Natural Alternatives to Cholesterol Concerns!
According to ABC News 45% of the adult population is at significant risk for heart and cardiovascular disease. Of the three greatest areas of risk, they listed cholesterol concerns as number 2 with high blood pressure as number 1 and diabetes as number 3.
Currently, 63 million Americans have cholesterol concerns. Of this number 38 million are at risk for cardiovascular disease. Why? Because of the potential damage LDL (low density lipoprotein) cholesterol or “BAD” cholesterol can cause to the endothelial cells. This damage reduces their ability to properly produce nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is the master signaling molecule of your cardiovascular system and is critical to good health especially cardiovascular health.
Unfortunately 50% of African American men and 54% of African American women have too much cholesterol circulating in their blood stream. While this page will help you understand the need for cholesterol, it will also help you understand how properly repairing the endothelial cells can substantially reduce your risk from bad cholesterol.
The Glue That Holds You Together!
Cholesterol is a fascinating molecule because it’s widely used throughout your body. To begin with cholesterol is required to build and maintain all cell membranes. Without cholesterol you would be a large puddle on the floor! In addition to providing this structural purpose, cholesterol also plays an important role in:
- regulating cell membrane fluidity.
- intracellular transport, cell signaling, and nerve conduction.
- the liver where it’s converted to bile to aid in the digestion of fats and the absorption of key fat soluble vitamins like vitamin A, D, E, and K.
- the formation of key hormones such as the adrenal gland hormones of cortisol and aldosterone and the sex hormones of progesterone, estrogen, and testosterone.
As you can see from this list, not only does cholesterol hold you together but it also plays a key role in your nervous system, digestive system, immune system, cardiovascular system, endocrine system, and overall metabolism. Most of your cholesterol comes from your diet or is recycled within your body when bile is not eliminated through your digestive tract.
What’s Good – What’s Bad Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is transported by your blood stream. Because it cannot dissolve in your blood it must be transported to and from the cells by carriers called lipoproteins. There are two basic carriers called low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL).
Your HDL cholesterol is called “Good” because it helps to keep the walls of the blood vessels clean by removing excess cholesterol and carrying it back to the liver for additional processing. Your HDL cholesterol helps to protect the endothelial cells from being damaged by LDL oxidation. This is critical because your endothelial cells play a large role in both cardiovascular and sexual health.
Your LDL cholesterol is called “Bad” because it can adhere to the inner lining of your arteries and arterioles. This can slowly build up over time. LDL cholesterol is also very sensitive to oxidative agents like Advanced Glycation End products (AGEs) to form thick, hard deposits called plaque. This process damages the endothelial cells to reduce their ability to properly produce nitric oxide. This process causes the arteries and arterioles to become less flexible resulting in the cardiovascular disease know as atherosclerosis.
This narrowing and loss of flexibility of your blood vessels increases the potential for the formation of blood clots. When blood clots lodge in the narrowing blood vessels they can cause a heart attack or stoke.
As this process continues over time, these deposits or plaque formations become larger which narrows the interior of your blood vessels. This narrowing makes it harder for blood to pass through resulting in increased resistance to blood flow. It’s this increased resistance to blood flow that causes your blood pressure to increase resulting in high blood pressure.
The Enemy of the Cardiovascular System!
Because of this cholesterol has become the enemy of the cardiovascular system. To combat this enemy more and more doctors are prescribing statin drugs like Lipitor (atorvastatin), Zocor (simvastatin), Mevacor (lovastatin) and Pravachol (pravastatin) as the answer to good cardiovascular health.
Statin drugs lower cholesterol by blocking a key enzyme that the liver uses for its production. The enzyme is HMG-CoA (3-hydroxy-3-methyglutaryl COA) reductase. This inhibits the liver’s ability to produce LDL or low-density lipoprotein. This frees up the number of LDL receptor sites on the surface of liver cells allowing the liver to remove more cholesterol from the bloodstream. Thus, statin drugs work to inhibit the production of LDL and indirectly assist the liver cells in removing cholesterol from the blood.
