Cholesterol Regulation

In the past few years, cholesterol has received a lot of negative media attention because poor diet, stress and lack of exercise have resulted in higher incidences of heart disease. However, we also need cholesterol to survive. Cholesterol is an important component of our cell's membranes, and without it our cells would fall apart! Cholesterol is a major precursor for Vitamin D, cortisol, and the sex hormones estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone. Furthermore, cholesterol plays an important role in our immune system, including protecting against cancer.

So what's the problem?

The problem comes with unbalanced cholesterol regulation and high cholesterol, which can cause a predisposition to heart disease. This can occur secondarily to environmental factors such as poor diet and lack of exercise, but high cholesterol can also be hereditary. We've all heard it before: it is important to have a good ratio of "good" cholesterol (HDLs) to "bad" cholesterol (LDLs) to ensure heart health.

What is CoQ10 ?

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is necessary for the basic functioning of cells. CoQ10 is a naturally occurring enzyme found in high concentrations in all the smooth muscle tissue in the body. The highest concentrations of CoQ10 have been found in vital organs such as the heart.
Ubiquinone (CoQ10) is a popular heart "medication" that until 2001 was only available by prescription in Japan. There, CoQ10 is called the longevity vitamin because it is believed to lengthen life span and increase quality of life. More than 35 controlled clinical trials in Japan, Europe, and the U.S. have shown that CoQ10 therapy is effective in treatment of congestive heart failure and myocardial infarction, and has also been shown to benefit patients with high blood pressure, kidney failure, and patients that suffer from migraines.

Benefits of Omega-3 and Fish Oils

There is also strong scientific evidence from human based trials that omega-3 fatty acids in the form of fish oil supplementation significantly reduce blood triglyceride levels and benefit overall cholesterol regulation. Fish oil supplements also appear to cause small improvements in good cholesterol levels, and DHA and EPA in the form of fish oils have been convincingly shown to reduce risk of heart attack, stroke, and heart rhythm disorders, slow the buildup of atherosclerotic plaques (hardening of the arteries), and lower blood pressure slightly. Several studies report that regular consumption of oily fish or fish oil/omega-3 supplements reduces the risk of both fatal and non-fatal heart attacks and deaths due to any cause in people with histories of heart attacks. Most patients in these studies were also using standard heart drugs, suggesting that the benefits of fish oils may add to the effects of other therapies. This is the basis of integrative medicine.
Various other supplements in addition to proper diet, exercise, liver cleanses, and medication (if needed) can be used to manage cholesterol imbalances. A holistic approach can be very helpful in reducing high cholesterol and reducing risks for developing heart disease.
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