How to lower blood cholesterol

With a high level of "bad" cholesterol (a synonym for cholesterol), the arteries inside are affected by atheromatous plaques, blood flow is reduced. Tissues and organs receive less oxygen, their metabolism is disturbed. Home and folk remedies reduce cholesterol to normal, prevent chronic artery disease (atherosclerosis), coronary heart disease (CHD), angina pectoris, heart attack, stroke.

Bad and good cholesterol

What does cholesterol mean? For some time now, an opinion has been rooted in the public mind that this substance is something extremely harmful, the cause of serious diseases, its level in the blood must be reduced in any way.

A 2018 article casts doubt on the generally accepted belief that high blood cholesterol is a major cause of cardiovascular disease. It is concluded that with low and high cholesterol, the risks of heart and vascular diseases are approximately the same.

In fact, this compound is vital to the body.

The benefits of cholesterol are in the formation of a skeleton of cell membranes, participation in the production of cortisol, estrogens, testosterone, other hormones, permeability of cell membranes, the synthesis of vitamin D, and protection against neoplasms. The norm of its level in the blood is necessary for the immune system, the brain for the prevention of memory impairment, acquired dementia (dementia).

Low or high cholesterol levels are harmful.

It has been proven that low levels are associated with depression, suicidal tendencies or aggression.

The male and female organisms in the adrenal glands synthesize the steroid hormone pregnenolone, a precursor to cortisol, from cholesterol. In men, pregnenolone forms testosterone, in women, estrogen.

Cholesterol is similar to wax, combines the properties of fat-like substances (lipids) and alcohols, insoluble in water. The composition of the blood includes other fat-like substances.

Triglycerides insoluble in water, similar to fat, they are produced by the liver and intestines during the breakdown of fatty foods. Participate in oxidative reactions to provide the body with energy. As part of subcutaneous fat, they protect against cold. Protect internal organs from mechanical damage, like a shock absorber.

Phospholipids soluble in water, control the viscosity of cell membranes, which is necessary for bilateral exchange.

When transported through the blood, fat-like substances receive a protein shell, form lipoproteins (lipid-protein complexes).

Very Low Density Lipoproteins (VLDL) produces the liver. They consist of triglycerides (up to 60%), as well as cholesterol, phospholipids, protein (about 15% each).

  • One type of VLDL delivers triglycerides to adipose tissue, where they are broken down and stored, and the liver processes the remainder.
  • Another type of VLDL delivers fatty acids to tissues. They break down in the blood, become intermediate density lipoproteins. The size of their particles is smaller, they are close to LDL due to the high cholesterol content.

“Terrible” cholesterol (small particles of VLDL) it is necessary to reduce to normal, it affects the walls of the arteries.

Low density lipoproteins (LDL) contains up to 45% cholesterol. It is used by tissues in which intensive growth and cell division occurs. Having bound an LDL particle using a receptor, the cell captures it, breaks it down, and receives building material. The concentration (level) in blood of LDL is increased with plenty in the diet of fatty foods.

The high level of this "bad" cholesterol is reduced to normal - this type of lipoprotein forms a precipitate in the form of cholesterol crystals that affect the walls of arteries, form atherosclerotic plaques, and increase the risk of heart attack and stroke.

High Density Lipoproteins (HDL) contains up to 55% protein, 25% phospholipids, 15% cholesterol, some triglycerides.

HDL does not penetrate into the cell; the used bad cholesterol is removed from the surface of the cell membrane. In the liver, it oxidizes, forms bile acids, which the body removes through the intestines.

This type of lipoprotein is “good” cholesterol. The benefit is in preventing the formation of atheromatous plaques; it does not precipitate. Maintaining its level in the total number of lipoproteins in normal is beneficial for vascular health.

  • “bad” cholesterol (LDL) enters the cell, it is harmful to the vessels by the ability to form plaques,
  • after use, “good” cholesterol (HDL) removes it from the cell membrane and delivers it to the liver,
  • in case of failure, “bad” cholesterol particles remain in the blood, settle on the inner walls of blood vessels, narrow the lumen, provoke the development of a blood clot, including in the most important organs - the heart, brain.

