If you’re worried about your heart health and cholesterol levels then continue reading.

A huge part of keeping ourselves healthy, naturally, is taking care of our heart. And a big part of taking care of our heart health is taking care of our cholesterol levels.

We hope that by the time you get to the end of this page you’ll know more about what cholesterol is, and more importantly, what you can do to keep your cholesterol levels healthy, naturally.

Cholesterol is a fatty substance that exists in our body, particularly in our blood. It is produced by our own bodies in the liver and is also ingested in our foods. Cholesterol is essential to our healthy functioning, your body needs cholesterol to work.

However cholesterol itself can become a problem. When? When we have too much (or too little) in our bodies, and in particular in our blood stream.

Too much cholesterol in our bloodstream can have a number of serious effects on our overall health, such as contributing to hardening of our arteries or narrowing of the arteries which canĀ  cause constrictions to the flow of blood. This in turn can have serious implications for our general health and also for out heart health, and can lead ultimately to our deaths from heart diseases and heart attack.cholesterol care

Cholesterol levels above 190 for men and 178 for women, according to current medical opinion, can be dangerous to our health. Of course there are other related factors which influence this too.

There are basically 2 types of cholesterol, generally called good and bad cholesterol, or more technically, ldl (bad) and hdl (good) cholesterol. Without going into highly technical areas, it is better to have a higher level of good cholesterol and a lower level of bad cholesterol, and medical professionals will look at the ratio between the two as well as the individual levels.

What Causes Dangerous High Cholesterol?

There are a number of well recognized factors that contribute to your cholesterol levels, some of which you can change and some of which you can do little about.

The lifestyle factors are all factors that you can control. Poor diet, low levels of exercise, smoking and obesity are all lifestyle factors which are within your control. Though it’s not easy, anyone can control these factors with various lifestyle changes.

Various foods are known to be very high in bad cholesterol, and ought not be eaten in any quantity, whilst others are known to be high in good cholesterol, and these ought to form a part of your diet.

And there are also other factors about which you can do little, such as family, or genetic characteristics. This, though, ought not impact your determination to do what you can about those factors over which you do have control.

There are also various medical treatments which can raise your cholesterol as well as medical conditions which can do the same.

Can You Measure Your Cholesterol?

There are simple measures that your doctor can take to measure your cholesterol and you ought to undertake a test if you are over 20 to 25 years of age. It never hurts to know your cholesterol levels. It is important to undertake a test which measures your ldl as well as your hdl cholesterol.

What Should You Do About High Cholesterol?

You should get some good advice on changes you can make to your lifestyle, including diet and exercise. This is beyond the scope of this article as it is an individual choice depending on your own lifestyle factors.

What About Drugs?

There are both medical and non medical (more natural) methods that you can utilize to combat high cholesterol. Medical methods include the use of Statin drugs, for example. However as is the case with many pharmaceutical products, these may well have side effects for the individual user.

There are also some technical reasons why the use of Statin drugs may not be quite as effective as you may require.

To read more about the potential side effects of Statin drugs, and reasons why they may not be quite as efficacious as the pharmaceutical companies would like you to believe, click here.

Are There More Natural Alternatives?

Yes there are. For many years it has been recognized that there are many naturally occurring substances that have a wide range of beneficial effects on our bodies, some of them influencing our cholesterol levels. Here’s just a few:

Policosanol
This is a naturally occurring substance derived from sugar, rice bran and beeswax. It has been shown to reduce the levels of bad cholesterol, and increase the levels of good cholesterol.

Bioflavanoids
Produced from green tea, bioflavanoids are also known to reduce bad cholesterol levels and increase good cholesterol.

Phytosterols
This is a sterol produced from plants which helps reduce the absorption of cholesterol within the gastrointestinal tract, thereby reducing the cholesterol taken up by our bodies from cholesterol in our foods.

And without listing them all here, there are many other naturally occurring substances which can be shown to have beneficial effects for lowering our cholesterol. Many have been utilized in natural cholesterol lowering products.

Why Haven’t I Heard About These Before?

The pharmaceutical industry is one of the most powerful and profitable industries in the world, and isn’t particularly interested in the promotion of naturally occurring cholesterol fighting remedies.

There ARE companies which stand alone in producing high quality natural products that help fight cholesterol as well as a wide range of other diseases that afflict mankind, however they are very small companies fighting against the might of the drug companies, and you would rarely have heard of them.

Foremost amongst them is a small company called Xtend Life, a company dedicated to producing their own products from their own research utilizing the highest quality natural ingredients.

Just reading the Xtend Life website makes for quite an education about the negative and in some cases harmful effects of many of the ingredients that are commonly used in products that you may now be using every day, such as common skincare products.

So if you want to find out more about natural cholesterol care using natural products that may not expose you to some of the possible side effects of the more common anti cholesterol drugs, take a half hour and read the Xtend Life website. You’ll be surprised at what you read.

Written by - Natural Health

(And make sure you read our page about Natural Skin Care, it's quite an eye opener about modern skin care products.)