We hear the words high cholesterol thrown around a lot, and it’s very easy to ignore them or not give them the attention they deserve. But it turns out that having high cholesterol is something you should be concerned about, and you should really do everything you can do reduce your risk of this condition. This is especially true if you are prone to the condition or there is a history of it in your family.
So what is high cholesterol, and how can it affect you?
Cholesterol is a type of fat, a soft white waxy substance, in your blood, which is a necessary part of a healthy body and needed by your cells to function. However your body naturally makes all the cholesterol your body needs. People then add lots of extra cholesterol through processed and fatty foods they eat, and now your body has too much; result? – high cholesterol.
It then starts to build up in your arteries, causing clogging and hardened arteries, and lessens the blood flow, making the heart work harder than it should, causing heart disease. It can also cause stroke, and as you can probably guess, can cause death.
Nearly half of all adults in western countries like the USA and Australia that eat a lot of junk food have cholesterol at dangerous levels. You can determine your level by seeing your doctor for an assessment.
You are at greater risk of high cholesterol if you are over 20, overweight, don’t exercise, smoke, and have diabetes or high blood pressure. A common symptom of high cholesterol is fatigue, but this is symptom of so many things, it is very hard to pinpoint this one. You probably feel tired right now.
There are no easily identifiable symptoms really of high cholesterol, and the only way you will know if you have it is through a blood test, or an emergency incident such as a heart attack. This is all the more reason to take steps to reduce your risks now, as well as ensuring you have regular tests to monitor your cholesterol levels.
So what does it do to your liver?
Cholesterol is made by your liver, as well as by your cells. It helps your body to build cells, make hormones, and produce vitamin D and bile acids.
Your liver is the primary processing center for cholesterol and other healthier fats, transporting fats into our bloodstream. One of the central jobs of your liver is to manufacture bile, which is for digesting fats and processing cholesterol.
If you have a liver condition such as cirrhosis, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, or a condition like alcoholism, your liver is not working properly and cannot metabolize all the cholesterol it is faced with. The cholesterol then will build up in the blood.
Also if you have high cholesterol, this can lead to a build-up of fatty deposits in your liver, leading to liver disease.
Basically, studies have shown that liver disease can increase your risk of high cholesterol, and having high cholesterol can increase your risk of liver disease. They can be a direct result of each other and often go hand in hand.
To reduce the chances of developing either of these conditions, there are a number of healthy changes you can make to your lifestyle. Fortunately these changes will work effectively against both high cholesterol and liver disease, and can be very easily incorporated into your life.
How can you get on the right track?
Note that there are healthy and unhealthy fats in the food you eat. Good fats can be found in olive oil, full fat dairy, nuts, avocados, eggs, oily fish and lean meat. The ones you need to avoid are trans fats and saturated fats, generally found in junk food, anything deep fried, processed meat like salami and baked goods like donuts and pies.
There are a number of natural ways you can reduce your cholesterol and improve your liver health at the same time. You should try some (or probably all) of the following:
- Cut bad fats from your diet
- Stop smoking
- Cut down your drinking
- Reduce added sugars
- Increase your exercise
- Increase natural fiber, fruits and vegetables
- Take a natural supplement to help your liver better metabolize the cholesterol in your bloodstream.
Here at Eric’s we have a number of herbal supplements that can help you. You may be interested in trying one of the following:
Jarrow Liver Optimizer
Liver Optimizer is a combination of herbs and other nutrients which aim to improve your metabolism, increase detoxification, improve removal of toxins and increase production of bile. It contains artichoke, milk thistle and B complex vitamins, as well as a number of other helpful ingredients. Liver Optimizer can reduce the effects of alcoholism on your body.
Renew Life Liver Detox
This is a two-part cleanse program targeted to naturally cleanse the liver. This product contains minerals, vitamins, herbs and amino acids to support healthy liver function. Ingredients include selenium, milk thistle, dandelion, artichoke, green tea and turmeric.
Herb Pharm Liver Health
These drops assist both your liver function and your gallbladder. Active ingredients include dandelion, Oregon grape, milk thistle, artichoke, schisandra berry and fennel seed. Reviewed by customers as “quality in a bottle”, this is a much loved product that really works.
Natural Care Cholest-Care
Cholest-Care works to reduce your cholesterol as well as improving your heart health and your blood flow and oxygen circulation, using active ingredients including red yeast rice and milk thistle. Customers using this product have raved about it, saying how well and how quickly it works to reduce cholesterol levels, and how much healthier they feel.
Nature’s Plus, Herbal Actives Red Yeast Rice
Red Yeast Rice is a natural product often touted as being good for lowering your cholesterol. People using this supplement have had reduced cholesterol back to healthy levels, even without the need for prescription medication, with no side effects. Originally a product of eastern medicine, this magic ingredient can also help your indigestion, bowel function and blood circulation.
There is a lot you can easily do to reduce your risks and improve your health in this area. Basically there is no excuse for ignoring the words high cholesterol anymore.