Table of cholesterol norms by age for men and women

The liver, walls of the small intestine, kidneys, and adrenal glands produce about 80% of cholesterol. The remaining 20% ​​should come with food.

The norm of total cholesterol in the blood of men and women

For the prevention of atherosclerosis and its complications, they reduce not only “bad” cholesterol, but also achieve the optimum level of “good” and “bad” - if there are more particles of low density, it is necessary to lower their level to normal. Otherwise, the body will not have enough HDL particles to deliver the LDL particles to the liver for cleavage.

The norm of total cholesterol in the blood is 5.0 mmol / l. It is believed that the risk of atherosclerotic plaques is increased at levels above 5.0 mmol / L.

High total cholesterol levels:

  • light: 5-6.4 mmol / l,
  • moderate: 6.5-7.8 mmol / l,
  • high: over 7.8 mmol / l.

Norm of "good" cholesterol (HDL):

  • in men - 1 mmol / l,
  • in women - 1.2 mmol / l.

Women have a higher level of “good” cholesterol, but menopause lowers it.

Elevated high-density cholesterol is also harmful as exceeding the “bad” norm.

The study came to the paradoxical conclusion that the high level of “good” cholesterol and mortality are related.

Norm of "bad" cholesterol (LDL):

  • in men and women - 3.0 mmol / l.

Exceeding the norm of general, "good", "bad" cholesterol signals minor malfunctions.

The study concluded that in old age there is no relationship between high "bad" cholesterol and cardiovascular disease.

Decreased thyroid function (hypothyroidism) is a possible cause of increased "bad" cholesterol. On the contrary, with hyperthyroidism, its level is reduced.

The study confirms the relationship between decreased thyroid function and elevated blood lipids.

Another study confirmed the association of TSH and cholesterol levels.

Another 2018 study confirms that hypothyroidism is associated with an increased risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

The rate of triglycerides - below 1.7 mmol / l. An increase in the level of triglycerides in the blood in comparison with the norm signals serious violations in the body.

The exact value of the norm determines the age:

Table 1. The rate of triglycerides (mmol / l) depending on age
AgeWomenMen
up to 15 years0,4 – 1,480,34 – 1,15
under 25 years old0,4 – 1,530,45 – 2,27
under 35 years old0,44 – 1,70,52 – 3,02
up to 45 years old0,45 – 2,160,61 – 3,62
up to 55 years old0,52 – 2,630,65 – 3,71
under 60 years old0,62 – 2,960,65 – 3,29
up to 70 years0,63 – 2,710,62 – 3,29

Cholesterol plaques, vascular atherosclerosis

The risk of atheromatous plaque it is unlikely that, due to genetic characteristics, the body produces large particles of LDL - they are not able to penetrate between the cells of the walls of arteries.

Atheromatous plaques form very low and low density lipoproteins (VLDL, LDL).

  • Particles of LDL are “fatter”, “afraid” of moisture. The positively charged surfaces stick together with the negatively charged wall of the arteries, its cells tend to “absorb” lipid clots.
  • In bent areas, in places of bifurcation and branching, where increased turbulence is created, turbulences - which is especially characteristic of the coronary arteries of the heart - the blood flow slightly damages the smooth inner surface, which is promoted by high blood pressure. As a result, VLDLP and LDL cholesterol particles are fixed in the damaged area.

In a stressful situation in the blood - hormones adrenaline, serotonin, angiotensin. They reduce the size of the cells of the walls of the arteries, the distance between them increases, “bad” cholesterol particles penetrate there.

Clots of "bad" cholesterol are rapidly oxidized, especially under the influence of free radicals. Macrophages, cleaning cells, tend to push oxidized particles through the walls of arteries, which contributes to the formation of plaques.

If the body produces very small particles of LDL, even a slight increase in their level in the blood affects the walls. The size of the "bad" cholesterol clots determines the diet and food, lifestyle, physical activity.

