Michael C Martin, a physician at the Center for Executive medicine in Dallas says: High levels of the fatty substance called low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or "bad" cholesterol, in the blood eventually harden into plaque on artery walls.
When plaque builds up, arteries narrow, which cuts off the amount of oxygen-carrying blood that can reach your heart; this can cause stroke or heart disease.
High-density lipoprotein (HDL), or "good" cholesterol, helps the body get rid of bad cholesterol by picking up the excess LDL and shuttling it to the liver, where it is broken down.
Treatment: Red yeast rice contains plant sterols that block cholesterol absorption. In recent studies, patients lowered their total cholesterol about 25% after taking 2.4 grams of the supplement daily. 4- 6 grams a day of omega-3s, found in fatty fish and flaxseed, also elevate HDL and reduce artery-hardening triglycerides.
Karina Limpo, a traditional Chinese medicine practitioner, herbalist & acupuncturist says: When the liver or spleen channels become blocked by excess fluids, it hinders the flow of qi, or energy, to the blood vessels.
Good qi flow helps expel cholesterol so it isn't absorbed into the bloodstream; improving digestion and blood circulation both help to do this.
Treatment: The Chinese herb shan zha (hawthorn berries) can aid digestion and enhance circulation (but if you're taking medication for heart disease, consult your doctor first). Pour boiling water over about 6 grams (about a half tablespoon) of the herb and let it steep for 15 minutes for a sweet-tasting tea. Drink two times per day, and for maximum effect, eat the dried berries left over in the cup. You can also improve circulation by getting the blood and qi moving with energy exercises such as tai chi and qigong.
27 June 2011