Take niacin – carefully
Remember as one of the B vitamins, it is proven effective for lowering LDL and raising HDL. It is also one of the cheapest drugs available for lowering cholesterol. But, without medical supervision it may not be totally safe. A dose high enough to lower cholesterol can cause extremely high blood sugar or liver damage.
Take vitamin E
Studies indicate that vitamin E may have a positive impact on lowering cholesterol when taken in fairly large quantities – up to 800 IU per day. This is more than you can get from your diet alone. Larger amounts do not seem to cause any harm. Further studies showed that even amounts of just 25 IU per day helps in preventing LDL from sticking to blood vessel walls. That amount is only slightly higher than the recommended daily amount (RDA) of 12 to 15 IU. It’s interesting to note that even that small amount has an impact on preventing that hardening of the arteries.
One study indicates that when 56 people took a calcium carbonate supplement, their total cholesterol went down 4 percent and their HDL increased 4 percent. That was taking a dosage of 400 milligrams of calcium three times a day with no harmful effects reported. That does refer to calcium carbonate.
Take a multivitamin – it can’t hurt
While you are building your calcium and vitamin E intake, remember the old standby, vitamin C. It is the number one immune system booster and also drives up HDL. A study of people who took more than 60 milligrams of vitamin C per day (60 milligrams is the RDA) had highest LDL levels.
Fill up on fiber
Remember several years back when oat bran was the latest craze for lowering cholesterol? Later studies arrived at inconsistent results, but the medical community does agree that soluble fiber, the kind found in oat bran, does help lower LDL and raise HDL. As little as three grams per day of fiber from oat bran or oatmeal can be effective. There are 7.2 grams of soluble fiber per 100 grams of dry oat bran and five grams of soluble fiber per 100 grams of dry oatmeal. There are other sources of fiber as well such as barley, beans, peas and many other vegetables. Corn fiber is also good for reducing LDL, lowering it by as much as 5 percent in a recent study. Researchers used 20 grams of corn fiber a day. That would be a bit difficult for the average user when you take into account that one serving of corn has three grams of corn fiber. But, every little bit does make a difference. Pectin, which is found in fruits like apples and prunes, reduces cholesterol even better than oat bran, as does psyllium which is the fiber you find in many breakfast cereals and bulk laxatives.
Reduce sugar intake
Many people don’t realize that sugar affects cholesterol and definitely affects triglycerides. Sugar stimulates insulin production, which in turn increases triglycerides. Men in particular, seem to be sensitive to this effect from sugar. The mineral chromium which helps to stabilize blood sugar, can also raise the level of HDL. 100 mcg of chromium three times daily can help to improve your cholesterol levels.
The jury is still out and the different schools of thought are still at odds regarding the benefit or lack of benefit to consuming alcohol. This suggestion has nothing to do with our previous discuss on red wine. A moderate amount may be helpful. The problem is that to one person a moderate amount might be a glass of wine with their meal, while to another it might be a half bottle of Scotch! Anything above the arbitrary “moderate” amount elevates serum cholesterol triglycerides and your uric acid levels as well as potentially increasing blood pressure all of which promote heart disease. So, the best bet would be to eliminate it totally.
There is positive evidence that exercise can lower LDL cholesterol and boost HDL cholesterol. Both aerobic exercise such as walking, jogging, swimming, bicycling and cross country skiing and strength training like lifting weights or using weight machines all promote the improvement of cholesterol levels. An analysis of 11 studies on weight training showed that this exercise lowered LDL by 13 percent and raised HDL by 5 percent. If you lift weights, use light to moderate weights and do many repetitions.
We Americans definitely have a love affair with our coffee! People who drink large amounts of caffeine (more than 6 cups a day) are far more prone to elevated cholesterol. That connection does not hold for tea drinkers. Limit your coffee intake to no more than one cup a day and eliminate caffeinated sodas entirely.
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Gregg Hall is a business consultant and author for many online and offline businesses and lives in Navarre Florida with his 16 year old son. For the diet products you need to help you lower cholesterol go to www.shop4diets.com
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