Atheromatous plaque can develop from the so-called lipid spot (strip), it is found even in children. The stain itself does not interfere with blood circulation.

Outside, the plaques are connective tissue, inside there is a mushy mass of residues of collagen fibers, cholesterol crystals.

The walls of the artery, which is affected by a plaque, lose the ability to expand and quickly return to their original state after a spasm.

Lowering cholesterol for a long time removes the lipid stain.

It is more difficult to get rid of atheromatous plaque, although lowering the level of VLDL and LDL cholesterol stops the increase in the thrombus, helps to reduce its size. After the plaque, a scar from the connective tissue remains.

The risk of developing atherosclerosis determines the coefficient of atherogenicity (KA):

KA = (total cholesterol - HDL) / HDL.

At the age of 40 to 60 years, the norm of CA is 3.0-3.5. In the elderly, the value is higher. A value of less than 3 indicates that the blood has a high level of "good" cholesterol.

The study concluded that the ratio of total cholesterol to HDL is a better indicator of the risk of cardiovascular disease than just the level of “bad”.

The most dangerous atheromatous plaques with thin connective tissue. Its destruction forms a blood clot.

Deposits of cholesterol particles on the inner walls narrows the lumen of the vessels. Decreased blood flow in organs and tissues that were supplied through the affected artery disrupts metabolic processes (ischemia), and causes oxygen starvation (hypoxia).

Atherosclerosis of the vessels manifests itself with significant damage.

  • Coronary artery disease develops coronary heart disease (CHD).
  • Disruption of the blood supply to the heart muscle is the cause of angina pectoris.
  • Overlapping of a coronary artery thrombus is the cause of myocardial infarction.
  • Damage to the atherosclerosis of the cervical arteries disrupts the blood supply to the brain, the cause of memory impairment, incoherent speech, fading vision.
  • A blockage or rupture of the affected artery that feeds the brain is the cause of a stroke (cerebral hemorrhage).
  • Atherosclerosis of the renal arteries causes renal failure.

The disease affects leading a sedentary lifestyle, smokers suffering from hypertension, diabetes mellitus, overweight (obesity), men after 40 years. Women - after 50 years, whose cholesterol is normal longer due to the action of sex hormones estrogen.

If you have relatives with high cholesterol, periodically take a biochemical blood test.

The recommendations of cardiologists in 2018 suggest taking into account factors related to age, ethnicity, and diabetes, which is important for an individual approach to developing measures to lower cholesterol.

How to lower cholesterol

Cholesterol level reduces the range of activities.

Diet. Increase the proportion of products that lower cholesterol, which lowers its level in the blood by 20%. In some cases (individual characteristics of the body), the diet does not help.

Limit sweet. The metabolic processes of fats and carbohydrates are interconnected. With an increased level of sugar (glucose) in the blood, part of it becomes triglycerides and VLDL. Reducing cholesterol helps reduce the consumption of sweets.

The recommendations of the Association of Cardiologists confirm that to reduce cholesterol, include fresh fruits, vegetables, lean meat, poultry in the diet, and limit sweets.

Eliminate stress. In a stressful situation, hormones act on the cells of the walls of the arteries, the heart beats more often. Intense breathing, increased muscle tone. The body increases the level of fatty acids in the blood - the action of "hit or run" requires energy.

Usually stormy emotions do not find a discharge through specific actions - the liver processes unclaimed fatty acids into “bad” cholesterol particles.

Therefore, to reduce blood cholesterol, eliminate the processing of fatty acids, the level of which increases stress.

Avoiding stress helps eliminate feelings of increased responsibility. It is important to realize that at the cost of undermined health, any success results in defeat. Limit the achievement of ambitious goals. Even if there is a desire and strength to work, do not neglect the rest, do not give up evenings, days off, holidays.

Lose weight. The “terrible” VLDLs deliver triglycerides to adipose tissue and create an energy reserve. The growth of adipose tissue forces the body to increase the level of VLDL cholesterol for its “maintenance”. Conversely, lowering the amount of adipose tissue lowers cholesterol to normal.

