Studies Prove Turmeric is Good for High Cholesterol
7 minute read
When it comes to health, a large number of people have concerns about high cholesterol levels. Hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol) occurs when cholesterol deposits in your blood vessels and blocks blood flowing through the arteries and veins.
This results in high blood pressure and risk of serious cardiac problems such as a heart attack. Numerous cholesterol medications are available but wouldn't it be nice if there was a natural alternative? Nobody wants to take a bunch of pills everyday when you can just add a little spice to your life.
Causes Of High Cholesterol
High cholesterol is mostly caused by obesity, diabetes, and the consumption of high fat foods. These factors are major contributors to the poor health of Americans, largely because of the abundance of fast food. Simple dietary changes can help to keep cholesterol levels in check and regular exercise can also help you to manage your weight.
Managing Cholesterol Levels
Weight control and diet management are the best ways to control cholesterol levels However, this is not as easy as it seems. People struggle daily with diet, as well as trying to incorporate exercise into their lives.
In addition, many of the cholesterol medications cause additional health problems and people are looking for options to get away from the toxicity of drugs. One of the alternatives provides a natural approach to cholesterol management, easy to incorporate and free of toxic side effects.
Turmeric, the flavorful spice found in curries, also possesses several health benefits. In terms of cholesterol management, prevention, and reduction, turmeric is a new and effective way to get your health back to optimal levels.
The Turmeric Tutorial
Famous for giving curry its golden color, turmeric is an Indian spice that has been used for centuries in Eastern medicine for medicinal purposes. It may not be the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of cholesterol, but the compounds of turmeric known as curcuminoids possess very powerful properties. One such property is the ability to lower LDL cholesterol, therefore preventing its oxidation, which will help suppress the plaque build up in the arteries.
The major components of turmeric that are beneficial to your health, as well as the prevention of bad cholesterol build up include:
♦ Essential oils such as cineole, termerone and cymene
♦ Important minerals including potassium, manganese, copper, iron, zinc and magnesium
♦ Vitamins B3, B6, C, E and K
♦ Soluble and insoluble dietary fiber
Interestingly, the Hindu word 'haldi' is often used for turmeric and it means 'healthy'. This is easy to understand once you learn that turmeric is beneficial in over 150 ways in the body. It acts as an anti-inflammatory agent, an antioxidant, a neuroprotectant, an endocrine modulator, a natural antibiotic, and an anticancer agent, to name a few of its roles.
While it was originally used to treat simple conditions such as chest pains, jaundice, aches, and hemorrhage, turmeric has advanced to become a treatment option for serious diseases and health complication, including cholesterol management. Cholesterol may not seem threatening but when you consider the strong tie that it has with heart disease, it becomes a pretty important health concern
Turmeric and Cholesterol
LDL is considered the bad cholesterol because it deposits on the walls of your arteries, blocking blood flow. HDL on the other hand picks up cholesterol and transports it to the liver for removal so there is no restriction to blood flow. Turmeric has the ability to reduce susceptibility of LDL cholesterol to oxidation.
This oxidation process is one of the primary drivers of heart disease and atherosclerosis. By reducing the oxidation and circulation of oxidized levels of LDL cholesterol, turmeric reduces the occurrence of atherosclerosis or the need for further treatment in those already diagnosed.
Turmeric also helps with acute coronary syndrome, an umbrella term for conditions where blood supply to the heart muscle is suddenly blocked. Since LDL cholesterol clogs arteries and restricts blood flow, it is likely the main player in acute coronary syndrome.
Turmeric's abilities to reduce the levels of LDL cholesterol therefore help to prevent the plaque buildup in the arteries, providing relief from this serious heart condition. If left untreated, this syndrome could lead to serious heart damage and a heart attack.
The curcuminoids in turmeric are excellent antioxidants and as such, are perfect for preventing the accumulation of lipids in the blood. As an antioxidant, turmeric also binds to any free radicals lurking in the bloodstream. The presence of these free radicals allows for the adherence of LDL molecules to the arterial walls.
The removal and elimination of LDL molecules as performed by curcumin promotes healthy blood flow. When it comes to staying healthy and maintaining optimal cholesterol levels, the goal is to reduce LDL levels while increasing HDL.
Turmeric, Leptin, and The Liver
Studies have shown that curcumin may restore leptin sensitivity, a contributor to obesity. Leptin regulates energy stored as body fat and also send a signal that you are no longer hungry because there is plenty of energy available. Your body can stop storing fat. However, with leptin resistance, the hormone is unable to reach the hypothalamus so the brain signals your body to increase food intake and to store fat.
Excessive lipid peroxidation can occur in the liver of a person with high LDL levels. What results is oxidative stress or hepatic stress, causing severe damage in liver cells. Not too many people realize there is a connection between cholesterol and the liver but the liver is the place where cholesterol is transported to be broken down and eliminated. Turmeric is able to decrease oxidative damage and allow liver cells to remain healthy so they can continue to ensure cholesterol level stability.
The Bottom Line
Turmeric is a delightful addition to meals, as well as your new best friend when it comes to controlling cholesterol. The lipid lowering and antioxidant qualities of curcumin make this spice truly beneficial to your heart health. Removing free radicals and LDL protect your heart from serious damage and disease.
Since HDL cholesterol is good for us, it is good to know that this is the cholesterol that turmeric supports. In the right quantities, turmeric can increase HDL and keep the LDL molecules at bay. When most spices give you heartburn, turmeric is one that actually brings your heart relief.
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