Heart attacks and strokes occur because blood vessels that bring blood to the heart and the brain are blocked. LDL cholesterol has been associated with this "blocking." We need cholesterol. Cholesterol is in every cell of our bodies. Without cholesterol we would be hormonally deficient and have difficulties thinking and processing information. However, each form of cholesterol is different and excess amounts of certain cholesterol are more difficult for the body to process and use to its advantage. Ideally, your LDL should be below 100 mg/dL.
Fortunately for you and your health, a review study recently proves that dietary strategies can lower LDL
For this study, researchers from Harvard Medical School evaluated 49 trials that included a total of 312,175 participants, 39,645 major vascular events, and nine different strategies for lowering LDL cholesterol. The researchers divided the trials into four groups according to LDL-lowering strategy: (1) statins, (2) non-statin therapies that upregulated LDL receptor expression (including dietary changes and bile acid sequestrants), (3) non-upregulation therapies, and 4) PCSK9 inhibitors, which also upregulate LDL receptors, but have not yet been studied in depth.
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The researchers found that lowering LDL cholesterol through upregulating LDL receptor expression did indeed lower risks of cardiovascular events, including heart attacks and strokes. In fact, for every 1 mmol/L drop in LDL cholesterol, relative risk of a cardiovascular event decreased by 23%.
This study contributes to the evidence that there are plenty of options besides statins for lowering your LDL cholesterol. My personal favorite is Mediterranean Cholesterol Formula. You've probably heard before that following the Mediterranean diet is great for your cardiovascular health. This supplement will give you concentrated amounts of several of the most important phytochemicals that make this diet so effective. This includes artichoke leaf, which supports bile production to help break down cholesterol; olive leaf extract, which helps keep your blood pressure at a healthy level and your arteries in good shape; and berberine, which helps you maintain a lower healthy blood sugar, cholesterol, and triglyceride levels.
This study proves dietary strategies may be just as effective as drugs in keeping LDLs at a healthy level.
Michael G. Silverman, Brian A. Ference, Kyungah Im, Stephen D. Wiviott, Robert P. Giugliano, Scott M. Grundy, Eugene Braunwald, Marc S. Sabatine. Association Between Lowering LDL-C and Cardiovascular Risk Reduction Among Different Therapeutic Interventions. JAMA, 2016; 316 (12): 1289 DOI: 10.1001/jama.2016.13985