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The Truth About Cholesterol

In Short:
  1. High cholesterol increases your risk for a heart attack or stroke by clogging up your blood vessels and blocking blood flow
  2. You should aim for a blood cholesterol level at or below 3.9mmol/L (150 mg per dL) to get maximum protection against a heart attack
  3. Many doctors do not take any action until blood cholesterol is at or above 5.2 mmol/L (200 mg per dL). Therefore it is important to know your total cholesterol level
  4. 95% of cases of high cholesterol can be reversed with a specific diet, supplementation and exercise strategy (see below)
  5. Unfortunately, even though textbooks of pharmacology instruct physicians to use a lifestyle and natural approach as the first means to lower cholesterol, many doctors prescribe cholesterol-lowering drugs as the first treatment method
  6. Many cholesterol-lowering drugs carry risk of liver damage, kidney damage and muscle damage, and are usually not required unless cholesterol is extremely high for genetic reasons, or the person has already suffered a previous heart attack or vascular event.
  7. A low saturated fat (and trans-fat) diet, more cholesterol-lowering fiber, and supplementation with a combination of guglipid and artichoke leaf extract, two safe and natural cholesterol-lowering agents, can reduce cholesterol to approximately the same degree as cholesterol-lowering drugs.
  8. Get your blood cholesterol assessed by your physician and check your results against those posted at (Optimal Blood Test Values – on home page)

What Causes High Cholesterol?

High cholesterol is usually caused by the ingestion of saturated fatty foods, such as red meat, pork products, high fat dairy products, fried foods and hydrogenated fats.

Once these fats are absorbed they trigger cholesterol production in the liver, which is required to help circulate these fats to tissues that store or burn them (fat cells and muscle tissue, respectively).

The excess cholesterol clogs up the arteries and leads to heart attack, stroke and other vascular problems.

What Foods Lower Cholesterol?

First, replacing high fat foods with chicken breast, turkey breast, Cornish hen, 1% of non fat milk of yogurt, cheeses below 4% milk fat and avoiding butter, whipped cream, cream, ice cream, fried foods and items containing hydrogenated fats, is the first step in reducing cholesterol levels

Second, certain foods lower cholesterol by dragging cholesterol and the building blocks of cholesterol out of the body when you have a bowel movement. These foods include oats, oat bran, peas, beans, apples, peaches, pears and plums, soy products, psyllium husk fiber, ground flaxseeds, the salba grain, which contain a type of cholesterol-lowering fiber.

What Supplements Lower Cholesterol?

Many people believe that lecithin lowers cholesterol, but this is not true. Clinical studies have proven that Gugulipid (a product of the mukul myrrh tree) and artichoke leaf extract can lower cholesterol by 20-30%, even if the patient makes no changes to their diet. These are very safe, natural ingredients, but you must ensure that you are getting enough of the active ingredients to lower cholesterol, namely:

Gum Guggul – 1000 mg, three time daily (standardized grade of 2.5% guggulsterones)

Artichoke Leaf Extract – 400 mg, three time daily (standardized to 13-18% caffeoylquinic acid)

You may wish to see cholesterol-lowering supplement formulated by Dr. James Meschino at

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