Article contentCardiovascular Disease (CVD) is the leading cause of critical illness and disability in The US today. In fact, CVD is responsible for more illness each year than cancer, accidents, and diabetes combined. This means that about 80 million Americans have some type of cardiovascular disease. Today we want to discuss the various supplements that can help reduce your CVD risk by reducing blood cholesterol.
There are many risk factors associated with CVD, some you can control and some you can’t, but the more risk factors you have the greater your chance of developing coronary heart disease. You can find out how your risk factors add-up by going to American Heart Association Risk Calculator. Listed below are the risk-factors for CVD, and the ones underlined are the ones that you can control.
- Increasing Age
- Gender (male)
- High LDL or Low HDL Blood Cholesterol
- Serum Triglycerides
- High Blood Pressure
- Physical inactivity
Manage High Blood Cholesterol
Your total cholesterol number is representative of both HDL (good) and LDL (bad) cholesterol.
“What you are shooting for is 200 mg/dL or less. 200 mg/dL to 239 mg/dL is considered borderline high; however, a total-cholesterol of 240 mg/dL is considered too high and carries twice the risk than a total-cholesterol of 200 mg/dL, and as your cholesterol level rises over 240, your risk rises into the high to very high risk range.” From the American Heart Association.
“With HDL (good) cholesterol, higher levels are better. Low HDL cholesterol (less than 40 mg/dL for men, less than 50 mg/dL for women) puts you at higher risk for heart disease. An HDL cholesterol of 60 mg/dL or higher gives some protection against heart disease. The mean level of HDL cholesterol for American adults age 20 and older is 54.3 mg/dL.” From the American Heart Association.
With LDL (bad) cholesterol, lower levels are better. Elevated LDL blood cholesterol (hypercholesterolemia) is a problem affecting many Americans, yet of the millions individuals who may benefit from pharmacological, diet, or supplement related interventions, only about 20% receive the care required for lowering low-density lipoprotein (LDL-cholesterol) the 25% to 35% known to provide significant health benefit. Consequently, there is increasing interest on the part of consumers, and their health care providers, in dietary supplements as well as exercise and improved diets to help maintain heart-health. The following list can help you supplement your diet with dietary supplements designed and known for their positive impact on maintaining healthy cholesterol:
Heart Healthy Supplements
Red Yeast Rice powder: an ancient remedy that is today known for its protective effects against elevated blood cholesterol.*
Phytosterols: natural, plant derived compounds that have significant cardiovascular benefits. Daily total intake of at least 800mg of free Phytosterols, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce risk of heart disease.*
Resveratrol: helps lower blood cholesterol levels as well as blocking cholesterol oxidation, which keeps arteries healthy and flexible.*
CoQ10: helps produce cellular energy, particularly in the heart, which helps keep the heart beating with enough strength to keep it pumping like it should.*
Omega 3’s (EPA/DHA): Research shows that regular/daily consumption of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of coronary heart disease.*
Niacin: helps raise good, HDL cholesterol.*
Pycnogenol: an antioxidant that has beneficial effects on blood pressure, and it helps block cholesterol oxidation, which keeps arteries healthy and flexible.*
Garlic: provides sulfur compounds that are beneficial to the cardiovascular system and help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.*