Cholesterol: Facts and Natural Aids for your Prepping Supplies
by Jeremiah Johnson, Ready Nutrition
ReadyNutrition Readers, this article is going to give you information on cholesterol, by request from a friend of mine who mentioned she would like to see some information on natural control measures for people with high cholesterol. Her husband also mentioned that people with high cholesterol counts might find themselves “in a bind” when it came to a disaster, and he wished to learn about some natural aids to lower cholesterol when pharmacies are no longer running and the SHTF. Miss Marge and Mr. Jake, this article’s for you!
There are a number of different actions that can be taken for those suffering from high cholesterol counts. Some of these naturopathic aids would be good to stock up on for a grid-down short or long term emergency. The “statin” drugs mentioned later in the article are not exactly beneficial to the human body and come with many long-term side effects that are worth doing research upon. Let’s touch on the basics of cholesterol and define the conditions for when it becomes harmful.
Cholesterol is a very easily misunderstood component that is very necessary to life. High cholesterol is the problem that many people suffer from. We will present some facts about cholesterol and some actions that may help those afflicted by an overabundance of it in their system. The information in this article is for informational purposes only and is not meant to nor does it treat, diagnose, prescribe, or recommend any action or information outlined herein.
What is cholesterol?
Cholesterol is defined as a monohydric alcohol; a sterol widely distributed in animal tissues in egg yolks, oils, fats; myelin in brain, spinal cord, and axons; liver, kidneys, adrenal glands. Synthesized in liver; a normal constituent of bile.
Cholesterol is the main component in such lovelies as atherosclerotic plaques (found primarily in the coronary arteries) and gallstones. The conundrum exists because without it, we have a host of different systems that would collapse: nervous system, brain, and certain metabolic hormones (adrenal corticoids and reproductive hormones).
Cholesterol is harmful when its increased presence in blood levels also increases the risk of CHD (coronary heart disease). The direct, immediate actions that can be taken are: 1) Lower the levels of total blood cholesterol, and 2) (specifically) lower the levels of LDL (low-density lipoproteins). These actions can reduce one’s risk of heart attack whether asymptomatic of heart problems or if one has a prior history of such.
There are two types of lipoproteins we must focus upon in order to complete the picture: LDL (as mentioned) is the “bad” lipid. LDL’s can be found in diets overly rich in fats, saturated fats, and cholesterols. They also are found in high levels with a few individuals who are genetically predisposed toward such. LDL levels should be below 100 mg/dl for those already affected by CHD and below 130 mg/dl for those asymptomatic. HDL’s (high density lipoproteins), in contrast, are “good,” and increased levels actually lower the risk of CHD.
Diet plays a critical role
Maintain a diet both low in cholesterol and high in fiber to help combat high cholesterol levels. A person also needs regular exercise and (if so prescribed by your friendly doctor) in severe cases, medications. Abnormal lipoprotein levels have been shown to stabilize and return to normal when people exercise regularly and take in less fat in their diets. The condition where too many LDL molecules are found in the bloodstream is known medically as hyperlipoproteinemia. The condition stems from either an increased rate of synthesis (more lipids are broken down in digestion and sent into the bloodstream), or a decreased lipoprotein breakdown rate (where the body cannot actually synthesize/process the lipids and either excrete or utilize them).
Heart attack is a “late sign” (no pun intended) for increased cholesterol levels leading to blockages. For this reason alone, it is necessary for you to monitor your diet and have your blood cholesterol levels checked out regularly by your physician. Depending on your blood levels, your physician may suggest simple adjustments to diet and exercise, or he may prescribe medications to control it, such as lovastatin, prevastatin, bile-acid resins, or niacin. Such is for the doctor to determine and is beyond the scope of this article due to the individual variables unique to each person.
There are many foods that you can take to reduce cholesterol just in the course of a daily meal.
Oats and legumes (peas and beans) will reduce cholesterol when eaten. There are a few herbs that may prove beneficial to you as well.
Garlic (Allium sativum) [referred to by many Herbalists as a “broad-spectrum” herb] has proven, documented hypocholesterolemic action (it lowers cholesterol). The mechanism of action is not fully understood. The constituent is allicin. Its actions are for prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis, by: 1. Decreasing excess lipids, 2. Prevention of thrombus (clot) formation. Allicin reduces arterial cell lipid content and prevents intracellular accumulation of lipids.
Clinical studies found LDL’s decreased 4-15%, and HDL’s (the “good guys”) increased up to 22%. Most people are able to incorporate garlic into their daily diet. The only ones who possibly need to take precautions are those on blood thinning medications and those who are going to face forthcoming surgery. Garlic tends to thin the blood and thus affect the clotting factor. The study’s numbers bespeak of efficiency when you consider that (flatus or acidity aside) garlic has no drastic caveats and it is both readily available and affordable.
One should follow the least invasive procedure whenever possible. Daily intake should be 4 grams fresh, or 8 mg essential oil. One (1) fresh clove 1-2 times daily with a meal should prove beneficial. To repeat in further detail, those with risk of bleeding are patients facing elective (non-emergency) surgery. Don’t use garlic ten (10) days prior to the procedure.
Once again, your best ally is your doctor and his lab testing facilities. Such will enable a complete diagnosis of your blood levels. As with all things relating to your health, consult with your family physician prior to undertaking any and all actions and utilizing any information found in this article. Keep this information in your files and also build up supplies of dried legumes, oats, and supplies of garlic (in capsule form and also packed in vacuum-sealed containers, chopped fine. Have a great day, and work your plan to obtain these items prior to your having a need for them.
Jeremiah Johnson is the Nom de plume of a retired Green Beret of the United States Army Special Forces (Airborne). Mr. Johnson was a Special Forces Medic, EMT and ACLS-certified, with comprehensive training in wilderness survival, rescue, and patient-extraction. He is a Certified Master Herbalist and a graduate of the Global College of Natural Medicine of Santa Ana, CA. A graduate of the U.S. Army’s survival course of SERE school (Survival Evasion Resistance Escape), Mr. Johnson also successfully completed the Montana Master Food Preserver Course for home-canning, smoking, and dehydrating foods.
Mr. Johnson dries and tinctures a wide variety of medicinal herbs taken by wild crafting and cultivation, in addition to preserving and canning his own food. An expert in land navigation, survival, mountaineering, and parachuting as trained by the United States Army, Mr. Johnson is an ardent advocate for preparedness, self-sufficiency, and long-term disaster sustainability for families. He and his wife survived Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath. Cross-trained as a Special Forces Engineer, he is an expert in supply, logistics, transport, and long-term storage of perishable materials, having incorporated many of these techniques plus some unique innovations in his own homestead.
Mr. Johnson brings practical, tested experience firmly rooted in formal education to his writings and to our team. He and his wife live in a cabin in the mountains of Western Montana with their three cats.