Heart disease is the number one killer in the Western world today. More than 40% of men will die from it. What is particularly disturbing is that strokes and heart attacks are becoming much more common in younger men.
Witness the recent death of St. Louis Cardinals pitcher Darryl Kile, who was felled in his prime, only 33 years
old. Although it seems counterintuitive, athletes, in
fact, can be even more vulnerable than the average person.
When men engage in vigorous exercise, they create an excess of free radicals. These free radicals cause tremendous amounts of damage to the body with devastating effects, one of which is elevating their cholesterol.
But taking a powerful antioxidant such as Total Balance, available at http://www.InstantEnergyBoost.com,
will help neutralize these free radicals before damage occurs. Nowadays, due to lifestyles, diet, and the deeper understanding in the role that genetics plays, younger men
should be acutely aware of the importance of keeping their
cholesterol at optimum levels.
As an indication of this importance, one of the major pharmaceutical companies is even in the process of seeking FDA approval to provide a statin drug to children to lower
their cholesterol. Elevated cholesterol is considered the best “marker” for potential heart disease and it is a
condition that 1 in 4 people have.
In order to prevent future problems, it is widely recommended that you check your cholesterol levels and if they’re “out of line,” take action to normalize them — regardless of your age.
Are you at risk?
A common misconception is that people with high cholesterol must be overweight or subsist on a diet of greasy burgers and fries. The truth is that the amount of cholesterol you
have in your bloodstream is not directly related to your
diet. I will explain why momentarily.
Another prevailing and incorrect view is that only older people need worry about their cholesterol levels. The reality is that having a predisposition to high cholesterol and heart
disease are genetically influenced factors.
Elevated cholesterol levels can stalk even young men and women who are in seemingly good shape and otherwise take care of themselves. Indeed, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood
Institute advocates that the young, middle-aged, and old lower their cholesterol, whether it be to prevent heart disease, or because they already have it.
Therefore it’s important to know your family history and, accordingly, take prevention to ensure the health of your
heart for many years to come. But first, what exactly is this “silent killer” known as cholesterol?
What is cholesterol?
It is important to understand that cholesterol itself is essential to good health. Cholesterol is a non-soluble waxy substance that your body needs for making hormones, cell walls and nerve sheaths. However, there are two forms of
cholesterol. One form is called LDL — or the “bad” cholesterol — and the other is HDL — or the “good”
LDL transports the cholesterol to your cells, whereas HDL travels around in your bloodstream picking up excess
cholesterol and taking it back to your liver for reprocessing, functioning as a “garbage collector” of sorts. Too much LDL creates the risk of clogging up your arteries, which can lead to heart failure or stroke; not enough HDL will result in the same problem due to inadequate “housekeeping.”
Therefore, the most important figure to examine is not your total cholesterol per se, but the ratio between the LDL and HDL readings, and the levels of each type. You want the LDL as low as possible and the HDL as high as possible.
The National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute recommends that everyone over 20 have their cholesterol checked every 5 years. For optimal health, total cholesterol should be less than 200,
whereas the LDL cholesterol remains at less than 100, and the HDL greater than 60.
How’s your diet?
Diet does not impact on your cholesterol levels as much as
you think it does. It is not that extra egg you have for breakfast that raises your cholesterol appreciably.
This is because around 80% of your blood cholesterol is manufactured by your liver.
To improve your cholesterol levels, you must both slow down the manufacture of cholesterol, and reduce the oxidation of
LDL while raising your HDL.
Apart from normal, sensible lifestyle improvements such as better nutrition and more exercise, there are a couple of
proven strategies to return your cholesterol to its optimal level.
Option 1: Prescription Drugs
A range of drugs known as “statins” are widely used in the US and other Western countries. In fact, they are currently the most prescribed medicine in the world.
These drugs work by blocking an enzyme that the liver needs for the manufacture of cholesterol. They have been proven effective in reducing levels of LDL, but unfortunately they
will not raise levels of HDL (the good cholesterol). The downside is that there are a large number of negative side effects such as liver damage, fatigue, upset stomach, abdominal pains and cramps, gas and constipation, and in the case of one statin drug — “Baycol” — large numbers of deaths.
An investigation into the side effect of statin drugs is being conducted by the National Institute of Health. Discuss the pros and cons of this medication very carefully with your
physician in the event of a statin drug being prescribed for you.
There is another treatment that has nothing but beneficial side effects…
Option 2: Natural Treatments
Even though the general public hears very little about them, there are effective natural alternatives to lowering one’s cholesterol, and such therapies exhibit no side effects.
One such brand is Xtend-Life Natural Cholesterol Formula , available at http://www.InstantEnergyBoost.com The
fascinating aspect of some of these natural options is that some of the natural ingredients being used have been proven to consistently and significantly outperform the statin drugs in dozens of double-blind placebo-controlled clinical trials and studies. And with no negative side effects. (The only side effects reported were weight loss.)
What to look for
Two key ingredients to look for in any natural cholesterol product are Policosanol and Guggulipid Extract. Policosanol is an extract from sugar cane wax and has been the subject
of multiple clinical trials, all of which have outperformed the statins.
Guggulipid, on the other hand, is an ancient herb from India extracted from the guggul tree. “The gum resin of the guggul tree has been used in Indian Ayurvedic medicine since approximately 600 BC to treat a wide variety of ailments, including obesity and [cholesterol] disorders,” writes
author David D. Moore, Ph.D., and professor of molecular and cell biology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.
Moore goes on to state, “It really does lower cholesterol in a number of clinical studies…” What Moore didn’t mention was that studies show an interesting added benefit from
Guggulipid: it has been more effective than prescription tetracycline when used orally for treating nodulocystic acne.
It also assists in the lowering of Triglycerides and weight loss.
Know what you’re buying
With all of these benefits, it would seem that finding any natural formula containing these two ingredients is a sure bet. But take caution; there are many products currently on the
market claiming to use policosanol to lower cholesterol, but are in fact using octacosanol, which is an incomplete form of policosanol. Octacosanol does not exhibit the same results as true policosanol in clinical trials.
The Xtend-Life Natural Cholesterol Formula uses only the genuine policosanol extracted from sugar cane wax. When it comes to your heart’s health and longevity, don’t settle for sub-par supplements.