High cholesterol: The 25p herb shown to lower ‘bad’ levels – supported by 22 studies

This Morning's Dr Chris discusses the signs of high cholesterol

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High cholesterol is one of the most common forms of heart disease in the UK; it occurs when too much of a fatty-lipid substance known as cholesterol builds up in the arteries.

The result of this build-up is the causation of another condition, hypertension, otherwise known as high blood pressure.

High blood pressure can increase someone’s risk of heart attack or stroke dramatically.

Subsequently, it is key to keep cholesterol levels down to prevent damaging cardiovascular events.

The Shanghai Jiao Tong University School of Medicine recently conducted a meta-analysis on the potency of garlic in lowering cholesterol.

A meta-analysis is an examination of data from several independent studies on the same subject.

Effectively, the University reviewed the data of other studies to see whether they came to similar or the same results.

They found “the effects of garlic intake on lowering total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein are more noticeable with lower dosage and longer duration, especially in patients with cardiovascular disease”.

Overall, according to the 22 studies analysed, garlic was found to be effective at lowering total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein.

Low-density lipoprotein is one of two types of cholesterol, the other is known as high-density lipoprotein.

Where they differ is in their impact on the body.

Whereas high-density lipoprotein is essential for overall health, low-density lipoprotein builds up as a plaque in the arteries, causing high blood pressure.

As a result, it is essential to keep levels of “good” cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein) high and levels of “bad” cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein) low.

Alongside exercise, it is also possible to keep cholesterol in balance through exercising regularly, quitting smoking, and reducing alcohol consumption.

Should these methods fail, patients may be prescribed statins.

These are drugs designed to lower levels of cholesterol produced in the liver.

When someone starts taking statins, they normally take them for life.

A variety of statins are available to patients depending on the seriousness of their condition.

However, they may cause some side effects including:
• Headache
• Dizziness
• Feeling sick
• Feeling unusually tired or physically weak
• Constipation
• Diarrhoea
• Indigestion
• Farting
• Muscle pain
• Sleep problems.

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