When people hear the word “cholesterol,” they almost always assume something negative. It is important for people to understand that not all cholesterol is bad. In fact, certain types of cholesterol are found in cell membranes, where it does some good work and helps with permeability.
Cholesterol is transported throughout the body via lipoproteins in the bloodstream. Lipoproteins act as taxicabs, transporting cholesterol to the liver (HDL) and from the liver to body cells (LDL). Cholesterol is a precursor for several hormones, including estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, cortisol, and vitamin D. The balance of these is essential to maintaining proper function in the body.
When to Worry About Cholesterol
It is when cholesterol becomes unbalanced due to elevations in the amount of LDL, that people are diagnosed with “bad or high cholesterol“. Conventional treatment of high cholesterol includes prescription medications that work by inhibiting an enzyme involved with cholesterol synthesis to decrease the chance for coronary deaths. However, as with all medications, there are unwanted side effects: headaches, abdominal cramping, muscle cramps, bloating, nausea, and liver toxicity. In addition, many of these drugs to treat high cholesterol also deplete Coenzyme Q10 and prevent the absorption of “good” cholesterol in the body.
How Diet and Lifestyle Changes Can Treat HDL
At the office of Dr. Daniel Benhuri, we value the importance of first trying to treat high cholesterol with dietary modifications. A reduction in the consumption of red meat, dairy products, processed foods and refined sugar (including high-fructose corn syrup) is necessary for controlling cholesterol. Increasing the intake of high fiber foods slows down the absorption of fats and sugars in the intestines, thus, slowing down the production of bad cholesterol. Regular exercise is also an essential component of naturally treating high cholesterol as it increases the levels of cortisol in the body as well as maintaining good cardiovascular health.
Dr. Benhuri is a trusted provider for high cholesterol treatment. As with many cardiovascular conditions, early detection can make it easier to prevent and manage high cholesterol.
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