High cholesterol: Lemongrass essential oil may significantly reduce ‘bad’ cholesterol
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High cholesterol is when you have too much of a fatty substance called cholesterol in your blood. It is helpful to distinguish between the different types of cholesterol because they do not all present a threat. In fact, certain forms of cholesterol provide protection against the harmful types.
The two main types of cholesterol that you need to know about are low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein (HDL).
The former is branded the “bad” cholesterol because it contributes to fatty buildups in arteries. It does this by sticking to the inside of artery walls.
This harmful process, known as atherosclerosis, causes the blood vessels to thicken, thereby reducing blood flow.
This can lead to all-manner of serious complications, such as coronary heart disease.
HDL cholesterol is branded the “good” cholesterol because it counters this harmful process.
HDL cholesterol picks up LDL cholesterol and transports it to the liver, where it is flushed out.
The key to lowering high cholesterol therefore lies in lowering LDL levels while increasing HDL levels.
Evidence suggests supplementing with lemongrass essential oil can aid this process.
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Lemongrass essential oil, which is extracted from the leaves and stalks of the lemongrass plant, has been shown to reduce high cholesterol in a rat study.
The study found lemongrass oil significantly reduced cholesterol in rats who had been fed a high cholesterol diet for 14 days.
The positive reaction was dose dependent, which means that its effects changed when the dose was changed.
What’s more, lemon grass oil may have a moderating effect on high blood sugar levels – a complication associated with diabetes that often comes hand in hand with high cholesterol.
For the study, rats were treated with a daily oral dose of 125 to 500 milligrams of lemongrass oil for 42 days.
Results showed lemongrass oil lowered blood sugar levels.
It also changed lipid parameters while increasing HDL (good) cholesterol levels.
General dietary tips to lower high cholesterol
To reduce your cholesterol, try to cut down on fatty food, especially food that contains a type of fat called saturated fat.
According to the NHS. saturated fats raise LDL levels in your blood.
- Meat pies, sausages and fatty meat
- Butter, lard and ghee
- Cream and hard cheese, like cheddar
- Cakes and biscuits
- Food that contains coconut oil or palm oil.
Instead, you should try and stick to a Mediterranean-style diet, which mainly consists of unsaturated fats, advises the NHS.
Oily fish, like mackerel and salmon are rich sources of unsaturated fats.
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