Establish A Regular Meal Pattern
Insulin resistance is another factor that can contribute to high blood triglycerides.
After you eat a meal, the cells in your pancreas send a signal to release insulin into the bloodstream. Insulin is then responsible for transporting sugar to your cells to be used for energy.
If you have too much insulin in your blood, your body can become resistant to it, making it difficult for your body to use insulin effectively. This can lead to a buildup of both sugar and triglycerides in the blood.
Fortunately, setting a regular eating pattern can help prevent insulin resistance and high triglycerides. For instance, research shows that not eating breakfast can lead to decreased insulin sensitivity .
An American Heart Association statement suggested that irregular eating patterns seemed less likely to achieve healthy cardiometabolic levels. They recommended intentional eating at regular times .
However, the evidence is mixed when it comes to meal frequency.
A 2013 study demonstrated that eating three meals per day significantly decreased triglycerides compared with eating six meals per day (
Regardless of how many meals youre eating daily, eating regular meals can improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood triglyceride levels.
While studies are mixed on how meal frequency affects blood triglyceride levels, research suggests that sticking to a regular meal pattern can decrease many heart disease risk factors and prevent insulin resistance.
Is There Such A Thing As Good Cholesterol
While too much LDL cholesterol is bad news for your body, HDL cholesterol is considered to be a good thing.
The bloodstreams prefect, HDL, keeps your cholesterol levels in check by guiding troublemaking LDL back to the liver, to be removed from your system, after it has completed its job.
This keeps LDL cholesterol from lurking around in your arteries causing damage.
B Vitamins Boast Many Benefits
Vitamin B3, or niacin, has been shown to increase levels of high-density lipoprotein , or good, cholesterol, and decrease triglycerides. Niacin supplementation has been used since the 1950s as a treatment for high cholesterol. While B3 alone may not be adequate treatment for high cholesterol, in combination with other medications, a B-vitamin supplement may be beneficial.
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Dietary Supplements For Cholesterol: Are Any Worth A Try
Various herbs and other supplements have been touted for their ability to improve cholesterol levels. Hereâs what the research shows and doesnât show about some of the best-known products.
Hawthorne.The leaves, berries, and flowers of this plant are used to make medicine that was traditionally used to treat cardiovascular diseases. It may lower cholesterol by increasing the excretion of bile and decreasing the bodyâs production of cholesterol. Verdict: It may possibly help.
Red yeast rice.This Chinese medicine has been marketed in the United States as a supplement thatâs said to lower cholesterol levels. Some red yeast rice products contain a chemical thatâs identical to the active ingredient in the cholesterol-lowering drug lovastatin. But an independent analysis of 12 red yeast rice products found that although all claimed to have 600 milligrams of the active ingredient in each capsule, the actual content varied between 0.1 mg and 10.9 mg. In addition, one-third of the products were contaminated with a potentially toxic compound called citrinin, which can cause kidney failure. This cautionary tale illustrates the potential pitfalls of taking dietary supplements, which are virtually free of the testing and manufacturing requirements that apply to pharmaceutical drugs. Verdict: It may possibly help, but purity remains a problem.
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Stents Vs Surgery For Atherosclerosis Treatment
Which is the better treatment for the late stages of atherosclerosis — stents or bypass surgery? Each procedure has advantages and disadvantages.
- Living longer when you have multiple blockages. CABG is the best treatment for extending life in people with multiple severe blockages. CABG has been shown to extend life for patients with several patterns of severe blockages, and is clearly superior to stenting in these cases. Stenting has not been demonstrated to help people live longer.
- Pain relief. Sometimes treatment with drugs can’t control chronic chest pain. Both CABG and stenting provide near-complete relief from angina more than 90% of the time. Angina often returns over time, though, which may lead to future procedures.
- Emergency treatment. During a heart attack, stents are usually better than CABG. Stents can be placed in minutes, without the risks and recovery time of major surgery.
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Supplements To Lower Cholesterol
A supplement may help to lower your cholesterolbut the operative word is may. Many dont have enough well-executed, scientific studies behind them to support their claims. And supplements in this country dont undergo the rigorous safety and efficacy tests drugs must pass before they come to market. Purity standards and ingredient concentrations are also not regulated. Bottom line: Buyer beware. And talk to your healthcare provider before taking any supplement.
Good Cholesterol Vs Bad Cholesterol
LDL cholesterol is often referred to as bad cholesterol. To help my patients remember the difference, I remind them that we want the lousy LDL cholesterol to be lower. Why is it so bad? When LDL is oxidized, it can cause damage to the walls of arteries, which increases the risk of developing a blocked artery, leading to a heart attack or stroke. LDLs primary role is to transport cholesterol and triglycerides from the liver to the cells, via the arteries. It does so to assist with cellular repair and energy metabolism. However, too much LDL is not ideal.
HDL, which is made in the liver, is considered the good cholesterol. The higher your healthy HDL cholesterol is, the better. Why is it so good? HDL can transport artery-blocking cholesterol from an artery back to the liver where it is broken down and destroyed, which is why more is better. Those with an HDL over 50-60 mg/dl have additional protection against heart disease.
While maintaining a healthy diet is important to keep your cholesterol controlled, it is not the only thing to consider. According to Dr. Andrew Weil, other factors which can increase your cholesterol are heredity, stress, smoking, excess caffeine, and little to no exercise.
Foods To Lower Triglycerides
Serum Lipid Concentration Changes
The mean net changes between the treatment and placebo groups for LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides entered into the meta-analysis are presented in Table 3. In the LDL cholesterol category, 9 of the 11 trials had an intervention-related trend toward a reduction in LDL cholesterol but only 4 of these trials showed a statistically significant reduction when compared with the control group . For the HDL cholesterol category, a trend toward an intervention-related increase was observed for 6 of the 12 trials however, only 1 of these trials showed a statistically significant increase when compared with the control group . For the triglyceride category, a trend toward intervention-related reduction was also observed for 5 of the 10 trials but only 2 of these trials showed a statistically significant reduction when compared with the control group .
Net change in triglyceride concentration associated with vitamin C supplementation. The overall effect size is weighted by the inverse of the total variance of each trial.
Eat Fatty Fish Twice Weekly
Fatty fish is well known for its benefits on heart health and ability to lower blood triglycerides.
This is mostly due to its content of omega-3 fatty acids, a type of polyunsaturated fatty acid that is considered essential, meaning you need to get it through your diet.
Both the Dietary Guidelines for Americans and American Heart Association recommend eating two servings of fatty fish per week to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke .
Whats more, one study showed that eating salmon twice a week significantly decreased blood triglyceride concentration .
Salmon, herring, sardines, tuna, and mackerel are a few types of fish that are especially high in omega-3 fatty acids.
Fatty fish is high in omega-3 fatty acids. Eating two servings per week may lower triglyceride levels and decrease the risk of heart disease.
Add Flax To Your Diet
Eat your flax instead of taking it in pill or oil form, Dr. Cho advises. Non-food versions lack fiber, lignans and protein. Instead, aim for two to three tablespoons of ground flaxseed a day, putting it in cereal, yogurt or salad.
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What Are The Risks Linked To High Cholesterol
Too much LDL cholesterol in the blood can increase your risk of heart and blood vessel disease .
The excess LDL cholesterol leads to fatty deposits called plaque forming in the artery walls. Over time, the plaque causes narrowing and hardening of the arteries .
This can lead to:
- Angina when plaque builds up in the major arteries that supply your heart, known as the coronary arteries, they become narrower and are partially blocked, reducing blood flow and oxygen supply to the heart. This may cause shortness of breath and chest pain.
- Heart attack if a plaque in a coronary artery bursts , a clot may form and block the supply of blood to the heart, starving it of oxygen.
- Stroke if the blood vessels that supply the brain become narrower or blocked by plaque, blood supply to the brain can be severely reduced or cut off, causing a stroke. Strokes can also be caused when a clot from another part of the body travels through the blood and lodges in an artery in the brain.
- Peripheral vascular disease this usually affects the arteries that supply the legs and feet, causing leg pain when walking , and even pain when resting, when the circulation is more badly affected
A high level of HDL cholesterol is good because HDL cholesterol helps remove other forms of cholesterol from the blood, taking them back to the liver where theyre removed from the blood and passed out of the body.
Dosage For Lowering Cholesterol And Triglyceride Levels And Reducing Risk Of A Heart Attack
- Extended-release tablet: The starting dosage is 500 mg taken by mouth once per day at bedtime. After 4 weeks, your doctor may increase your dosage by up to 500 mg. The standard maintenance dosage is 1,0002,000 mg taken once daily at bedtime.
- Oral tablet: The initial dosage is 250 mg taken by mouth once per day following your evening meal. Your doctor may gradually increase your dosage to a maximum of 6 grams per day. The standard dosage is 12 grams taken 23 times per day.
- Extended-release tablet: The starting dosage is 500 mg taken by mouth once per day at bedtime. After 4 weeks, your doctor may increase your childs dosage by up to 500 mg. The standard maintenance dosage is 1,0002,000 mg taken once daily at bedtime.
- Oral tablet: The initial dosage is 250 mg taken by mouth once per day following the evening meal. Your doctor may gradually increase your childs dosage to a maximum of 6 grams per day. The standard dosage is 12 grams taken 23 times per day.
This medication hasnt been studied in children and shouldnt be used in children younger than 16 years.
