What is Cholesterol?
The cholesterol level refers to the total amount of cholesterol in the blood. If the cholesterol levels are high, so is the risk of heart disease.
The body produces roughly 2 grams of cholesterol each day which makes up about 85% of the total cholesterol in the blood stream. The remaining 15% comes from what we eat and drink, specifically from the fats in it.
Cholesterol is a vital ingredient for the production of estrogen in women, testosterone in men, and the processing of vitamin D.
Lipoproteins are "packets" that are used to transport the cholesterol throughout the body. There are two main lipoproteins, namely: LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) and HDL (High Density Lipoprotein).
Another important term to note is triglycerides. Triglycerides are the basic form of fat. Triglycerides get stored in the body's fat cells until it is needed. It is used as a source of energy. High triglyceride levels indicate a higher risk of heart problems. High triglyceride levels can be drawn back directly to an overconsumption of food with high carbohydrate content.
Symptoms of high cholesterol
High cholesterol levels are known as "hypercholesterolaemia"
Symptoms of high cholesterol do not always appear in such a way that the doctor can identify them simply by sight or even touch.
When symptoms of atherosclerosis, a typical consequence of high cholesterol levels, are present it acts as identification of high cholesterol.
Symptoms of high cholesterol (atherosclerosis) include:
- Narrowed coronary arteries in the heart known as "angina"
- Leg pain while doing physical exercise caused by narrowed arteries that supply blood to the legs.
- Blood clots and ruptured blood vessels which can result in a stroke or TIA (mini-stroke).
- Ruptured plaques which can cause coronary thrombosis. Coronary thrombosis is a clot that forms in one of the arteries that supplies blood to the heart. This can cause major damage which could then result in heart failure.
- Xanthomas is when thick yellow patches form on the skin, particularly in the area surrounding the eyes. These are deposits of cholesterol. This is often found among people who inherit a susceptibility to high cholesterol.[/wptab][wptab name='Causes']
What Causes High Cholesterol?
Nutrition - There is a common misconception as to what sort of food causes cholesterol problems as some food contains cholesterol. These food sorts include: eggs, kidneys and certain seafood. However, this is not what causes high cholesterol. One of the big causes of cholesterol is saturated fats.
Examples of foods that are high in saturated fats are: pastries and pies, hard cheese, cakes, biscuits etc. The biggest cause of cholesterol of all, is sugar. Sugar is not only the sugar you use in your coffee or tea, but it is the sugar found in products such as soft drinks, candy and energy drinks. People often forget that even if it does not taste sweet, it can still contain a lot of sugar. This includes things such as pasta, rice, bread, potato crisps and fast food. They contain high amounts of sugar since they consist of large amounts of carbohydrates, which is essentially sugar.
Inactive lifestyle - People who do not get a sufficient amount of exercise or are sitting down most of the time (due to work or other reasons) tend to have higher levels of LDL (bad cholesterol) and lower levels of HDL (good cholesterol).
Body weight - Overweight people are prone to higher LDL levels and lower HDL levels, in comparison to people who are of normal weight.
Smoking – Smoking has a notable effect on LDL levels.
Alcohol - People who regularly consume a considerable amount of alcohol usually have higher levels of LDL and very low levels of HDL, as alcohol is in essence concentrated sugar.
Complications of cholesterol
High cholesterol can result in atherosclerosis, a dangerous build-up of cholesterol and other deposits on the inner walls of the arteries. This deposit can decrease blood flow through your arteries, which can lead to problems, such as:
- Chest pain:
If the coronary arteries, which supply blood to the heart, are affected you may experience chest pain and other signs of coronary artery disease.
- Heart attack:
A heart attack occurs when a blood clot is formed which can block the blood flow by getting stuck in an artery. When the blood flow towards the heart stops, you will have a heart attack.
A stroke is similar to a heart attack in terms of the process that takes place, but instead of blocking blood off from the heart, it blocks blood off from the brain.
What are normal cholesterol levels?
Normal cholesterol levels in human blood can vary from 3.6 mmol/liter to 7.8 mmol/liter.
