Cholesterol is a fat-like substance which consists in all our cells in our body, we can’t make vitamins and hormones without it. Many people know that high ‘Bad’ cholesterol can increase your chances of cardiovascular disease and atherosclerosis which may then lead to heart attack or stroke. 1
A common solution GPs have to these elevated serum levels is prescribing patients drugs called statins. Generic names of these include; Crestor, Lipitor, Zocor and Altoprev. They work by preventing the synthesis of cholesterol in the body by blocking HMG CoA, an enzyme that usually converts to the organic acid mevalonate (which then makes cholesterol). 2
The drug works well! Cholesterol is decreased, however for many patients there are ongoing side effects they suffer while taking this class of drug including: Muscle pain, muscle weakness, headaches, nausea and kidney failure. It also increases the risk of further complications with pre-existing conditions involving the liver, kidneys, pancreas and thyroid gland. 3
As cholesterol is so closely linked in with the endocrine (hormone) system The Lucy Rose Clinic qualified and experienced Naturopaths see numerous patients on a regular basis whose cholesterol is high and thyroid not functioning optimally. We find that when we balance the thyroid, quite often the cholesterol decreases alongside this, with multi system benefits patients can often avoid the statin route.
Food as medicine is very powerful – we are what we eat. Food is either fuel for our genius bodies or poison which we either unknowingly or by self-sabotage decide to consume.
HERE ARE MY TOP 3 PICKS FOR LOWERING CHOLESTEROL NATURALLY.
“Pease porridge hot, pease porridge cold, pease porridge in my bowl steel cut or rolled”
Oats contain a compound in them called beta-glucan which has been proven to reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, a bowl a day can reduce levels by 7% which isn’t bad for this humble grain! The best forms to get are organic steel cut (which are nib like pieces – they take a little longer to cook but are the least oxidised) or traditional rolled oats. Avoids instant or quick oats as they have been further processed and lose some of their cholesterol lowering properties. 4
“Fish? Wont fat increase my cholesterol?”
It is important to understand that not all fats are created equally. Choosing small-medium oily fish such as sardines, herring, anchovies, salmon, tuna and trout are good options and it is best to include a minimum of 3 serves per week. Always opt for wild caught over farmed as the nutrient status is not the same in pellet fed fish which might mean that for some people snap frozen is a healthier option than fresh. In terms of fish oil and its health benefits this has been extensively researched over the years by numerous scientists and multiple cardiovascular benefits have been seen including overall reduction in cardiovascular events, lower blood pressure, less blood clots and less inflammation. 5
“A tablespoon of Apple cider vinegar a day keeps the doctor away”
Fermented, unfiltered, raw apple cider vinegar with the Mother such as the original Braggs has many proclaimed health benefits especially when it comes to the digestive system. Research has shown that taking just 1 tablespoon a day can reduce LDL cholesterol. It has also been seen to regulate sugar levels, lower blood pressure and decreases symptoms associated with heartburn and reflux.6
From clinical experience I find that spreading this out across the day and taking 1 teaspoon in a cup of warm water 10-15 minutes before your 3 main meals works effectively for both cholesterol and stimulating digestion before a meal so that bloating, distention, flatulence and discomfort is reduced.
Herbal medicine and nutraceuticals are also extremely effective in lowering cholesterol. Contact The Lucy Rose Clinic on 1300 849 764 to organise your naturopathic appointment today with one our friendly, knowledgeable and experienced Naturopaths around Australia.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Emily holds a Bachelor of Health Science in Naturopathy from Australia’s leading educator in complementary medicine, Endeavour College of Natural Health. She has worked in the health industry for a number of years and has a special interest in thyroid conditions, autoimmune diseases, women’s health and functional pathology.
Emily is passionate about using evidenced based medicine to help patients regain their vitality and optimal health. This is achieved by using food as medicine, nutritional supplements, herbal medicine and implementing lifestyle changes. By helping herself, along with many patients with chronic illness in the past become symptom free she strives to empower others with the knowledge and optimism that quiet often it can be done.
Emily has a passion for travel, which has seen her globetrot around the world to over 30 countries enjoying the adventure, culture, history and food!
Emily is a registered member of ANTA (Australian Natural Therapies Association) and looks forward to meeting with you and assisting you in your journey back to optimal health.
- National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute 2017, What Is Cholesterol?, https://www.nhlbi.nih.gov/health/health-topics/topics/hbc/
- Medscape 2017, How Statins Work: The Development of Cardiovascular Disease and Its Treatment With 3-Hydroxy-3-Methylglutaryl Coenzyme A Reductase Inhibitors, http://www.medscape.org/viewarticle/416521_13
- com 2017, Crestor, https://www.drugs.com/crestor.html
- Othman, R Moghadasian, M & Jones, P 2011, “Cholesterol-lowering effects of oat β-glucan”, Nutrition Reviews, vol. 69, no. 6, pp. 299-309, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21631511
- Stone, N 1996, Fish Consumption, Fish Oil, Lipids, and Coronary Heart Disease, http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/94/9/2337.full
- Fushimi, T Suruga, K Oshima, Y & Fukiharu, M 2006, “Dietary acetic acid reduces serum cholesterol and triacylglycerols in rats fed a cholesterol-rich diet”, British Journal of Nutrition, vol. 95, no. 5, pp. 916-924, https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/british-journal-of-nutrition/article/dietary-acetic-acid-reduces-serum-cholesterol-and-triacylglycerols-in-rats-fed-a-cholesterol-rich-diet/664258C668149C74D01A0F9E76094958