Tag Archives: cholesterol

How Is C-Reactive Protein Related to Heart Disease?

C-Reactive Protein

Prior to testing for C-reactive protein (CRP), many individuals suffered heart attacks, strokes and other life threatening events without a single hint of warning. But when researchers discovered normal cholesterol levels were found in nearly half of heart attack patients, it meant there had to be an additional unknown factor at work. That’s when inflammation was identified as the underlying contributor to the onset of a heart attack.

C-Reactive Protein’s Relationship to Heart Disease

Inflammation results when excess bad cholesterol, or LDL, makes its way into the bloodstream through the arterial wall. Once LDL is there, the inflammatory response is triggered and cholesterol accumulates on the arterial wall at a rapid pace, leading to an arterial blockage and, eventually, a heart attack. During this process, C-reactive protein is released. This discovery has led to a widespread change in protocols related to heart disease screening and testing.

C-Reactive Protein Testing

Because of its direct connection to arterial inflammation, studies indicate CRP could be a better indicator of heart disease than cholesterol levels. In 2002, a Harvard study found that women with elevated C-reactive protein levels were more than twice as likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke as women with low levels. When tested against cholesterol’s ability to predict the development of cardiovascular events, C-reactive protein was approximately 40% better than cholesterol testing.

Benefits of C-Reactive Protein Testing

Not only is C-reactive protein testing more efficient, but also provides physicians and patients with the following benefits.

  • Inflammation – When compared with other tests to measure inflammation, using the CRP test has produced superior results.
  • Sensitive – As technology advances, the ability to test for increasingly smaller quantities of C-reactive protein draws near. Currently, levels as low as 1 mg per liter can be detected.
  • Practical – Unlike expensive laboratory testing, C-reactive protein tests are cost-effective and only require a tiny bit of blood to measure levels.

Live Heart Healthy

Natural ways to achieve healthy cholesterol levels include proper diet, regular exercise and healthy lifestyle habits. If you have high cholesterol or know someone who does, choosing the right plan of action can be confusing and overwhelming. While a variety of prescription medications are available, they’re not always the best option, as they can sometimes pose serious health risks.

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Does Grape Seed Extract Improve Cholesterol?

Grape SeedGrape seed extract has been found to positively affect overall health, particularly for individuals who suffer from metabolic disorders. For more than a millennium, this substance has been used in Europe to treat a variety of illnesses, from poor circulation to the improvement of vision in diabetes patients. Grape seed extract has been used for thousands of years. Today, it’s often taken as a supplement and is widely available over the counter.

Does Grape Seed Extract Improve Cholesterol?

Preliminary studies suggest grape seed extract paired with chromium could be an effective method of lowering total cholesterol and LDL, or “bad cholesterol.” Experts believe the flavonoids found in grapes (a significant factor in the health benefits of red wine) could play a key role in reducing bad cholesterol in the blood. Despite a number of promising studies, the scientific community has not yet made an official decision regarding the effectiveness of this extract in cholesterol reduction.

Active Ingredients in Grape Seed Extract

Grape seed extract packs a powerful combination of flavonoids, linoleic acid and vitamin E. Together, these active ingredients make up the restorative properties of grape seed extract and, among other things, may be capable of treating the following conditions.

  • Cancer – Though not yet tested in humans, early scientific evidence points to grape seed extract as a potential future treatment for cancer. Studies suggest the growth of certain types of cancer, including colon and prostate cancer, may be hindered by administering grape seed extract.High
  • Blood Pressure – Similar to resveratrol, studies show grape seed extract might protect blood vessels from damage. If scientifically confirmed in the future, this revelation could result in lower instances of high blood pressure in the overall population.
  • Vision Problems – Further research is needed, but early studies suggest supplements may help treat vision problems, which is good news for diabetes patients.

Risks of Taking Grape Seed Extract

As with all supplements and medication, there is a potential for side effects. However, grape seed extract’s known side effects are relatively mild and include dizziness, nausea, headache and an itchy scalp. Of course, those allergic to grapes should not take this as a supplement to prevent an allergic reaction.

