Though high cholesterol is generally thought to target males, e-WomensHealth.net reveals that 25% of American women suffer from the health problem. Younger men should also take note because a Northwestern University study found that the earlier a man's cholesterol levels rise, the higher the risk for coronary heart disease fatalities later.
Now that high cholesterol has your attention, it's time to look at prevention. The following is the newest expert advice when it comes to knocking out cholesterol: 1. Check your Stats: Everyone over the age of 20 should have their cholesterol checked at lease once every 5 years. Depending on your risks of heart disease, your healthcare provider may suggest that you get checked more often.
2. Get in Your Own Corner: Help your doctor create the optimum cholesterol-fighting plan for you by providing good information and asking intelligent questions. 3. Be a Lean, Mean Fighting Machine: Nutrition is the key to a healthy cholesterol level. Choose less saturated fats and reduce dietary fat overall. Use very small portions of monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats instead of saturated fat. 4. It's a "Bran" New Round: Studies reveal that adding more fiber to your diet can lower cholesterol by up to 5%. Soy, beans, and nuts are great choices. 5. Ready, Sweat and Go! Bringing exercise into the ring can kick your diet into gear and knock down your cholesterol. 6. Smoke, the Competition: Cigarettes are a stubborn opponent, but must be stubbed out - permanently - to truly win the cholesterol fight. 7. Limit Alcohol Consumption: If you must imbibe, do so in moderation.
For many people, it's also about finding natural cholesterol fighting options and including them in an overall healthy lifestyle. Policosanol supplements are one of the most natural ways to fight cholesterol. Studies have demonstrated that all policosanols are not created equal and that sugar cane-derived policosanols are the most effective.
This kind of policosanol, which has been primarily available in Cuba, is a unique combination of fatty alcohols derived from the waxy coating on the stems and leaves of sugar cane. Sugar cane wax possesses a different profile than that of beeswax and rice bran wax and the extensive extraction process has proven to result in a superior product. Cuban clinical studies have long demonstrated that sugar cane-derived policosanol is safe, well-tolerated and effective for fighting cholesterol.
A recent study published in The American Heart Journal reveals that, because policosanol is a natural source, its an attractive alternative for a large number of patients. The study concludes that policosanol is a fascinating new agent for cholesterol management. Similarly, the May/June 2003 issue of Natural Pharmacy claims that "policosanol may act through a number of plausible mechanisms to reduce normal blood lipid levels, platelet aggregation, oxidation of LDL and other risk factors for CVD (cardiovascular disease), giving it a significant future role in managing cholesterol.
"Sugar cane-derived policosanol has been successfully used in over thirty other countries for more than ten years to help maintain normal cholesterol," says Dr. Bernd Wollschlaeger, a family physician in Miami, FL. "Natural supplements are allowing the U.S. to catch up and there's no better time. Americans need to start taking care of their cholesterol at a much earlier age than originally thought."
The best sugar cane-derived policosanol products begin the testing process where the sugar cane is harvested. Then, the product is re-blended and tested again. The policosanol alcohols must maintain specific ranges for effectiveness. A recent Newsweek cover story focused on cholesterol, noting that "an estimated 12 million to 15 million American adults of every age and description from Gen-Xers to their octogenarian grandparents depend on America's most popular prescription drugs (statins) to scour their bloodstreams of LDL cholesterol, the waxy goo that can block arteries and cause heart attacks and strokes." It also cautioned that "21 million more Americans" should be equally as concerned.
The most popular prescribed cholesterol medications are statins, which include lovastatin, simvastatin, pravastatin, fluvastatin, and atorvastatin. Statins inhibit an enzyme, HMG-CoA reductase that controls the rate of cholesterol production in the body. These drugs slow down the production of cholesterol and increase the liver's ability to remove the LDL-cholesterol already in the blood. Policosanol works similarly by inhibiting cholesterol production by the liver through a different mechanism.
For more information on policosanol, contact Health Asure, the makers of Policosanol Advantage, the first sugar cane-derived policosanol supplement available in the mass market www.policosanol-advantage.com and toll-free by phone at 1-800-548-8686.