Eliminate physical inactivity. Lack of motor activity is the reason for the accumulation of carbohydrates, cholesterol, fatty acids, triglycerides, metabolic products in the body, which disrupt the activity of the endocrine glands, digestion and disposal of waste.

Physical Education. Sports movements reduce the level of low density cholesterol that the liver produces and stimulate its breakdown.

Common causes of overweight and obesity are a dramatic lifestyle change. For example, after retirement, energy expenditure is less and the portion size is the same.

The study confirms that exercise contributes to high-density cholesterol. Walking is especially helpful.

Cholesterol lowering foods

To reduce low-density cholesterol to normal, achieve a balance with high-density particles (HDL), limit cholesterol-raising foods. Include cholesterol lowering foods.

The 2018 report lists 11 foods that lower low-density cholesterol: oats, barley, beans, eggplant, nuts, vegetable oils, apples, grapes, citrus fruits, strawberries, soybeans, fatty fish, and water-soluble fiber.

Calorie content and diet composition for lowering cholesterol: carbohydrates - 50-60%, protein - 10-15%, fats - 30-35%.

The daily norm of cholesterol with food is up to 300 mg.

Table 2. Products with high cholesterol
Product (100 g)Cholesterol, mg
Beef kidney1125
Cod liver750
Caviar588
Beef liver440
Margarine285
Cream cheese240
Chicken Egg Yolk230
Butter190-210
Shrimp150
Mayonnaise125
Pork fat110
Smoked sausage110
Lamb lean100
Hard cheese80-100
Sour cream100
Cream100
Lean beef95
Squid95
Beef tongue90
Pork90
Rabbit90
Chicken, goose, duck (skinless)80-90
Perch, mackerel, horse mackerel, herring90
Fat70
Cod, saffron cod, hake, pike perch65
Creamy ice cream65
Low-fat cooked sausage60
Fat cooked sausage60
Sausages30
Cottage cheese30
Milk15
Fat free cottage cheese10
Kefir2,5

The diet should be balanced, in the menu include saturated (butter, animal liver) and unsaturated (fish, poultry, low-fat dairy products) fats, an unsaturated variety is preferable.

Increased cholesterol lowers the diet by limiting the following foods: pork, beef, liver, butter, ducklings, pastry, sausages, sausages, cheese.

After cooking, allow the meat broth to cool, remove the hardened fat.

Include seafood, fatty fish (mackerel, sardines, salmon, herring), kelp (seaweed) in the diet - it dilutes blood clots in blood vessels, prevents the formation of atheromatous plaques, and the growth of a blood clot.

The study confirms that eating fatty fish 2-3 times a week raises the level of “good” cholesterol.

Milk, sour cream, cottage cheese are low-fat. The meat is lean (turkey, chicken, veal, rabbit).

Bake meat and fish dishes, boil, stew, steam, refuse to fry.

To reduce blood cholesterol, include in the menu products: lentils, green peas, beans. Legumes contain phospholipids, which enhance the effect of “good” HDL cholesterol particles.

The study confirms that the inclusion of legumes in the diet reduces LDL.

Legumes are contraindicated in cholecystitis, inflammation of the gallbladder.

The synthesis of phospholipids requires the intake of choline, it contains yeast, egg yolks, leafy vegetables. In addition, the composition of egg yolks Omega-3 and lecithin, which lower cholesterol.

The study confirms that the inclusion of eggs in the diet does not increase the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Insoluble fiber “absorbs” bile acids and helps lower blood cholesterol. Natural products - fresh vegetables, fruits, plant foods - slow its absorption in the intestines.

A plate of oatmeal per day lowers low-density cholesterol.

Green tea contains polyphenols, which improve lipid metabolism, lower cholesterol.

The study confirms the ability of green tea to reduce "bad" cholesterol.

Chocolate raises the level of “good” cholesterol in patients with type 2 diabetes, which confirms this and other studies.

Vegetable oils make lipid absorption difficult and have a choleretic effect, which helps lower cholesterol.