Studies have shown statin drugs to have the following benefits:
- Lower LDL levels from 18 to 55%
- Raise HDL levels 5 to 15% (According to the Mayo Clinic for every 1 milligram per deciliter rise in HDL cholesterol you reduce your risk for heart attack by 3 percent.)
- Help the body reabsorb cholesterol that has accumulated on the artery walls.
- Reduce oxidative stress on the body’s tissue.
- Reduce inflammation.
- Stabilize plaque formations on the blood vessel walls.
This looks pretty encouraging. By using a drug that can lower the “BAD” cholesterol 18 to 55% while increasing the “GOOD” cholesterol 5 to 15% you can reduce the risk for heart attack, reduce oxidative stress, and reduce inflammation. Who wouldn’t want this?
But is cholesterol the real enemy? And, if it is do the side effects of statin drugs outweigh the benefits? Or, could there be a better way to protect the endothelial cells of your cardiovascular system from oxidative stress?
The Side Effects of Statin Drugs!
Remember the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase that is inhibited by the statin drugs. This enzyme is also critical in the formation of two other life enhancing compounds: ubiquinone and dilochol. Ubiquinone is better know as Co-Enzyme Q 10 or CoQ10.
CoQ10 plays a critical role in helping the mitochondria of your cells produce ATP which is necessary for energy production. Your heart requires high levels of CoQ10 to function properly. It’s also involved in respiration, helps to maintain membrane integrity critical to nerve conduction, and vital to elastin and collagen formation. The side effects of CoQ10 deficiency include muscular wasting which leads to muscle weakness, severe back pain, heart failure, neuropathy, and both tendon and ligament inflammation.
Dolichols play a huge role in helping to make sure that the proteins manufactured by the cell’s DNA end up at their proper targets. This helps to ensure that the cells respond correctly to their genetic programming. When interfered with they can allow for some very unpredictable consequences at the cellular level.
Even though the FDA has deemed statin drugs to be safe, there is no drug that is totally without side effects. For statin drugs, especially now that people have been taking them for longer than required in clinical testing, the side effects are more evident:
- Muscle Pain associated with Rhabdomyolysis. Muscle pain in the shoulders, jaw, legs and back are common. This muscle pain is a symptom of muscle breakdown caused by the statin drugs. When muscle breaks down, the body must eliminate the excess waste. This can overload the kidneys and can lead to a more serious problem. Rhabdomyolysis is the medical term for this muscular breakdown and the subsequent release of the contents of muscle fiber into the bloodstream. When this occurs the person’s urine is usually dark, red, or cola colored. If severe enough it can lead to acute kidney failure and death.
- Muscle Weakness associated with Neuropathy. Neuropathy is a malfunction of the peripheral nervous system which can affect muscle tone and function. There are many types of neuropathy but one is caused by statin drugs. Muscle weakness is frequently a symptom of this form of neuropathy. Other symptoms could include: numbness, tingling, burning sensations, and extreme sensitivity to touch. If left untreated, neuropathy can lead to muscle deterioration and possibly paralysis. This can directly effect swallowing and breathing.
- Memory loss and cognitive function can also be a side effect of statin drugs. This would make sense since cholesterol is critical to proper brain function.
- Congestive heart failure has more than doubled from 1989 to 1997 (with statin drugs being introduced into the market place in 1987.) The current reasoning for this is the interference in the production of CoQ10 which is critical to proper heart function.
The drug industry downplays these negative side effects. While it is difficult to get an exact estimate of the true problem since there are competing interests, researchers estimate that 1 – 5% of statin users will experience muscle pain and 10% will experience muscle weakness. It’s estimated that 16 million Americans take Lipitor, the most popular of the statin drugs. If the above estimates are correct, then 160,000 to 800,000 thousand American are experiencing some level of muscle pain and 1.6 million are experiencing muscle weakness.
Is There a Better Way?
Can Nitric Oxide be Part of the Solution?
