nutrition can play one of three roles in regards to cholesterol levels:
- Positive Nutrition actively reduces LDLs, VLDLs and triglycerides. It also can increase HDLs. Positive nutrients include plant sterols, viscous soluble fibers, good fats such as monounsaturated fats and Omega-3s, and niacin from nicotinic acid.
- Negative Nutrition actively raises LDLs and triglycerides, or decreases HDLs. Known negative nutrients are trans fat and saturated fat. A high level of processed carbohydrates also has been shown to negatively affect your HDL cholesterol levels.
- Neutral Nutrition neither positively nor negatively affects cholesterol levels.
At Kardea, we focus on developing natural foods and dietary supplements that provide meaningful levels of positive nutrients while minimizing the negative ones. We classify these nutrients in terms of level of scientific support.
Tier One nutrients are defined as those for which there is significant scientific agreement resulting in a broad consensus within the medical community. For cholesterol management, this consensus is embodied in the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) “Treatment Panel III” of the National Institutes of Health.
How do these potential results compare with many of the cholesterol medications now being prescribed? According to the NCEP, “The amount of LDL cholesterol reduction compares well with many cholesterol lowering drugs.”
Participants in the NCEP include the American Heart Association, American College of Cardiology, American Dietetic Association, National Institutes of Health, Food & Drug Administration and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Click here to view NCEP report “Lowering Your Cholesterol with TLC”).
Tier Two nutrients are based on strong and extensive scientific evidence, but the very broad consensus defined by the NCEP has not yet developed.
*Higher doses of niacin from nicotinic acid can raise HDLs by 35% while significantly lowering LDLs. Consult with your physician if considering these higher levels.