Understanding how to lower cholesterol
How to lower cholesterol? It is good to change lifestyle, keep to healthy diet, and recur to necessary medications in case of need. Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in the blood and tissues. Cholesterol is produced by the liver and is particularly important for cell membranes. Cholesterol is associated with the production of sex hormones and corticosteroids. It also takes part in the formation of the bile salts. Cholesterol enters into composition of egg yolk and shellfish.
Benefits of knowledge how to lower cholesterol
The levels of blood cholesterol range from 3.6 to 7.8 m.mol/litre. A level exceeding 6 m.mol/litre is considered to be high. High cholesterol is strongly associated with atherosclerosis. In atherosclerosis cholesterol sediments build up in the vascular walls. Saturated fats in the diet increase the levels of cholesterol in the blood. However, unsaturated fats reduce the levels of cholesterol. Unsaturated fats are found in olive and fish oil. People with high cholesterol must reduce cholesterol blood content.
How to lower cholesterol changing lifestyle?
People must know how to lower cholesterol levels changing their lifestyle. This approach presupposes exercise, good sleep, keeping the body weight in normal range, giving up smoking, and avoiding alcohol consumption.
How to lower cholesterol with diet?
Healthy diet possesses many benefits. The main idea is to reduce the dietary cholesterol intake. Taking into account that cholesterol is present in animal saturated fats, it is good to reduce total fat intake replacing saturated fats with unsaturated fats and reducing cholesterol containing foods. Foods containing much saturated fat are lard, butter, cheese, whole milk, red meat, egg yolks, and brains. Unsaturated fats abound in fish, corn, peanut, and soybean oils. Those who know how to lower cholesterol consume fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and oats.
How to lower cholesterol with medications?
If changing lifestyle and diets are not enough, doctors recur to medications that suppress cholesterol synthesis, retard the formation of atherosclerotic plaques, and reduce the risk of thrombosis.
- Statins block the liver enzyme that favors cholesterol synthesis. Among statins are fluvastatin, lovastatin, pravastatin, and simvastatin. Statins may produce side effects such as headaches, abdominal pain, constipation, and diarrhea.
- Niacin lowers cholesterol levels. Possible side effects are headaches, itching, and hot flashes.
- Derivatives of fibric acid reduce triglyceride levels. These medications include clofibrate, gemfibrozil, and fenofibrate.
- Inhibitors of cholesterol absorption such as ezetimibe and bile-acid sequestrants are prescribed in some cases. These medications need special patient education during treatment.
- Aspirin in low doses is recommended to patients with high risk of heart attack and stroke. Low levels of aspirin in the blood protect against atherosclerotic complications owing to blocking the formation of clots.