Cholesterol Protocol

Cholesterol is a fatty material made by the liver. It is one of the basic building blocks of the cells in your body. It is a vital component of the cell membrane that helps protect the cell and maintain its integrity and viability. Cholesterol is also important for the production of certain vitamins, such as Vitamins A, D, E, K (called fat–soluble vitamins). It is also needed for hormone production; this includes cortisol and sex-related hormones. We not only produce cholesterol in our bodies, but we also obtain it from the foods that we eat.

When taking a holistic view of cholesterol, there are three different aspects that need to be considered:

  • Recognizing the different types of cholesterol
  • Understanding the nature of the cholesterol molecule itself: is the molecule small and dense (increased inflammation risk) or light and fluffy (negligible inflammation risk)
  • Recognizing that cholesterol can exist in an oxidized state or a natural/reduced state

If taking a blood panel test, the numbers do not tell the whole story when it comes to cholesterol levels and determining their risk for heart and vascular disease. If you look at LDL, for example, there can be small dense particles which are thought to be more of a risk for the formation of a plaque or atherosclerosis in comparison to the larger fluffy and light particles which are non-inflammatory.

Inflammation also refers to whether the cholesterol is in a natural or “reduced” state or “oxidized” or inflammatory state. Be aware that all of the cells in our body exist in a natural or reduced state. In the setting of chronic inflammation, the cells become oxidized. This generates the formation of free radicals. This also changes the nature of the cholesterol in the cells, particularly the blood vessels, and causes them to be more inflammatory and hence, more likely to form a cholesterol plaque.

 

Click on the tabs below for the recipes, nutritional needs, best sprouts, herbs and tinctures

 

Alfalfa, Buckwheat, Broccoli, Peanut Sprouts

“Nutritional values of buckwheat reach maximum on day 8 sprouting by solid-phase cultivation (BSSC). The precious nutrients surveyed included linolenic acid, total polyphenolics, rutin, quercetin, l-ascorbic acid and gamma-aminobutyric acid. To investigate whether a change of cultivation method could improve the nutritional status, we performed aquaculture. By performing chemical, biochemical and animal experiments, we found that maximization of nutrient levels in aquacultured buckwheat sprouts (BSAQ) occurred 2 days earlier than those from BSSC. Simultaneously, their bioactivities were much enhanced, being superior to BSSC regarding antioxidative, free radical scavenging, anti-low-density lipoprotein lipoperoxidative capabilities and hypolipidemic bioactivity with respect to serum total cholesterol and triglyceride in Syrian hamsters. In addition, serum low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (LDL-C) and high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol (HDL-C) levels and the ratios LDL-C/HDL-C and total cholesterol/HDL-C were all more efficiently suppressed by BSAQ diets. In conclusion, aquaculture is more efficient than the solid-phase cultivation with regard to acceleration and maximization of precious nutrient levels in buckwheat sprouts.”

Int J Food Sci Nutr.
2009 Jun 30:1-14.
Aqua-culture improved buckwheat sprouts with more abundant precious nutrients and hypolipidemic activity.
Peng CC, Chen KC, Yang YL, Lin LY, Peng RY. School of Physical Therapy.

Nutrient levels in buckwheats that were maximized in day 8 sprouts (D8SP) included total phenolics, quercetin, and l-ascorbic acid, whereas those of oxalic, malic, tartaric, and citric acids, rutin, and gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) were found to reach maximum levels on day 10. Ethanolic extract of D8SP (2.5 mg/mL) revealed potent free-radical scavenging (FRS) and antioxidative (ANO) capabilities. However, its Fe (2+)-chelating capability was only moderate. To further study the hypolipidemic activity of D8SP, 36 Syrian hamsters were grouped into six groups and fed for 28 days, respectively, with (i) control meal, (ii) high fat plus high cholesterol meal, (iii) high fat plus high cholesterol plus 2.5% of buckwheat seeds, (iv) high fat plus high cholesterol plus 25% of buckwheat seeds, (v) high fat plus high cholesterol plus 2.5% of D8SP, and (vi) high fat plus high cholesterol plus 25% of D8SP. High seed meal prominently enhanced body weight gain, whereas high sprout meal exhibited the highest feed efficiency. Ratios of liver/body weight (L/B) were significantly lowered by all BS meals. Although low seed meal reduced serum total cholesterol (TC) levels ( p < 0.05), its effect was still inferior to the high seed and sprout meals ( p < 0.01). In contrast, serum triglyceride (TG) levels were lowered only by the high seed and sprout meals ( p < 0.05). Alternatively, levels of serum low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) were significantly suppressed by all buckwheat meals ( p < 0.01). Serum high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) levels were increased, however, insignificantly. Nutraceutically more meaningful is that both LDL-C/HDL-C and TC/HDL-C ratios were significantly lowered. ( p < 0.01). Apparently, hepatic TC levels were significantly reduced, whereas hepatic TG levels were totally unaffected. Conclusively, sprouting triggers a variety of nutritional changes in buckwheats. Day 8 sprouts, consisting of high polyphenolic and moderate quercetin contents, are nutraceutically maximized when hypocholesterolemic, hypotriglyceridemic, and antioxidative activities are concerned.”

