Healthy Heart: Natural Support for Cholesterol
Clinical Herbalist Reviewed on July 30, 2011 by Paulina Nelega, RH
As many are aware, heart disease is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. The most common cause of heart disease is diet: eating foods that are high in saturated and trans-fats, cholesterol, triglycerides and yes, sugar. Excess sugar gets converted to fat! Leading an overly sedentary lifestyle and being overweight (which often go hand-in-hand), are additional contributors to heart disease.
That said, a healthy, balanced lifestyle is primary to the success of cholesterol management and cardiovascular health. Natural products including CoQ10 with Red Yeast Rice can also help.
What is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a soft, waxy substance that is a natural component of certain fats in the bloodstream. It’s important for rebuilding cell membranes and for the production of steroidal hormones, so we absolutely need cholesterol for good health! The total amount of cholesterol, as well as the type of, and, more importantly, the ratios of these types to one another, have a significant affect upon cardiovascular health.
‘Good’ cholesterol (high-density lipoproteins, HDL) works to protect our cardiovascular system, whereas ‘bad’ cholesterol (low-density lipoproteins, LDL, and very-low density lipoproteins, VLDL) can create plaque buildup within the blood vessels. This significantly raises the risk of heart disease and associated ailments, including heart attack and stroke.
Natural Support for Cholesterol
CoQ10 with Red Yeast Rice from Natural Wellbeing is a combination of two potent, natural ingredients that work together to help lower levels of ‘bad’ cholesterol and promote overall cardiovascular health.
CoQ10 is a naturally occurring compound found in every cell in the body. Its alternate name, ubiquinone, comes from the word ubiquitous, which means “found everywhere.” CoQ10 plays a key role in producing energy in the mitochondria, the “energy factories” of our cells. Supplementing with CoQ10 is considered to increase energy production in the heart muscle, thereby raising the strength of the pumping action. This may make CoQ10 very effective for helping to reduce symptoms related to heart conditions, such as shortness of breath, difficulty sleeping, and swelling.
Red Yeast Rice is produced by the fermentation action of the red yeast, Monascus purpureus, on rice (or on bread, brans, and cereals). It has been used in the Orient for many centuries to color and flavor food and beverages, and in traditional Chinese medicine to treat poor circulation, indigestion and diarrhea. Red Yeast Rice works much in the same way that statins work: by producing a substance called monocolins that result in an increased catabolism (breakdown) of LDL cholesterol, thereby lowering overall blood cholesterol levels. In fact, the primary ingredient in conventional pharmaceutical statins, lovastatin, was originally derived from a type of red yeast; however, there are many risks associated with statin drugs, including life-threatening muscle damage, liver damage, as well as nausea, diarrhea or constipation.
Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan