User's Guide to Policosanol & Other Natural Ways to Lower Cholesterol: Learn about the Many Safe Ways to Reduce Your Cholesterol and Lower Your Risk o

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Millions of people have elevated blood levels of cholesterol, a major risk factor for coronary heart disease. Yet many supplements and foods can effectively - and safely - reduce cholesterol levels. This User's Guide to Polycosanol and Other Cholesterol-Lowering Nutrients explains what you have to do to reduce your risk of heart disease.

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1. Understanding Heart Disease

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CHAPTER 1

The heart, without a doubt, is one of the most incredible organs in the human body. This fist-sized organ pumps enough blood through the blood vessels to nourish and sustain all the trillions of cells in your body. Some experts believe that, under ideal circumstances, the heart can maintain its incredible pace for up to 120 years!

Providing proper nutrients is the key to a healthy heart and circulatory system, enabling them to work efficiently. In addition, one should avoid harmful lifestyle choices such as eating unhealthy fast food and smoking, which put undue stress on the heart.

However, there are also independent genetic risk factors that research has shown to greatly increase the odds of a cardiovascular disease. These genetic factors can be fatal even if one is following a healthy diet and lifestyle.

Heart disease simply refers to a disorder of the heart. Many people use this as a general term to refer to the entire heart and circulatory system. A better term to cover the entire system of the heart and blood vessels is cardiovascular disease.

 

2. The Policosanol Answer

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CHAPTER 2

Policosanol (pronounced polly-KOH-san-all ) is a nutritional supplement that is gaining the attention of doctors and natural healthcare enthusiasts around the world. This increasingly popular supplement can normalize cholesterol levels in a manner similar to the pharmaceutical cholesterol medications. Policosanol also reduces many other risk factors associated with heart disease. Incredibly, it offers these impressive benefits without side effects.

Policosanol has been shown to effectively reduce harmful LDL cholesterol by 25 to 30 percent and increase the good HDL cholesterol by 15 to 25 percent. Even better, it prevents LDL cholesterol from becoming oxidized, decreases lipoprotein (a), reduces blood clot formation, promotes circulation, and reduces inflammation in the artery walls.

Policosanol is a naturally occurring compound extracted from sugar-cane wax, beeswax, or ricebran wax. Nearly all studies on Policosanol have used the sugar cane wax extract form. It was first discovered and researched in Cuba as an effective, natural substance to reduce elevated cholesterol levels.

 

3. The Science Behind Policosanol

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CHAPTER 3

There is an abundance of nutritional supplements, many of which are accompanied by extravagant health claims. Few, however, can boast the number of studies that have been made on Policosanol. In terms of rigor, the re search on this supplement is comparable to that on most of the pharmaceutical medications on the market.

More than 80,000 people have participated in studies on Policosanol and its effect on cardiovascular health. Numerous studies have been done in Cuba where this medicinal product originated. Quality research has also been conducted in North America and countries around the world. Interest in Policosanol yields numerous published studies yearly. A brief sampling follows.

Cholesterol is not really the culprit the medical community and media has made it out to be. Even so, very high levels can make one more susceptible to heart disease, particularly elevated LDL cholesterol and lipoprotein (a).

A review of placebo-controlled studies in the American Heart Journal found that Policosanol lowered total cholesterol by 17 to 21 percent and LDL cholesterol by 21 to 29 percent, as well as raised the good HDL cholesterol by 8 to 15 percent. The Journal also reported that daily doses of 10 mg of Policosanol were found to be as equally effective in lowering total or LDL cholesterol as the statin drugs simvastatin or pravastatin.

 

4. Preventing and Treating Heart Disease

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CHAPTER 4

The days of a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet to prevent and treat heart disease are over as far as nutrition-oriented doctors are concerned. This long-held approach by most cardiologists is fast losing credibility. We know that close to one-fourth of the population is genetically incompatible with this type of diet. Instead, a different dietary approach that takes into account a variety of factors is optimal for heart health. I recommend you follow the dietary recommendations described in this chapter in addition to consulting with a doctor who is trained in nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices. This knowledge will help you optimize your cardiovascular health.

Nutrition-Oriented Doctors Doctors who place an emphasis on the role of nutrition with their patients.

What you eat will, to a large extent, determine the health of your heart, arteries, and every other organ in your body. The problem is that people are not too sure what qualifies as a heart-healthy diet. Trendy diets exploited by the media and food industry confuse people so much that as time passes they do not know what to believe. Dont worry about the diet trends that come and go. As with many things in life, it all comes back to doing the basics correctly.

 

5. Heart-Healthy Nutrients

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CHAPTER 5

Nature has provided numerous vitamins and mineral supplements that guard against the causes of heart disease in a variety of ways. Each of the nutrients discussed in this chapter has its own unique benefit(s) in reducing the risk factors associated with cardiovascular disease. The key is to use the right combination and amounts when supplementing these safe and effective nutrients.

One of the oldest therapies for treating high cholesterol levels is vitamin B3, commonly referred to as niacin. Vitamin B3 has been shown in several studies to lower total and LDL cholesterol, triglycerides, and fibrinogen, as well as decrease lipoprotein (a). Simultaneously, it increases the good HDL cholesterol.

As mentioned in Chapter 1, elevated Lp(a) is an independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Niacin has been shown to be a very effective treatment for those with elevated Lp(a) and low HDL cholesterol. If you have imbalances with both of these markers, niacin is an excellent choice that can help you achieve measurable improvements in both markers. Surprisingly, even though many studies have shown it to be as effective as many pharmaceutical medications, and at a fraction of the cost, it is rarely prescribed by physicians.

 

6. Heart-Healthy Herbal Remedies

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CHAPTER 6

Avariety of herbal supplements have been used throughout the ages to prevent and treat various cardiovascular problems. In the past decade, scientific research has validated the benefits of many of these herbs.

One of the true superstars when it comes to herbal remedies that support heart and cardiovascular health is hawthorn berry. Hawthorn has long been used by herbalists and natural doctors in Europe, and it can benefit millions of Americans with angina, coronary artery disease, arrhythmia, congestive heart failure, and high blood pressure. It is an excellent herb to help strengthen and tone the heart muscle.

There are many parts of the hawthorn plant that are used medicinally such as the leaves, flowers, and berries. However, most hawthorn extracts use the berry, which contains a group of flavonoids that support the cardiovascular system.

Flavonoids A group of plant pigments that are responsible for the color of flowers and fruits.

Flavonoids are effective in relaxing the coronary arteries, facilitating improved blood flow to the heart and cells of the body, and ameliorating high blood pressure.

 

7. New Risk Markers for Heart Disease and Their Natural Solutions

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CHAPTER 7

In recent years, research into the causes of heart disease has attained greater depth. In the past, cholesterol markers were the primary focus as to the cause of cardiovascular disease. In a nutshell, cholesterol was the villain and the cure was to attack and lower it. Today, we know that elevated cholesterol levels are just one risk factor out of many. Chronic inflammation in the blood vessel walls is now considered to be a more substantial cause of atherosclerosis and the progression of heart disease.

Following, Ill review the newer blood risk markers of heart disease that I discussed in Chapter 1. I recommend that you ask your doctor to order these markers to find out whether you may be at risk, or not. If you find that there is an imbalance with one or more of these markers, you can work with your doctor to decrease your risk. This is best achieved through dietary and lifestyle changes, as well as nutritional supplements. Following is a summary of these markers and corresponding natural protocols that have been proven effective in treating them.

 

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