J Agric Food Chem.
2008 Jan 24
Optimization of Bioactive Compounds in Buckwheat Sprouts and Their Effect on Blood Cholesterol in Hamsters.
Lin LY, Peng CC, Yang YL, Peng RY.

“Sixty female Sprague-Dawley rats (8 weeks old) were fed with peanut sprouts as a dietary supplement for 18 weeks. The rats were divided into five groups and fed with different daily supplements, namely 0 g (control), 16.5, 10 or 6 g of sprouts or 2.4 g of kernels. Aflatoxin contents of the sprouts (n = 24) were less than 1 µg kg-1. Body weights of all rats increased with feeding time, and final body weights differed insignificantly among test groups (P > 0.05). Weights of liver, kidney and spleen and organ/body weight ratios varied insignificantly among test groups (P > 0.05). All serum and blood cell determinations differed insignificantly (P > 0.05) among test groups, apart from the observation of a significant lowering of serum triacylglycerol (TG) level in the 10 g sprout group (P < 0.05).

CONCLUSION: In general, no obvious growth hazard or health toxicity was detected. For nutraceutical development, the lowering of serum TG level achieved by appropriate intake of peanut sprouts is noteworthy.”

Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture
Volume 88, Issue 12, Date: September 2008, Pages: 2201-2207
Toxicological and nutraceutical assessments of peanut sprouts as daily supplements to feed Sprague-Dawley rats for 18 weeks
Bo-Si Lin et al.

“Twelve healthy subjects (6 males and 6 females) consumed fresh broccoli sprouts (100 g/day) for 1 week for a phase 1 study. Before and after the treatment, biochemical examination was conducted and natural killer cell activity, plasma amino acids, plasma PCOOH (phosphatidylcholine hydroperoxide), the serum coenzyme Q_{10}, urinary 8-isoprostane, and urinary 8-OHdG (8-hydroxydeoxyguanosine) were measured. With treatment, total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol decreased, and HDL cholesterol increased significantly. Plasma cystine decreased significantly. All subjects showed reduced PCOOH, 8-isoprostane and 8-OHdG, and increased CoQ_{10}H_{2}/CoQ_{10} ratio. Only one week intake of broccoli sprouts improved cholesterol metabolism and decreased oxidative stress markers.”

BioFactors
V 22, N 1-4/2004, p 271-275
Phase 1 study of multiple biomarkers for metabolism and oxidative stress after one-week intake of broccoli sprouts
Megumi Murashima, Shaw Watanabe, Xing-Gang Zhuo, Mariko Uehara, Atsushi Kurashige
http://iospress.metapress.com/content/jfh1vkjbyyckvwnm/
Crude dietary fiber samples were prepared from [sprouts of] beet, cabbage, Japanese radish, onion, and mung bean sprouts (BF, CF, RF, OF, and MF, respectively). These samples contained total dietary fiber at the levels of 814, 699, 760, 693 and 666 g/kg, respectively. To examine the effect of the dietary fibre sources on the plasma cholesterol concentration, male Sprague-Dawley rats were fed on a fiber-free (FF) diet or on an FF diet supplemented with 5% or 10% dietary fiber. Dietary fiber extracted from vegetables, wood cellulose (CL), pectin (PE) and guar gum (GG) were used as the fiber sources. Compared with the rats fed on the FF diet, a significant reduction in the plasma cholesterol concentration was observed in the rats fed on BF, CF, RF, MF, PE or GG after a 21-d feeding period. Cecal acetate, n-butyrate and total short-chain fatty acids were significantly higher in the rats fed on these dietary fibers, except for CF, than in those fed on the FF diet. A negative correlation was apparent between the total dietary fiber content, hemicellulose content and pectin content of each dietary fiber source and the plasma cholesterol concentration. These results suggest that some vegetable fibers exert a plasma cholesterol-lowering effect through cecal fermentation of these fibers.

Biosci Biotechnol Biochem
2000 Dec;64(12):2543-51
Plasma cholesterol-lowering effect on rats of dietary fiber extracted from immature plants.
Nishimura N, Taniguchi Y, Kiriyama S.

