High cholesterol: Take this supplement for 12 weeks to lower cholesterol and risk of death
High cholesterol is when you have too much of a fatty substance called cholesterol in your blood. This waxy substance can block your blood vessels, leading to cardiovascular problems such as heart attacks. It is important to note that cholesterol is not universally bad.
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In fact, some types of cholesterol are essential for good health.
Your body needs cholesterol to perform important jobs, such as making hormones and building cells.
The harmful type of cholesterol, called LDL cholesterol, does not provide these benefits, however.
LDL cholesterol, the type you get from eating fatty food, clogs up your arteries.
The good type, otherwise known as HDL cholesterol, picks up excess cholesterol in your blood and takes it back to your liver where it’s broken down and removed from your body.
The former therefore heightens your risk of developing heart disease, whereas the latter lowers your risk.
Evidence has shown that certain dietary items are particularly adept lowering LDL cholesterol.
One notable item is soluble fibre.
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Soluble fibre is a group of different compounds in plants that dissolve in water and that humans can’t digest.
However, the beneficial bacteria that live in your intestines can digest soluble fibre.
In fact, they require it for their own nutrition.
Research shows that these good bacteria, also called probiotics, reduce LDL and cholesterol.
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In a study of 30 adults, taking three grams of soluble fibre supplements daily for 12 weeks decreased LDL by 18 percent.
Soluble fibre can also help increase the cholesterol benefits of taking a statin medication, a class of drugs often prescribed by doctors to help lower cholesterol levels in the blood.
One 12-week study had 68 adults add 15 grams of the psyllium (a common fibre supplement) product Metamucil to their daily 10-mg dose of the LDL-lowering medication simvastatin.
This was found to be as effective as taking a larger 20-mg dose of the statin without fibre.
What’s more, soluble fibre’s benefits extent to reducing the risk of disease.
A large review of several studies found high fibre intakes of both soluble and insoluble fibre reduced the risk of death over 17 years by nearly 15 percent.
Another study of over 350,000 adults found those eating the most fibre from grains and cereals lived longer, and they were 15 to 20 percent less likely to die during the 14-year study.
Some of the best sources of soluble fibre include beans, peas and lentils, fruit, oats and whole grains.
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