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How To Calculate Total Cholesterol

Calculate Total CholesterolThe human body doesn’t only differ in genetics from male to female, but also physiologically. While women are blessed with estrogen a hormone that prolongs life, men are cursed with Testosterone a hormone that not only gives rise to violent behavior, but also to cholesterol related issues that shorten life.

The term cholesterol might scare many out of their wits and neither men nor women are safe from it, but in reality there are two completely different kinds of cholesterol that affect both men and women differently. To explain the actual facts about cholesterol and what is good cholesterol and bad cholesterol, we have come up with a helpful guide for you.

What is Cholesterol

The word cholesterol can strike fear in the heart of the masses, the first signs of cholesterol indicate the entrance into old age and the beginning of a life long battle. Cholesterol is actually produced by the liver and not by the heart. Few food products also contain high amounts of cholesterol, which travel along the blood stream and get lodged in the heart vessels.

Cholesterol is produced in the human body at one thousand cc a day, to help build the walls of cells and it also helps the body to produce its own vitamin D. But like the con to every pro, excess amount of cholesterol can result in tissue and fat deposits in the arteries of the heart, making the heart weak and even resulting in heart attack.

One thing should be kept in mind that not all cholesterol levels are bad and there are few good cholesterols also that helps the body to function properly. So what is good cholesterol and bad cholesterol, and how do they help or effect the body should be understood to live a healthy life.

What is Good and Bad Cholesterol?

  • Good Cholesterol – The term cholesterol does not only mean bad things as High Density Lipoprotein or HDL is considered to be a good cholesterol and the bodies waste disposal unit. HDL carries fat cells, tissues and LDL out of the arteries of the heart and blood and disposes the waste product through the liver. High levels of HDL can prevent many heart diseases and even heart attack. Studies from time and again have shown that low levels of HDL at 40% in men and 50% in women, have been the major cause of multiple heart diseases and even heart attacks in both genders. The best way to raise HDL level in the blood, is to exercise, reduce excess weight and eat fruits and vegetables.
  • Bad Cholesterol – Bad Cholesterol or LDL has become one of the leading causes of heart diseases and even heart attacks in many cases. As people grow older their metabolism slows down and excess amounts of LDL which carries fats and tissues, clog the arteries of the heart , giving rise to heart disease and even heart attack. As the modern day progresses, so does our dependency on junk food, many times due to the poor eating habits and excessive consumption of junk food can lead in raised levels of LDL in the blood stream, causing various ailments.

No matter how & what is good cholesterol and bad cholesterol is, it should be tried to be kept at normal levels to avoid any heart related issues. Which is why doctors on a regular basis advice to avoid junk food, eat healthy and exercise as much as possible to live a long and healthy life.

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How to Reduce Bad Cholesterol

A little attention to detail never hurt anyone and may have benefits if it involves monitoring what you put in your body. Reduce your bad cholesterol through simple disciplined measures that are proven to help.

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Cholesterol Lowering Drug Choosing Guide and Tips

Cholesterol Lowering Drug

The presence of cholesterol in the blood is often seen by many as a foreboding element that could harm the human body. However, it is important to note that the system is actually in need of the substance in the bloodstream. Incidentally, there are two types of cholesterol that you can find inside the human body. These types are the high density lipoprotein and the low density lipoprotein. The HDL is classified as the good cholesterol while the LDL is the bad cholesterol.

The high levels of high density lipoprotein cholesterol can actually help the reduction of the LDL or the bad cholesterol. The low density cholesterol is associated it being the cause of heart diseases and other ailments. To ensure that the systems works and functions to its full, the cholesterol lowering drug is used to support it.

Treating High Cholesterol

A person who is diagnosed to have high levels of bad cholesterol needs to make certain lifestyle changes to assist the body on decreasing the levels of cholesterol. However, there are times when the high level of bad LDL is genetically passed on. This would mean that lifestyle changes may not be enough to reduce the levels to an acceptable level. Eventually, the cholesterol lowering drug would have to be sued to reduce effectivelythe LDL.

cholesloreviewThere are hundreds of cholesterol lowering drugs in the market. These range from the simple problems of high cholesterol to the more pressing conditions. One very popular cholesterol lowering drug is the statins, which include the medications of simvastatin, atorvastatin, and rosuvastatin.

