The most effective remedies to counteract hypercholesterolemia

What is Cholesterol?

Cholesterol is an organic molecule belonging to the class of lipids that plays a particularly important role in human physiology. 

The cholesterol molecule is an irreplaceable constituent of animal cell membranes, as well as being a precursor of steroid hormones, vitamin D and bile acids. 

The concentration of this substance in the blood is called cholesterolemia; since cholesterol in the blood is contained in plasma lipoproteins, it is used to refer to total plasma cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, Low Density Lipoprotein, which transport cholesterol to cells and tissues where it is accumulated and used to meet the needs of our body; to HDL cholesterol , High Density Lipoprotein, which transports this molecule to the liver, where it is eliminated from the body; or to non-HDL cholesterol (which includes cholesterol carried by all plasma lipoproteins with the exception of HDL).

Cholesterolemia values can be normal 120 - 220 mg/100 ml for total cholesterol, 40 - 80 mg/100 ml for HDL, 70 - 180 mg/100 ml for LDL; low (hypocholesterolemia) or high (hypercholesterolemia) from 240mg/100ml, the latter conditions potentially dangerous to health.

High levels of plasma lipoproteins rich in cholesterol (especially LDL) are considered among the most important cardiovascular risk factors and can cause very serious diseases such as atherosclerosis, as they accumulate in the arteries and initiate an inflammatory reaction that leads to the formation of atheromas (plaques), whose core is rich in cholesterol. Atherosclerotic plaques can cause the occlusion of blood vessels and eventually death if vital districts (coronary and cerebral arteries) are affected.

Cholesterol is a fat present in the blood, the major part of which is produced by the body and only a small part is introduced with the diet. There are some factors that regulate LDL cholesterol levels and that cannot be changed.

First of all, sex and age: generally, in fact, "bad" cholesterol increases with age and is lower in women before menopause, compared to men.

Then there are genetic factors: there are in fact pathologies, such as familial hypercholesterolemia, responsible for increasing cholesterol levels from a young age. In particular, familial hypercholesterolemia is caused by a series of genetic mutations that occur at the level of a gene of the LDL lipoprotein receptor and is characterized by high levels of both total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, while triglycerides do not increase.

And finally, there are factors that depend on our lifestyle habits that can be modified to improve our health.

First, we must be careful about what we eat:

 It is important to choose foods that contain "good" fats, i.e. unsaturated and limit instead the intake of foods rich in "harmful" fats, i.e. saturated.

Good" fats: they are mono or polyunsaturated, which reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. They are contained in vegetable oils such as olive oil, sunflower, soy or in nuts, seeds and fish.

Bad" fats: these are the trans fats, which increase the risk of cardiovascular pathologies even if consumed in small quantities. They are mostly found in some margarines and some bakery products.

Saturated fats: they are not as dangerous as trans fats, but they should be consumed in moderation. They are mainly found in dairy products and red meat.

The second step concerns physical activity:

exercise in fact helps to reduce the amount of "bad" cholesterol in the body. According to the WHO (World Health Organization), at least 150 minutes of moderate physical activity per week are sufficient to keep the body in training and the weight under control, safeguarding our health.

We can also obtain a beneficial effect from the constant use of dietary supplements of Omega-3 fatty acids (EPA and DHA) derived from purified fish oil. Useful for cardiovascular well-being. EPA and DHA contribute to the maintenance of cardiac function.

 Or dietary supplements of Fermented Red Rice, Astaxanthin, Polycosanols, Folic Acid and Coenzyme Q10 that contribute to the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels.

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