Flaxseed is good for cholesterol

Lowering Cholesterol - Proven and New Approaches

How well the control loops for the cholesterol level work is primarily genetic. In most cases, however, you can support these processes with a healthy lifestyle, so that you can get by with little or no medical help.

The earlier you react to increased values, the less the consequences for blood vessels and heart. In the case of familial hypercholesterolemia, in which the LDL cholesterol levels in particular are significantly too high in childhood or adolescence, it is particularly important to start therapy early.

Sport and relaxation

Endurance sports or moderate training units, in which one is active but not exhausted too much, have the most beneficial effects on the cholesterol level. Triglycerides in particular can be kept in check this way.

Chronic stress increases cholesterol levels - so make sure you relax your body and mind.

nutrition

Even if only a small part of the cholesterol comes from food, you can have some influence on blood lipid levels through food. Studies have shown that a reduction of up to 15% is possible through a change in diet. Above all, it is about an overall balanced, healthy diet.

Some foods are considered natural lipid lowering agents. The recommendations vary, but the following products are always on the list of helpful foods:

  • Polyunsaturated fatty acids from vegetable oils and fish are better for fat metabolism. Nuts also provide “good fats”.
  • Omega-3 fatty acids have less of an effect on total cholesterol, but have a strong effect on triglycerides (reduction of up to 30% possible)
  • Garlic and artichokes contain beneficial substances, extracts of which are helpful herbal lipid-lowering agents. Ginger is also considered good for blood fat levels.
  • Fiber has a supportive effect - flea seeds and flax seeds as well as oats and barley belong to this group, but also vegetables and apples.
  • The saponin contained in legumes binds cholesterol and removes it from the body without it being absorbed.

Incidentally, alcohol has just as much an effect on increasing the cholesterol level as saturated fats, which are mainly found in animal products. So both should be on the table less often.

Medication

The most frequently prescribed cholesterol-lowering drugs, because they are currently the most effective, are statins. They influence the formation of cholesterol and also have anti-inflammatory properties. Most patients tolerate them well, the most common side effect being muscle discomfort.

Other drugs inhibit the absorption of cholesterol from food or intervene in one of the various control circuits of lipid metabolism.

Research continues in this area. Up-to-date z. B. the active ingredient bempedoic acid, which was approved in Germany in April. In the studies, the LDL value could be reduced by 25%. The inflammation parameters and other blood lipids were also positively influenced.

In the case of familial hypercholesterolemia in particular, it has been possible for a number of years to administer so-called PCSK9 inhibitors by injection. These substances increase the absorption of LDL cholesterol in the liver, the LDL value in the blood can drop by up to 60%; however, this therapy is relatively expensive.

New approaches

A remedy recently introduced by US researchers directly addresses the genetic cause of the problem. After a single dose, it is supposed to change the genes of a large part of the liver cells like a genome editor (a variant of the CRISPR / Cas method) so that they produce less cholesterol. In the experiment with monkeys, the LDL level fell by about 60%.

Researchers at Harvard University in the United States found the gut bacteria that break down cholesterol. It has been known for about 30 years that they must exist - now they have been identified. If you could specifically colonize or multiply these bacteria in the intestine, z. B. through diet or using probiotics, one would have a natural and tolerable method of regulating the cholesterol level.

  • About this article

    Author: Editor / Ulrike Jonack

    Created: 15.7.2020

    Literature:

    • Frederick J. Raal et al: "Inclisiran for the Treatment of Heterozygous Familial Hypercholesterolemia"; doi / full / 10.1056 / NEJMoa1913805
    • "Verve Therapeutics Presents New Data in Non-Human Primates Validating Gene Editing as a Treatment Approach for Coronary Heart Disease at the ISSCR 2020 Virtual Annual Meeting", press release June 2020; www.vervetx.com/press-releases
    • "Bempedoic Acid: New Cholesterol-Lowering Agent Shows Good Results"; www.aponet.de/aktuelles
    • Douglas, J.Kenny et al: “Cholesterol Metabolism by Uncultured Human Gut Bacteria Influences Host Cholesterol Level“; www.sciencedirect.com
    • “UKE researchers develop a model that calculates the long-term risk of heart attack depending on the cholesterol”, press release from the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf (UKE), December 2019; www.uke.de/allgemein/presse
    • Martin Halle: "Sport increases HDL cholesterol by up to 10 percent", press release from the German Society for Combating Lipid Metabolism Disorders and their Consequential Diseases DGFF (Lipid League) e.V., April 2010; www.lipid-liga.de
    • www.cholesterolspiegel.de/

    Credit: Cover picture © alexdante / pixabay.com