It is important you note the side effects of the cholesterol lowering drug on the body.  Some of the cholesterol lowering drugs will not well on some people. Everyone  have varying responses to the cholesterol lowering drug offered in the market. A common side effect of these medications is muscle pain. For those who cannot stand these muscle pains, it is suggested you consult your doctor and shift to another cholesterol lowering drug.

Alternative medications to the cholesterol lowering drug include the Ezetrol and the Ezetimibe. If the statins and these Ezetrol drugs do not work out the way you want them to, then you could shift to another cholesterol lowering drug that has fibrates. However, it has been noted these old treatments will work much better with modern medications.

Smoking is also a factor that increases bad cholesterol in the body. To reduce the quantities of the LDL, you need to quit smoking and use the cholesterol lowering drugs together. In fact, giving up smoking will also decrease heart attacks and other ailments.  Alcohol is also needed to be reduced. However, if taken in moderate quantities, this can actually help negate the effects of bad cholesterol. Nevertheless, if taken in excess, it can harm the body.

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Top 12 Cholesterol-Lowering Foods [infographic]

Strictly avoiding all fats is not the answer to lowering high choleterol naturally. These top cholesterol-lowering foods taste great and lower inflammation.

Top 12 Cholesterol-Lowering Foods

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Benefits of Exercise in Lowering Cholesterol Levels

Benefits of Exercise in Lowering Cholesterol Levels

Cholesterol is a term that is that most people associate with cardiovascular diseases. This is a misconception. While high levels of cholesterol can cause various diseases, it is required by the body in small quantities. Produced naturally by the liver, cholesterol is required for hormone synthesis and production of Vitamin D.

It is also obtained from various foods. When the level of cholesterol in body is more, the excess gets deposited in blood vessels. This leads to various cardiovascular exercises. Hence on should always strive to keep a low cholesterol level. There are several ways to bring down the level of cholesterol in blood. Exercise, healthy diet, lifestyle changes and certain medications aid in bringing down the cholesterol level. However, the best option is to exercise regularly and eat right.

Some of the best Exercises to Lower Cholesterol are walking, yoga, swimming and bicycling. Exercise is one activity which can single handedly bring down the blood cholesterol level. Walking is a highly effective form of exercise. This low impact activity is one of the best ways to boost cardiovascular health. Additionally, it is easy to perform and can be done by anyone. Those who cannot find time for walking in the park can incorporate it into their daily life.

Using stairs instead of elevator or walking to and from work is a good option. Yoga has helped a lot of people lower their cholesterol levels. The various exercises in yoga have been scientifically proven to convert the bad cholesterol into good cholesterol. It does not require any specific equipment. Instruction video can be bought form stores or downloaded over the internet.

Benefits of Exercise in Lowering Cholesterol Levels - SwimmingSwimming is a very effective means to combat high cholesterol. Since it involves the entire body, swimming contributes significantly to the cardiovascular system. It is a safe form of exercise due to the buoyant nature of water. Those who have access to bicycles can ride them and lower the cholesterol level. Biking for 30 minutes a day can hugely reduce the level of LDL in blood. Since there are several Exercises to Lower Cholesterol, selecting one can be a difficult choice.

The individual should feel comfortable performing the exercise. The intensity of exercise should depend on the physical and medical condition of the person. Ideally, one should exercise for a minimum of 30 minutes every day. The level of exercise should not be increased suddenly. This can do more harm than good.

Those with medical conditions should get the opinion of a physician before exercising. Perseverance and consistency are crucial to the success of any exercise. The results of exercising will definitely reflect in the blood cholesterol level over time. In order to maximize the results, one should combine exercise with a healthy diet. Certain foods contain saturated fats and Trans fats which can increase the level of cholesterol. Consumption of such foods should be avoided as much as possible. High cholesterol level in blood is a serious condition that warrants immediate attention. However, with the right combination of exercise and diet, one can overcome this affliction and live longer.

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