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Alternative Medicine, Nutrition, and High Cholesterol

High cholesterol refers to a condition, in which there is a high concentration of cholesterol in the blood. Most physicians consider high cholesterol to be a metabolic disturbance rather than a disease in and of itself. High cholesterol is often a secondary condition to diabetes mellitus, kidney disease, or metabolic syndrome, in addition to other conditions such as obesity and anorexia nervosa.

There are two types of cholesterol in the blood, high-density cholesterol and low-density cholesterol. Low-density cholesterol (LDL) is known as bad cholesterol because it carries cholesterol to the arteries. Once in the arteries, low-density cholesterol creates plaque in the arteries that causes narrowing and hardening of artery walls (atherosclerosis). In addition to atherosclerosis, high levels of LDL cholesterol may lead to angina pectoris (chest pain), heart attacks, peripheral artery disease, mini strokes (transient ischemic attacks), or strokes.

High cholesterol has no symptoms unless it is an untreated long standing condition. Consequently, individuals should have regular cholesterol screenings.

A variety of sources indicate that the following micronutrients, supplements, and/or herbs may potentially be helpful for this condition. However, it may be wise to consult with your physician prior to taking nutritional supplements and this is certainly recommended for individuals with a diagnosed condition, particularly those who take prescribed medication.

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