By Joseph Asbach, M.D.
Good health is directly related to good eating habits. Most food choices are made for taste and convenience, NOT for good health and nutrition. These bad habits increase the risk of atherosclerosis and coronary heart disease from consuming dietary fats, which results in high cholesterol levels. High levels of circulating cholesterol are a major factor leading to clogged blood vessels and heart disease. Heart disease is the number one killer in today’s society. Specifically, low-density lipoprotein “LDL” cholesterol is considered bad because it carries fats out of the liver to the blood vessels.
There are actually two types of dietary problems which lead to high cholesterol levels. First, foods which are fried or are high in animal fats will directly raise levels of bad cholesterol. Second, diets high in sugar, breads, pasta, sweets and other simple carbohydrates are converted into bad cholesterol by the liver. This explains how some vegetarians have high cholesterol.
The liver also makes cholesterol for hormonal purposes as a response to stress. It is possible to decrease cholesterol by decreasing and managing stress. Therefore, exercise and stress management are important parts of a cholesterol- lowering plan.
Lower Cholesterol Levels Quickly and Easily
There are two natural plant extracts, Beta- sitosterol from soy, sugar cane, or rice and Guggul-lipids which, when taken as a supplement, can improve cholesterol metabolism. Beta-sitosterol is a healthy plant oil found in all vegetable matter, but in minute quantities, except in sugar cane, soybeans and rice. It can decrease the absorption of cholesterol in the digestive system and decrease the amount of cholesterol produced by the liver. Beta- sitosterol decreases absorption by locking to the fat molecules eaten and by blocking the fat molecule absorption gates in the intestines. The fats and cholesterol are then excreted rather than absorbed.
A study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed a 42% decease in cholesterol absorbed when taking Beta-sitosterol before eating scrambled eggs. The liver actually manufactures more cholesterol than is typically absorbed from food. Beta-sitosterol acts on the liver enzymes in a way which inhibits cholesterol production. An important enzyme for the manufacture of cholesterol in the liver is broken down rapidly in the presence of Beta-sitosterol. Cholesterol is also better metabolized or broken down by the liver in the presence of Beta-sitosterol. The specific liver enzymes which break down saturated fats are significantly more active. There are possibly even more benefits to taking Beta-sitosterol, including aiding in weight loss, protecting the lining of the digestive tract and decreasing the risk of gallstones.
Taken Regularly Before Meals Can Result in a Significant Decrease in Cholesterol Absorption
The Guggul-lipids are plant fibers that have both cholesterol lowering properties and directly inhibit cholesterol from forming sticky plaque that clogs the walls of blood vessels. Like Beta-sitosterol, it has the effects of decreasing cholesterol absorption and decreasing enzymatic cholesterol production in the liver. The fact that Guggul-lipids also work at reducing plaque out in the blood vessels is an added bonus. A study published in the Journal of Clinical Cardiology showed Guggul-lipid supplementation significantly decreased blood cholesterol levels without altering patient diets or lifestyles. Even greater results may be expected with proper diet and lifestyle changes.
Beta-sitosterol and Guggul-lipids should be consumed in equally divided doses 30 minutes prior to all meals. The plant substances can then disperse throughout the digestive system during that 30 minutes to maximize its effectiveness on blocking cholesterol absorption. Taken regularly before meals containing cholesterol rich foods can result in a significant decrease in cholesterol absorption and improved processing of cholesterol by the liver.
Commonly prescribed Statin drugs which lower cholesterol are expensive and have many undesirable side effects. These drugs are very burdensome to the liver and kidneys. In contrast, these safe and natural plant based cholesterol fighters are actually beneficial to the liver and have no side effects whatsoever.
In Summary, Supplementation with the Combination of
Beta-Sitosterol and Guggul-Lipids can be a Safe
and Effective Part of a Healthy Plan to Naturally
Lower Serum Cholesterol Levels.
The proposed mechanisms of action are:
- Intestinal binding and excretion of free cholesterol.
- Blocking of absorption sites in the intestinal walls .
- An enzymatic shift, decreasing liver cholesterol production.
- Increased liver enzyme functions on the breakdown of fats.
Controlling body weight and cholesterol levels are keys to a healthy cardiovascular system. Therefore, a consistent health plan to control body weight and cholesterol levels is needed. Beta-sitosterol with Guggul-lipids can lower cholesterol absorption in the intestine and lower cholesterol production in the liver. This should lead to lower circulating bad cholesterol levels in the blood. Taking Beta-sitosterol with Guggul-lipids before meals is an excellent strategy in any plan to help maintain healthy cholesterol naturally!