The kidneys of older adults may not work as well as they used to. This can cause your body to process drugs more slowly. As a result, more of a drug stays in your body for a longer time. This increases your risk of side effects.
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How Does Cholesterol Contribute To Heart Disease
Cholesterol is a steroid molecule that is a large component of cellular membranes and a precursor to steroid hormones and vitamin D, among other functions. Cholesterol is transported throughout the body as lipid-protein complexes called lipoproteins. Low-density lipoproteins and high-density lipoproteins are generally measured when testing blood cholesterol levels.
LDL can transport cholesterol to arterial walls, contributing to the development of atherosclerosis and cardiovascular disease. Less commonly known is that size, density, and metabolic processes that alter lipoproteins play a large role in how damaging LDL can be to the endothelial cells that line arteries. HDL transports cholesterol away from tissues to the liver for reprocessing or disposal.
Natural interventions such as pantethine and artichoke may help with managing cholesterol levels and maintaining a healthy heart.
Note: High cholesterol is not the only risk factor for cardiovascular events. People interested in reducing their cardiovascular risks should follow the cholesterol-lowering strategies outlined in this protocol and read the Life Extension Magazine article titled How to Circumvent 17 Independent Heart Attack Risk Factors.
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Plant Sterols And Stanols
Plant stanols and sterols, such as beta-sitosterol, are naturally occurring substances found in certain plants. Stanols are also found as dietary supplements. Some are added to margarine, orange juice, and salad dressings.
Research suggests that plant stanols and sterols may help to lower cholesterol. They are similar to cholesterol in chemical structure and may help block its absorption in the intestines.
The FDA allows an approved health claim on phytosterols stating, Foods containing at least 0.65 per serving of plant sterol esters, eaten twice a day with meals for a daily total intake of at least 1.3 g, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, may reduce the risk of heart disease. The wording for stanols is similar, but 1.7 grams per serving and a total daily intake of at least 3.4 grams.
Stanols and sterols appear to enhance the effects of other methods to lower cholesterol. In studies, people taking statin drugs to lower cholesterol had an additional improvement in their cholesterol levels with stanols/sterols.
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Limit Your Alcohol Intake
Alcohol can increase your levels of triglycerides. Along with LDL cholesterol, high levels of triglycerides raise your risk of heart disease.
Excess alcohol consumption also increases blood pressure and can lead to obesity both additional risk factors for heart disease.
To reduce the risk of heart disease and other risks from alcohol, limit your intake to no more than 10 standard drinks per week and no more than 4 drinks per day.
Some of the more common side effects of niacin can include:
- reddening and warming of your face
- dark-colored urine
- yellowing of your skin or the whites of your eyes
Disclaimer: Our goal is to provide you with the most relevant and current information. However, because drugs affect each person differently, we cannot guarantee that this information includes all possible side effects. This information is not a substitute for medical advice. Always discuss possible side effects with a healthcare provider who knows your medical history.
Get Rid Of The Trans Fatty Foods
- Trans fatty foods are as harmful as poison. Artificial trans fat additives are injected into the foods to enhance their shelf-life. The most common examples of trans fatty foods include baked and fried foods that contain partially hydrogenated oils.
- Trans fats are inflammatory. The consumption of such foods triggers health problems like an increase in the levels of unhealthy LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and blood pressure.
- So, it is recommended to cut down on the intake of fried, baked, and processed foods to decrease the level of triglycerides in the blood.
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Get Down And Dirty With Running Jogging And Exercise
- Did you know that a high level of healthy cholesterol in the bloodstream is good for lowering the level of triglycerides? Well, yes. Healthy cholesterol or HDL bears an inverse relationship with the level of triglycerides in the blood.
- Aerobic exercise, walking, running, jogging, bicycling, swimming, and even freehand exercise can enhance the level of HDL cholesterol in the blood, which helps in lowering the level of triglycerides effectively.
- Exercising is not only good for making the triglyceride level dip to an average index but is also excellent for weight loss.
Ingredients & Potential Interactions
It is essential to carefully read the ingredient list and nutrition facts panel of a supplement to know which ingredients and how much of each ingredient is included relative to the recommended daily value of that ingredient. Please bring the supplement label to a healthcare provider to review the different ingredients contained in the supplement and any potential interactions between these ingredients and other supplements and medications you are taking.
Fish oil supplements typically contain EPA, DHA, and may also contain other fats such as omega-7 , oleic acid, or an omega-6 fat called GLA. Some fish oil supplements contain added vitamins, such as vitamin E, to help stabilize the oils to prevent them from going rancid.
Fish oil supplements can have a blood-thinning effect and may lower blood pressure slightly. If you are taking blood-thinning or blood pressure lowering medication, be sure to discuss fish oil supplement use with a healthcare provider.
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