  • Omega-3 is used for arrhythmias, to reduce the risk of plaque, blood thinning, lowers triglycerides.
  • Omega-6 lowers cholesterol of high and low density, but contributes to the development of inflammatory processes, since excess intake increases the number of free radicals.

The optimal proportion: three to four parts of Omega-6 - one part of Omega-3. Therefore, at first glance, it is better to prefer olive oil to sunflower, corn oil.

The study confirmed that linseed oil compared to corn lowers low-density cholesterol.

But, according to the results of another study, adding corn oil to the diet reduces bad cholesterol better than olive oil.

A 2018 study confirmed that sunflower, rapeseed, and linseed oils best lower low-density cholesterol.

Despite the high calorie content, almonds are useful (consume up to 40 g per day), as well as almond, olive, and rapeseed oils. The monounsaturated fats included in the composition lower low-density cholesterol and lower the level of glucose in the blood.

Research confirms almonds' ability to lower cholesterol.

The study confirms that walnuts reduce the risk of heart disease.

Corn oil is prepared from germinated sprouts, it contains vitamins B1 B2, B3, B12, C, E, its regular use of 50-70 g per day reduces blood cholesterol.

Antioxidants prevents the free radical oxidation of cholesterol particles. Therefore, to reduce their concentration to normal at an elevated level, to prevent the formation of atheromatous plaques, use a little natural red wine daily, which also contains polyphenols.

The study confirms that moderate consumption of red wine improves blood lipids.

To protect cells from damage by free radicals, vitamins B3, C, E are needed:

Vitamin B3 (nicotinic acid) reduces the level of triglycerides that the liver produces, thereby reducing “bad” and increasing “good” cholesterol, slowing the formation of atheromatous plaques, and lowering glucose levels. It contains meat, nuts, cereals, wholemeal bread, carrots, yeast, dried mushrooms.

Vitamin C is an antioxidant that reduces the permeability of arterial walls, prevents the formation of atheromatous plaques, promotes the synthesis of collagen fibers, increases the level of “good” and lowers the level of “bad” cholesterol.

Vitamin E protects cells from the effects of free radicals. Deficiency is a possible cause of atherosclerosis.

According to modern research, treatment with vitamin C (daily 500 mg) increases the level of “good” cholesterol in women in the blood.

Magnesium helps reduce blood pressure, is involved in the removal of cholesterol from the intestine. The daily requirement is 500-750 μg, most of all in wheat bran, as well as pumpkin, sunflower, flax, sesame seeds, pine and walnuts, chocolate, lentils, and beans.

Calcium heals the cardiovascular system, lowers cholesterol and triglycerides, and normalizes sleep. Include in the diet natural products that have not been cooked: sesame, hazelnuts, walnuts, peanuts, almonds, dried apricots, sunflower seeds and pumpkins, raisins, beans, cabbage, parsley, spinach, celery, green onions, carrots, lettuce.

It is useless and even harmful to use food additives to lower cholesterol if the lumen of the vessels is 50-75% closed by deposits. Supplements are indicated with a slight increase in cholesterol.

Dehydration. In popular books, Dr. F. Batmanghelidzh argues that the cause of high cholesterol is a lack of moisture in the body, in this way the cell "clogs" the membrane so as not to lose the fluid remaining inside, to survive dehydration.

You can quickly - in just a couple of months - lower cholesterol, do not exclude foods from the diet, if, on the advice of F. Batmanghelidzh, before drinking, drink a couple of glasses of water, and also take two hour walks every day.

If, with sufficient water intake, the cholesterol level decreases and then rises, then the body has lost a lot of salt. Other signs point to its deficiency: calf cramps, weight loss, loss of appetite, depression, weakness, dizziness.

Therefore, after taking for several days, 6-8 glasses of water, include salt in the diet at the rate of 1/2 tsp. (3g) for every 10 glasses of water.

Treatment with water and salt requires healthy kidneys.

If the body and legs swell, reduce the amount of salt and increase water intake until the swelling subsides. It is useful to increase physical activity, which promotes moisture in the blood.

