High cholesterol levels, hypercholesterolemia, have a long association with many diseases, particularly Cardiovascular Disease (CVD), the cause of major deaths in the US and Europe.
In the following article I am hoping to break it down a bit so at the end you will understand what is cholesterol? What are the different types of cholesterol? What are some of the risks associated with cholesterol? Is there a natural way to control cholesterol levels? How can turmeric be beneficial to maintain healthy cholesterol levels?
What is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a fat-like substance that is produced naturally in the liver and is vital for the formation of cell membranes, certain hormones, and vitamin D.
Cholesterol cannot travel through our blood on its own. To help transport cholesterol, our liver produces lipoproteins.
Lipoproteins are particles made from fat and protein. They carry cholesterol and triglycerides (another type of lipid) through our bloodstream. There are two major types of lipoprotein:
- LDL – low-density lipoprotein. LDL is also known as the “bad” cholesterol because too much of it leads to plaque accumulation on the walls of our arteries. When this plaque builds up, it can:
- Narrow the blood vessels, straining the flow of oxygen-rich blood throughout the body
- Lead to blood clots, which can break loose and block the flow of blood, causing a heart attack or stroke.
- HDL – high-density lipoprotein. HDL is also known as the “good” cholesterol as it helps keep our cardiovascular system healthy. It aids in the removal of LDL from the arteries. High levels of HDL can protect against stroke and heart attack.
What is some of the risk associated with cholesterol?
Growing body of research demonstrates that cholesterol, in and of itself, is not a risk factor for heart disease. It only becomes a risk when it is oxidizes.
As this oxidation process occurs, it can result in persistent inflammation in the body, including within the arteries. Oxidized cholesterol, as well as chronic inflammation can trigger the formation of vulnerable plaque, setting in motion a vicious cycle that can result in formation of blood clot or heart disease.
How can turmeric/ curcumin help?
Diets rich in antioxidant foods can prevent free radicals damage, chronic inflammation and the oxidation process. Turmeric and curcumin are potent antioxidants, therefore are beneficial to contribute to such diets.
Turmeric and curcumin have the ability to prevent and reverse chronic inflammation. Given the primary role chronic inflammation plays in triggering and worsening heart disease, a growing body of research has led to more and more doctors and other health practitioners recommending turmeric and curcumin supplements to their patients in order to improve the health of their hearts and help protest against heart disease.
Turmeric and curcumin were found to increase the “good” HDL cholesterol levels while lowering the “bad” LDL cholesterol levels
Turmeric and curcumin were also proven to reduce plaque buildup in the arteries and protecting against atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries)
How can turmeric be beneficial to maintain healthy cholesterol levels? The research
A number of human clinical trials have confirmed that turmeric and curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, can help reach a healthy ration between HDL and LDL as well as maintain a healthy total cholesterol count.
In one such study done on healthy men and women, daily supplementation of 500mg of curcumin increased HDL levels by 29 percent after only seven days while decreasing the total cholesterol levels by 12 percent. And even more important, the participants also experienced a 33 percent decrease in serum lipid peroxidases. Lipid peroxidation is a process of oxidation caused by free radicals to the fats in cell membrane. This, in turn, result in cellular damage, which when left unchecked, can cause a chain reaction of ongoing free radical damage as well as oxidation of cholesterol.
ACS or acute coronary syndrome refers to a condition of heart problems and chest pain due to obstructed blood flow to the heart due to cholesterol-clogged arteries. This 2008 study, found that daily supplementation of curcumin caused a reduction in total cholesterol level and LDL cholesterol level while showing raised levels of HDL in ACS patients.
Another meta-analysis of seven other studies involving total of 649 patients with risk factors for cardiovascular disease found that both turmeric and curcumin significantly reduced the patients’ LDL cholesterol and triglycerides reading, as well as lowered their blood lipid levels, compared to patients in the studies control groups.
Atherosclerosis is the condition of gradual hardening and narrowing of arteries due to increased lipid and LDL levels. A study from 2005 found thatcurcumin breaks down the build-up of plaque in the arteriesClick To Tweet
Control Cholesterol Level with Curcumall®
One challenge with curcumin supplements is proper absorption, this is why the bioavailability is an issue. It is difficult for your body to absorb enough of the nutrient to make a difference, particularly in capsule form.
Curcumall® is a specialized liquid extract of Turmeric and Curcumin C3 that offers more free curcumin at the cellular level. Curcumall® is easier to ingest than any pill, is highly concentrated and readily absorbed.
Moreover, each serving contains 500mg of active patented curcuminoids and turmeric root extract.Patients who used Curcumall® on a regular basis (twice daily) reported a significant drop in their cholesterol levels.Click To Tweet
Read this article that describes a personal experience with Curcumall and lowering cholesterol levels.