LibraryFresh PerspectivesHow can we lower cholesterol Levels?

How can we lower cholesterol Levels?

Dr. Marah El-Tahir El-beeli, PhD. Sultan Qaboos university.

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The presence of cholesterol in the human body is considered vital because it is involved in the formation of the membrane of every single cell in the human body. This does not conflict with the fact that cholesterol is also dangerous if exceeds the normal level. because it exists in the blood as a waxy substance that precipitates on the blood vessel walls forming clots and obstructing the flow of blood.

There are two main types of cholesterol: low-density lipoprotein (LDL) “bad” cholesterol which mainly contributes to the formation of clots and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol “good” cholesterol which facilitates the disposal of LDL cholesterol by carrying it to the liver for degradation and removal from the body. High cholesterol or (hypercholesterolemia) is associated with most heart diseases and strokes, that’s why it is important to maintain a balanced presence of cholesterol in our bodies. This could be accomplished by making some adjustments to the lifestyle. This includes several aspects, such as the following:

A healthy diet

Food can significantly lower cholesterol levels in different ways. It is been found that nutrition rich in soluble fibers like oats, whole grains, eggplant, okra, beans, nuts, apples, grapes, and strawberries, contains a soluble fiber called pectin that lowers LDL (the bad Cholesterol). Vegetable oils like sunflower, safflower and canola oils can protect from heart diseases by directly lowering LDL. Soya, eating soybeans and foods made from them was once touted as a powerful way to lower cholesterol. Fatty fish, eating fish two or three times a week can lower LDL in two ways: by replacing meat, which contains LDL-boosting saturated fats, and by delivering omega-3 fat which is an effective LDL-lowering factor. Fiber supplements, supplements offer the least appealing way to get soluble fiber.

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Along with a healthy diet, adherence to a consistent exercise program can increase “good” HDL cholesterol and reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol. Knowing that it is not necessary to practice a strenuous sport, but rather commit to 30 minutes of light exercises daily, such as walking, swimming, cycling, dancing or even doing household chores, at the very least may serve the purpose.


Removing excess weight or what is known as (slimming) has a great impact on lowering the level of cholesterol in the body. It is worth noting that healthy slimming is achieved through adhering to the aforementioned healthy diet and consistent exercise program, thus ensuring a stable healthy weight.

Quit unhealthy habits

Quit unhealthy habits like smoking and excessive alcohol intake. The more you smoke the more LDL (bad cholesterol you have and the less HDL (good cholesterol) you have. Cigarette smokes also lead to blood vessel damage which increases the possibility of arterial blockage and the probability of occurrence of heart attacks and strokes.  Remember if you are not a smoker avoid cigarette smoke (passive smoking) or what is also known as (second-hand smoking) studies have proven its negative impact on cholesterol. Also, excessive alcohol abuse has a strong relationship with strokes and heart failure.

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Reduce Stress

Stressed individual tends to eat unhealthy food, skip exercise, smoke or sometimes drink alcohol which raises the cholesterol level in the body resulting in plagues and strokes.

Medical Intervention

All the above is considered protective against high cholesterol levels, but what if you got truly diagnosed with high cholesterol?! The answer is that the doctor will take it seriously and will recommend medications to manage your cholesterol level and you MUST be compliant with the medications as the doctor prescribed along with adherence to a healthy lifestyle.

Medications work to lower the cholesterol level through different ways like: Slowing down cholesterol production in the liver; this is achieved by using statins the most common medication used to control cholesterol. Bile-acid production using resins; the liver consumes the cholesterol for bile synthesis, so the resins accelerate more bile acid production, therefore cholesterol is reduced. Absorption blockers: this hinders the absorption of cholesterol from the entrails. Injectables for cholesterol control; doctors usually resort to it when medications fail to maintain normal cholesterol levels. It stimulates more absorption of LDL (bad cholesterol) in the liver.

Medical Procedures to Lower Cholesterol are required for critical cases. Blood Transfusion to remove the LDL (bad cholesterol) also known as the LDL apheresis. This procedure is done every two weeks. Surgery to Control Obesity; if obesity is the cause of high cholesterol bariatric procedures like gastric bypass are recommended. Heart Transplant: in severe cases where there is no other option the heart is completely replaced. All cholesterol management ways are negotiable with the doctor who in turn personalizes the cholesterol treatment for each patient according to his condition.

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