How to Lower LDL Cholesterol
Does lowering LDL, the bad cholesterol, prevent heart attacks and strokes?
So how to lower cholesterol?
Therapeutic lifestyle changesmay help to lower LDL cholesterol; it covers focusing on:
- losing excess weight
- exercising regularly – other than lowering LDL “bad” cholesterol, regular physical activity can raise HDL “good” cholesterol by up to 10%. The benefits come even with moderate exercise, such as brisk walking, and the key is to do it with regularity, with most experts recommending five to seven days a week of exercise.
- Following a diet that is low in saturated fat and cholesterol. More more fiber. Fruits and vegetables, including whole grains, are good sources not only of heart-healthy antioxidants, but also cholesterol-lowering dietary fiver. Soluble fiber, in particular, can help lower cholesterol. Beckerman says it “acts like a sponge to absorb cholesterol” in the digestive tract. Good sources of soluble fiber include dried beans, oats, and barley, as well as fiber products containing psyllium.
- Medications to lower cholesterol Medications are prescribed when lifestyle changes cannot reduce the LDL cholesterol to desired levels. The most effective and widely used medications to lower LDL cholesterol are called statin. Most of the large controlled trials that demonstrated the heart attack and stroke prevention benefits of lowering LDL cholesterol used one of the statins. Other medications used in lowering LDL cholesterol and in altering cholesterol profiles include, fibrates such as gemfibrozil (Lopid), resins such as cholestyramine (Questran), and ezerimibe, Zetia.
- Reducing or stopping the formation of new cholesterol plaques on the artery walls
- Reducing existing cholesterol plaques on the artery walls and widening the arteries
- Preventing the rupture of cholesterol plaques, which initiates blood clot formation and blocks blood vessels
- Decreasing the risk of heart attacks
- Decreasing the risk of strokes
- Decreasing the risk of peripheral artery disease
The same measures that decrease narrowing in coronary arteries also may benefit the carotid and cerebral arteries (arteries that deliver blood to the brain) as well as the femoral arteries that supplies blood to the legs.