The answer is “YES” to both questions. Like diabetes there really are two issues regarding cholesterol. The first is the overproduction of cholesterol by the liver. The second is the oxidative damage done by LDL cholesterol on the endothelial cells that line all of your cardiovascular system. This damage inhibits the production of nitric oxide which is the master signaling molecule for your cardiovascular system.
There are many ways to naturally improve your cholesterol numbers. The article “Cholesterol Good and Bad – What’s it All Mean?” at the bottom of this page will provide you with 9 natural ways to improve your cholesterol levels. All of these ways usually require a lifestyle change such as exercise to improve HDL cholesterol or increasing the amount of soluble fiber in your diet to lower LDL cholesterol.
While these natural ways can address the overproduction of cholesterol by the liver you still need to offset the oxidative damage done to the endothelial cells. This is critically important to cardiovascular health. Why? Because nitric oxide helps to protect the endothelial cells from the potential oxidative stress that LDL cholesterol can cause.
Although nitric oxide doesn’t seem to interfere with the liver’s ability to produce cholesterol, nitric oxide (NO) helps statin drugs work more effectively. According to Nobel Laureate in Medicine Dr. Louis Ignarro in his book NO More Heart Disease:
“With tens of millions of patients taking LDL cholesterol-lowering statin drugs, you might wonder why NO therapy is necessary for lowering cholesterol. The fact is, NO therapy is a natural way of either reducing your need for statins or eliminating the need altogether – without any additional side effects. […] The most important message for you to take away from the discussion at this stage is that if you are on statins, you should also undertake NO therapy to amplify your benefits. If you are not on statins, NO therapy may be able to keep you off them. Either way, the benefits of NO therapy in the fight against high cholesterol are too great to ignore. So do not hesitate – start NO therapy immediately.”
Dr. Ignarro’s main point is that effective Nitric Oxide therapy, achieved through proper nutritional supplementation, is designed to repair the damage to your endothelial cells. This improves their ability to produce nitric oxide to naturally protect you from LDL or “Bad” cholesterol. The key to properly supporting your endothelial cells and their ability to produce nitric oxide is to use a clinically proven Nitric Oxide therapy program. One that includes an L-arginine / L-citrulline nutritional protocol and is clinically proven to provide this therapeutic effect.
ProArgi-9 Plus is a clinically proven L-arginine / L-citrulline nutritional supplement designed to help repair your endothelial cells so that they can properly produce nitric oxide. This can have a positive effect on improving your cholesterol numbers and may help reduce your need for statin drugs. As with any change in your treatment program you should work with your health care professional so that adjustments can be properly made.
Additional Articles – The following articles will provide additional information to help you to both understand cholesterol and find effective natural solutions to your cholesterol concerns:
Cholesterol Good and Bad – What’s it All Mean? Understanding cholesterol levels and how your LDL and HDL cholesterol affects the endothelial cells is important for nitric oxide production and cardiovascular health.
Cholesterol and Statin Drugs – Happily Married or Headed for Divorce? Cholesterol has become the enemy of the cardiovascular system and statin drugs the answer but is this really the best way to effectively fight this problem.
Nitric Oxide and Cholesterol! While nitric oxide doesn’t prevent the production of cholesterol it does help statin drugs work more effectively which can help to lower medication needs or eliminate them completely.
Fiber and Cholesterol Reduction! Learn three simple steps on how to use fiber as an effective alternative to statin drugs for cholesterol reduction.
Fiber, Cholesterol, and Other Health Benefits! Please use this fiber list as a general guide in helping you find foods and food groups that appeal to you and can significantly reduce your risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cholesterol concerns, and cancer.
Niacin and Cholesterol Reduction! The relationship between niacin and cholesterol has over 50 years of clinical research to show how niacin can substantially increase HDL “Good” cholesterol while lowering LDL “Bad” cholesterol to facilitate cholesterol reduction.
Here’s A Winning Offer!
If you’re currently experiencing cholesterol concerns and would like to try a clinically proven product that can repair your endothelial cells and improve they ability to produce nitric oxide, then order ProArgi-9 Plus.