Maintaining Healthy Cholesterol Levels Using Antioxidants

Maintaining healthy cholesterol levels using antioxidants is beneficial. Integrating antioxidants into your diet and exercise regimen will significantly affect your cholesterol levels and your overall health. How is that possible?

Let's have a look. High blood cholesterol is defined as Hypercholesterolemia and is the presence of high levels of cholesterol in the blood. This is not considered a disease but a metabolic derangement that can be secondary to many diseases and can contribute too many forms of disease, most notably cardiovascular disease. There are many factors in the cause of high cholesterol which includes what you eat, what you weigh, how active you are, and some believe this disorder to be genetic. Your cholesterol increases when the low density lipoproteins or LDLs (bad cholesterol) becomes damaged by oxidation. When that happens cholesterol deposits are formed due to infection-fighting white blood cells being attracted to the where the deposits are and form foam cells because the oxidized LDLs becomes trapped in the artery wall. This oxidation is caused by free radicals which is a natural occurring phenomenon within the body but it is also helped by other factors such as pollution, radiation, cigarette smoke and alcohol. Despite being referred to as "bad cholesterol" LDLs need to stay healthy to maintain healthy cholesterol.

LDL's require protection because LDL is oxidized only when the amount of antioxidants in not enough to protect LDL against oxidization. The antioxidant formula OPC containing Pycnogenol for example can directly protect LDLs by recycling vitamin C, which in turn recycles vitamin E. Vitamin E is the prime antioxidant that protects LDL. Pycnogenol can also destroy free radicals before they reach the LDL and cause damage. LDL is not bad unless it is deprived of antioxidants because LDLs is needed to transport fat-soluble antioxidants through the blood stream and that is essential for your health. LDL needs antioxidants to stay healthy but remember that cholesterol deposits by themselves do not cause a heart attack. They are a major contributing factor to forming the blood clots that lead to a heart attack.

Incorporating antioxidants are only half the battle, watching your diet will decrease the risk of high cholesterol. Foods high in saturated fats should be limited if not avoided; foods high in triglycerides have to be limited as well. Polyunsaturated and unsaturated fats are good fats that cause the liver to produce less harmful LDL cholesterol and more protective HDL cholesterol. You need to know what you are consuming to avoid raising your cholesterol levels. Exercising is also critical in maintaining healthy cholesterol. I'm not talking about spending hundreds of dollars on a gym membership or purchasing home workout equipment; simple activities like walking, jogging, biking, and swimming for 30 minutes a day is considered good cardiovascular exercises and can also increase the amount of HDL cholesterol in your blood, while decreasing the amount of LDL cholesterol bringing your body into balance. Integrating antioxidants into this regimen will help you keep your cholesterol levels under control and reduce or eliminate your dependency on prescription medications and their side effects.