Cholesterol is a soft, fat-like waxy substance found naturally among the lipids in the bloodstream and in all human cells. Because of its fatty component, it cannot be dissolved in the blood and must be transported to and from the cells by carriers called lipoproteins. “Good” cholesterol, known as high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol, carries cholesterol from other parts of the body to the liver, where it is then processed and removed. The higher your HDL level, the lower your chance of getting heart disease. “Bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol transports cholesterol from the liver to the rest of the body. High levels of blood cholesterol, particularly LDL, can lead to a build-up of cholesterol in the arteries, also known as plaque, which can block blood flow to parts of the heart, thus increasing the possibility of heart disease.
Promoting healthy cholesterol levels is important for helping to avoid cardiovascular and coronary problems. Studies have shown that Coenzyme Q10 is helpful for those patients with high cholesterol who take statin drugs. Statin drugs can deplete the body’s natural CoQ10 levels, so CoQ10 supplementation is useful. CoQ10 levels, some studies have shown, are generally lower in people with high cholesterol, and it is thought to help by preventing the oxidation of cholesterol.
Along with diet and exercise other natural supplements may promote healthy cholesterol levels:
Scientific evidence has shown that including adequate amounts of plant sterols in the diet helps maintain normal LDL cholesterol levels, which may prove beneficial for the cardiovascular function of our body.
Much of the research on vitamin E has focused on their antioxidant abilities.
Citrus Polymethoxylated flavones (PMFs) and other flavonoids have been demonstrated to help promote heart health. Some studies have shown that green tea may have even a greater effect to help maintain optimal LDL and total cholesterol levels.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has concluded that products containing at least 0.65g of free plant sterol esters eaten twice a day with meals for a total daily intake of 1.3g as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol may reduce risk of heart disease.
Some recent research has shown that pine bark extract may help trap free radicals and delay the onset of lipid oxidation.