Below is a list of cholesterol levels and how most doctors would categorize them:
- Optimum level: less than 5mmol/liter
- Mildly high cholesterol level: between 5 to 6.4mmol/liter
- Moderately high cholesterol level: between 6.5 to 7.8mmol/liter
- Very high cholesterol level: above 7.8mmol/liter
|Below 5.2 mmol/L||Desirable|
|5.2-6.2 mmol/L||Borderline high|
|Above 6.2 mmol/L||High|
|Below 1.8 mmol/L||Ideal for people at very high risk of heart disease|
|Below 2.6 mmol/L||Ideal for people at risk of heart disease|
|2.6-3.3 mmol/L||Near ideal|
|3.4-4.1 mmol/L||Borderline high|
|Above 4.9 mmol/L||Very high|
|Below 1 mmol/L (men)||Poor|
|Below 1.3 mmol/L (women)|
|1-1.3 mmol/L (men)||Better|
|1.3-1.5 mmol/L (women)|
|1.6 mmol/L and above||Best|
|Below 1.7 mmol/L||Desirable|
|1.7-2.2 mmol/L||Borderline high|
|Above 5.6 mmol/L and above||Very high|
Dangers of high cholesterol levels
High cholesterol levels can cause:
- Atherosclerosis - narrowing of the arteries.
- Higher coronary heart disease risk - an abnormality of the arteries that supply blood and oxygen to the heart.
- Heart attack - occurs when the supply of blood and oxygen to an area of heart muscle is blocked, usually by a clot in a coronary artery. This causes your heart muscle to die.
- Angina - chest pain or discomfort that occurs when your heart muscle does not get enough blood.
- Other cardiovascular conditions - diseases of the heart and blood vessels.
- Stroke and mini-stroke - occurs when a blood clot blocks an artery or vein, interrupting the flow to an area of the brain. Can also occur when a blood vessel breaks. Brain cells begin to die.
If both blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels are high, the risk of developing coronary heart disease rises significantly.
Proper management of cholesterol levels
Certain food and substances should be kept to a minimum in your diet. This includes too much starch, sugar and alcohol.
Things that should be included in your diet are: vegetables, fruit, protein, fiber, clean water, etc.
Follow the Manna Diet as described in the free e-book.
All forms of exercise that gets your heart rate to increase will suffice. It is important to get your heart rate up as it increases the rate at which the blood flows through your veins.
The right type of natural supplement can help the body reduce LDL (bad cholesterol) and increase HDL (good cholesterol) - a product such as the Manna Cholesterol Support.
The use of botanical and herbal medicines as a complementary approach for thetreatment of cholesterol has been steadily increasing, possibly because of the adverse effects associated with the use of chemical medication.
This formulation of the highest quality natural & organic ingredients was specifically designed to improve a healthy vascular system, assisting in dissolving of LDL cholesterol in the arteries, increase HDL and helps to dissolve lipid deposits on the inside walls of the arteries.
FREE from ALL major potential allergens and is free of ANY additives.
If you look at the ingredients, you can see why this product is formulated for ultimate enhancement of the vascular system. We only use 4 ingredients in the product to get the highest effect from each individual ingredient.
1. Guggulipid Myrrh
Also known as Guggulipid, is used for arthritis, lowering high cholesterol and atherosclerosis.
Guggul is the extract of the gum resin of the Commiphora mukul tree, which is native to India. Guggulsterones can inhibit the synthesis of cholesterol in the liver, may have an antioxidant effect on lipids and may have thyroid-stimulating activity.
2. Green Tea extract
Green tea lowers blood cholesterol by reducing its absorption in the digestive tract, while increasing its rate of excretion. But perhaps even more important than whisking away excess cholesterol is green tea’s ability to fight the conversion of LDL to its more dangerous, oxidized form.
When LDL is oxidized, it gets sticky and tends to cling to the walls of your arteries. Oxidized LDL is a major factor in the development of atherosclerosis (the buildup of plaque in the arteries), and greatly increases your risk of a heart attack or stroke. Green tea, through its antioxidant action, does much to protect LDL from oxidation, thus helping to keep your arteries “clean.”
3. Niacin (Vitamin B3)
Niacin, a B vitamin, has long been used to increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or the "good," cholesterol. HDL cholesterol helps sweep up low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or the "bad," cholesterol, in your bloodstream. Although niacin is readily available and effective, it hasn't gotten much attention compared to other cholesterol drugs.
Most discussion about cholesterol focuses on lowering your low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or "bad," cholesterol. That's still an important goal. But boosting your HDL level can be just as important as lowering your LDL cholesterol.
4. Fenugreek seed extract
Benefits of Fenugreek seed extract include the ability to lower serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and helps maintain normal sugar levels in diabetics.
Extra Reading: An ACLS Guide to Answering Your Cholesterol Questions