Dr. William Davis Health Pro April 07, 2010
What do carbohydrates have to do with cholesterol?
Most people believe that carbohydrates and cholesterol are completely unrelated. After all, don’t fats as saturated fat increase cholesterol levels? What do carbohydrates have to do with it?
There’s actually a powerful relationship between carbohydrates and cholesterol. First of all, cholesterol is nothing more than the substance measured to indirectly quantify the number of various particles in the blood. “High cholesterol” simply means that there are a larger number of blood particles that contain cholesterol. Cholesterol is used to estimate the number of low-density lipoproteins (LDL) and high-density lipoproteins (HDL).
Carbohydrates enter into this equation because:
- Carbohydrates increase triglycerides which, in turn, allow more very low-density lipoprotein particles (VLDL) to be produced by the liver.
- Triglyceride-rich VLDL interact with LDL particles, making them smaller. The more VLDL, the more small LDL particles. This will be reflected (though incompletely) in higher LDL cholesterol values.
- Smaller LDL particles are more prone to oxidation – Oxidized LDL particles are more readily taken up by inflammatory white blood cells residing in the artery wall and atherosclerotic plaque.
- Smaller LDL particles are more prone to glycation – Glycation of LDL is an important phenomenon that makes the LDL particle more atherosclerotic plaque-causing. Glycated LDLs are not recognized by the LDL receptor, causing them to persist in the bloodstream longer than non-glcyated LDL. Glycated LDL is therefore taken up by inflammatory white blood cells in plaque.
To make matters worse, carbohydrates also make you fat, further fueling the fire of this sequence. (Gain weight, triglycerides go up; lose weight, triglycerides go down. The entire sequence follows.)
What starts this chain? Carbohydrates
So carbohydrates and cholesterol are indeed intimately related, though it requires a somewhat complex chain of events to see the connection.
In order to break this chain, you must reduce carbohydrates.
Herbs which can help to reduce “bad” cholesterol (LDL) and increase “good” cholesterol(HDL) are…
Myrrh, also known as Guggulipid, is used for arthritis, lowering high cholesterol and atherosclerosis.
Guggul is the extract of the gum resin of the Commiphora mukul tree, which is native to India. Guggulsterones can inhibit the synthesis of cholesterol in the liver, may have an antioxidant effect on lipids and may have thyroid-stimulating activity.
2. Green Tea extract
Green tea lowers blood cholesterol by reducing its absorption in the digestive tract, while increasing its rate of excretion. But perhaps even more important than whisking away excess cholesterol is green tea’s ability to fight the conversion of LDL to its more dangerous, oxidized form.
When LDL is oxidized, it gets sticky and tends to cling to the walls of your arteries. Oxidized LDL is a major factor in the development of atherosclerosis (the buildup of plaque in the arteries), and greatly increases your risk of a heart attack or stroke.
Green tea, through its antioxidant action, does much to protect LDL from oxidation, thus helping to keep your arteries “clean.”
3. Niacin (Vitamin B3)
Niacin, a B vitamin, has long been used to increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL), or the “good,” cholesterol. HDL cholesterol helps sweep up low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or the “bad,” cholesterol, in your bloodstream.
Although niacin is readily available and effective, it hasn’t received much attention compared to other cholesterol drugs.
Most discussions about cholesterol focuses on lowering your low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or “bad,” cholesterol. That’s still an important goal. But boosting your HDL level can be just as important as lowering your LDL cholesterol.
4. Fenugreek seed extract
Benefits of Fenugreek seed extract include the ability to lower serum cholesterol and triglyceride levels, and helps maintain normal sugar levels in diabetics.
Manna Cholesterol Support contains all of the above mentioned herbs.