“Since alfalfa meal prevents hypercholesterolemia and atherosclerosis in rabbits and alfalfa saponins prevent the expected rise in cholesterolemia induced by dietary cholesterol in monkeys, the experiments being reported here were performed to determine whether alfalfa saponins affect atherogenesis in rabbits. In addition, the effects of alfalfa seeds were studied. Cholesterol-feb rabbits were randomly assigned to 3 groups: (a) control animals (N = 18); (b) animals maintained on a diet containing 1.0 to 1.2% alfalfa saponins (N = 18); and (c) animals maintained on a diet containing 40% alfalfa seeds (N = 17). Results after a 4-month observation period demonstrated that alfalfa saponins and alfalfa seeds reduce hypercholesterolemia, aortic sudanophilia, and the concentration of cholesterol in aortic intima-plus-media and in the liver, but do not induce changes in the hematocrit.”

Atherosclerosis.
1980 Nov;37(3):433-8.
Alfalfa saponins and alfalfa seeds. Dietary effects in cholesterol-fed rabbits.
Malinow MR, McLaughlin P, Stafford C, Livingston AL, Kohler GO

 

  1. Garlic: This is excellent for helping to maintain the cholesterol in the natural or “reduced” state. It decreases the inflammation of “cholesterol plaque.” Aged garlic extract can be taken in capsule form starting at 400-600 mg a day. As garlic is a natural blood thinner, be careful if you are on prescription blood-thinning medications such as aspirin, Plavix, or Coumadin.
  2. Coenzyme Q10 (Ubiquinone): Replacement of this antioxidant is necessary to help improve blood vessel health. This is vital to take, especially if you have been prescribed a statin based medication. When starting, begin with small doses at 50-100 mg daily and increase to twice a day after several weeks. Smaller doses taken during the day maximizes its absorption. Monitor your blood pressure closely. If you have diabetes, this nutrient can also help lower your blood glucose levels so they need to be monitored as well.
  3. Fiber: If your diet is low in fiber, a fiber-based supplement is recommended. Remember that fiber can bind the cholesterol in the intestine and prevent its absorption. Examples of commonly used fiber supplements can include a psyllium-based fiber supplement like Metamucil or more of a soluble-based fiber like Glucomannan fiber.
  4. Turmeric is a great anti-oxidant to lower cholesterol levels and reduce inflammation. It can be taken as a 400 mg capsule daily or simply by sprinkling a little Turmeric powder on each meal. It does have a blood thinning effect so be aware if you are on other blood-thinning medications as mentioned above.
  5. Phytosterols: These are plant-based compounds that can be used in the treatment of high cholesterol. They can be taken independently or can be part of other formulations as well. An example of a plant-based sterol is beta-sitosterol. This can be taken once to twice daily, depending on the formulation chosen. They have the ability to block cholesterol absorption.
  6. Red Yeast Rice: This is a natural form of the statin medication, and is used by many in the treatment of high cholesterol. There are several caveats when taking this supplement you need to be aware of: Do not take prescription statins if you are taking this supplement. As with the statin medications, liver tests (blood work) need to be monitored and myalgias can occur with this supplement as well. It is recommended to begin at a dose of 600 mg daily and slowly increase over the course of several weeks to a maximum dose of 1200 mg twice a day. You should be under the care of a health care provider when taking this supplement.
  7. Avoid excessive food intake and maintain an active lifestyle by exercising regularly. Physical activity can help raise HDL levels and thereby lower cholesterol level.
  8. Eat a healthy diet low in saturated fats and trans fats. This can be achieved by:
    – Using low fat dairy products
    – Trimming meat purchased from shops of any visible fats
    – Try to limit the amount of trans fats. There is no safe level of trans fats in the diet.
    – Include the consumption of foods high in soluble fibre (e.g. whole grains, kidney beans, barley, oatmeal and fruits such as apples and pears). Soluble fibre lowers the bad LDL cholesterol without lowering the good HDL cholesterol. 5-10 grams of soluble fibre a day decreases LDL cholesterol by about 5%.
    – Limit sugar intake by avoiding sweetened beverages (soft drinks, some juices, tea/coffee with sugar added).
    Limit excessive intake of alcohol.
  9. Omega 3 fish oil: Omega 3 fish oil can not only help in lowering triglycerides, it is important for maintaining the health and pliability of the blood vessels as well as tremendous for reducing inflammation. You can start at 2000 mg a day and increase slowly to a maximum of 4-5 grams a day. Be aware that Omega 3 fish oil can thin the blood, so you may need to decrease your dosage if you are taking any blood thinners.Studies suggest that eating just 6 oz per week of fatty (dark meat) fish (e.g. salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, or sardines) may be enough to reduce the risk of dying from heart disease by 36%.
  10. Moderate consumption of nuts rich in fibre, phyto-nutrients and antioxidants such as vitamin E and selenium will help lower the bad LDL cholesterol.

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