Having an abnormally high cholesterol level can put one at risk of developing heart disease. It won’t be an instant thing; heart disease can gradually develop as a person ages and as one continues to maintain a very high cholesterol level. If you plan to live well over your years, then lowering your cholesterol levels at the earliest time possible will be able to help you achieve your goal.
There are certain medications available in the market today that aim to lower cholesterol levels. They are grouped in different classes most notable of which are HMG-CoA Inhibitors or otherwise known as “statins”. The drugs belonging in this group try to block the enzyme HMG-CoA, which functions as one of the steps required to convert fat into cholesterol. Statins are known to be the most effective cholesterol lowering agent to date and have become a great help to people requiring drastic reduction of their cholesterol levels.
There are also cholesterol lowering drugs called bile acid sequestrants that work by binding itself with the bile produced by the human liver. Bile is the substance that aids in the digestion system and in the absorption of fats in the intestine. Bile acid sequestrants prevent the formation of cholesterol by preventing bile acid from digesting fats.
There are also vitamins that help lower cholesterol levels. Most prominent among them is Vitamin B3 or niacin. Niacin is one of the eight water-soluble B vitamins that help the body convert carbohydrates into glucose which is used in the body for energy. The B vitamins are also important in the breakdown of body fat and protein as well as in the aid in making the nervous system, skin, eyes, hair, mouth, and liver healthy. Niacin also helps the body in getting rid of toxic and harmful chemicals.
Niacin has also been found to increase the effects of other cholesterol reducing drugs. But such an effect would only be possible if niacin is taken in large doses. But people are also warned to be careful of trying to lower their cholesterol levels by taking in large doses of Niacin. Large amounts of this B vitamin can cause flushing of the skin due to dilating blood vessels as well as other side effects such as itching, headaches, nausea and muscle cramps.
Other vitamins and substances also credited in helping the body lower its cholesterol levels is Lecithin and vitamins C and E. Lecithin works by allowing fats and cholesterol to be dispersed from the body and help prevent fatty buildup in the arteries. Vitamins C and E have also shown to help in trying to help prevent heart disease by protecting LDL cholesterol from damage. Although LDL cholesterol is also known as the “bad” cholesterol, most cardiologists believe that only damaged LDL contributes to the increasing risk of heart disease.