Cholesterol Statins

If a diet with cholesterol-lowering products does not work, the doctor prescribes special drugs, statins, to normalize cholesterol metabolism. In old age they are recommended for preventive purposes.

Statins inhibit the activity of an enzyme that is involved in the production of cholesterol in the liver.

Clinical studies confirm that statins help in case of cardiovascular diseases, but their prophylactic use is not effective.

Increasingly, they say that cholesterol is underestimated - to give drug manufacturers the opportunity to sell drugs to reduce supposedly increased rates.

It is proved that elevated cholesterol is not always an indispensable companion of atherosclerosis of blood vessels.

The relationship between high cholesterol and heart and vascular disease has been questioned.

There is evidence of a link between taking medications to lower cholesterol and liver disease, memory loss, muscle weakness, type 2 diabetes, and a decrease in vitamin D production in the body.

Statins can cause headache, nausea, an upset bowel, and worsen heart activity due to a decrease in the level of coenzyme Q10.

Grapefruit juice increases the level of statins in the blood.

Cholesterol lowering folk remedies

Garlic improves vascular elasticity, softens plaques, lowers blood cholesterol thanks to the antioxidant allicin. Bad smell eliminate parsley leaves.

The study confirms that eating garlic for two months or longer lowers lipoproteins.

  1. Finely chop 300g of peeled garlic.
  2. Pour 0.5l of vodka.
  3. Insist a month in a cool dark place, strain.

Take before meals, drink with a sip of milk according to the following scheme:

  1. Before breakfast, take 1 drop, before dinner, 2 drops, before dinner, 3 drops. Before each meal, increase the dose by one drop, bringing it to breakfast for 6 days to 15 drops.
  2. Before lunch, 6 days, begin to reduce the dose by taking 14 drops, before dinner, 13 drops. Bring to 1 drop before dinner 10 days.
  3. Starting from day 11, take 25 drops before each meal until the tincture is over.

Treated with garlic tincture once every 5 years.

Garlic, lemon juice, honey:

  • Grind the head of garlic, squeeze the juice of half a lemon, add 1s. honey.

Take the drug in two divided doses in the morning and evening half an hour before meals.

Garlic, sunflower oil, lemon:

  1. Grind the garlic head, place in a glass jar.
  2. Pour a glass of unrefined sunflower oil.
  3. Insist a day, periodically shake.
  4. Add the juice of one lemon, mix.
  5. Insist a week in a cool dark place.

Take 1 tsp. half an hour before a meal. After 3 months, take a month off, then continue lowering low-density cholesterol for another three months.

Other home and folk remedies for lowering cholesterol.

Hawthorn:

  1. Brew a glass of boiling water 1.s. hawthorn.
  2. Insist in a sealed container for 2 hours, strain.

Take 3.s. after meals to lower LDL cholesterol.

The study confirms the ability of hawthorn to lower cholesterol.

Dill, Valerian:

  1. Brew 0.5l of boiling water 2-3s. dill seeds, 2-3s.l shredded valerian root.
  2. Insist for 10-12 hours, strain.
  3. Add 3-4 tsp honey, mix.

Take for cleaning (cleansing) blood vessels 1-2s.l. half an hour before meals. Keep refrigerated.

The study confirmed a decrease in cholesterol with dill in experiments on hamsters.

Cucumber seeds, green tea:

  • Cucumber seeds, green tea effectively clean the walls of the arteries from the inside, lower cholesterol.

Apply for the prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis.

Oatmeal jelly:

  • Brew 1 liter of boiling water 4-5s. L. oatmeal, boil for 20 minutes.

Take 1 glass per day for a month. Then pass a biochemical blood test to make sure that the level of cholesterol is reduced to normal.

Activated carbon.

Recipe 1. Take once a quarter according to the scheme:

  • Within 3 days - 5 tablets after breakfast.
  • Over the next 9 days - 3 tablets after dinner.

  • 2-3 tablets after each meal for 12 days.

To be treated once every 6 months. Coal can cause constipation.

Watch the video: Lowering Cholesterol - Mayo Clinic (February 2020).