Shruv Anti Aging Blog

Taking B Vitamins Helps Lower Cholesterol Levels

When you are trying to lower your cholesterol, you may find yourself searching for doctor recommended supplements in a vitamin shop. Many physicians encourage patients to take the B Vitamins supplement as part of their efforts in lowering cholesterol.

 

B Vitamins are usually referred to as the energy vitamins, because they naturally provide your body with a boost of energy. They are a safe, inexpensive, nonprescription, convenient and effective way to reduce high cholesterol levels as well as in reducing the risk for heart disease. As we all know, elevated cholesterol levels are associated with the increased risk of developing a coronary disease.

 

Some nutrients have shown important characteristics to inhibit the inflammatory process in the blood vessel walls thus, resulting in an improved heart function. The B Vitamins have the ability to lower the homocysteine levels and help in greatly reducing a person’s risk of having a heart attack.

 

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In 2001, the New England Journal of Medicine published a study about the ability of the folic acid, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin B12 to significantly lower the homocysteine levels. A lowered homocysteine level can also lower the possibility of a blood vessel inflammation.

 

However, you should be aware that too much of anything can be harmful to your health. For example, Vitamin B6 causes nerve toxicity and numbness of legs. It would be safer to discontinue when you develop any unusual numbness.

 

High doses of Vitamin B3 or niacin can cause nausea, jaundice, and elevated liver enzymes, which more likely mimic hepatitis.

 

Do not take high doses of the B Vitamins all by yourself. You should take them with the supervision of a medical doctor. Just saying…

 

You may not be aware, but vitamins are all purpose micronutrients essential for the normal functioning of the body. While they are not generally recommended as the primary drug for lowering cholesterol, taking them in short periods of time can definitely help lower your cholesterol.

 

By following your homocysteine levels with blood tests, your doctor can help determine the optimal dosage of these B Vitamins.

  • Vitamin B12
  • Folic Acid
  • Vitamin B6

 

The Vitamin B6 and B12 are found in high concentrations in most protein rich foods. Because folic acid is destroyed during cooking, levels are typically highest in raw or lightly steamed vegetables.

 

B Vitamins can work together to reduce blood levels of homocysteine, thereby helping lower your risk of a stroke. Folate, Vitamins B6 and B12 can help reduce destructive levels of homocysteine.

 

 

 

What is cholesterol?

Every person should have his blood level measured, because genetic and diet factors affect the cholesterol levels. Diet is very important in lowering cholesterol and in maintaining normal cholesterol levels.

 

Reducing the consumption of meat, organ meat, and whole milk products can help reduce cholesterol. There is more saturated fat in meats, bacon, under the skin of poultry, cheese (especially hard cheese), tropical oil (palm, palm kernel, coconut, and cocoa butter), whole milk, chocolate candy, and baked goods.

 

The cholesterol is synthesized in the liver from the saturated fat in the diet. The more saturated fat you consumed, the more cholesterol your body produced. In addition, the ingestion of transfatty acids increases the circulating cholesterol.

 

Transfatty acids are man made from unsaturated fats. They are easily recognizable on food labels as partially hydrogenated or hydrogenated oils.

 

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Homocysteine

The homocysteine, a metabolite of the methionine cycle, is a strong independent risk factor for cardiovascular disease. Homocysteine is an amino acid and amino acids are the building blocks of proteins.

 

Evidence from research studies shows that elevated levels of homocysteine in the blood are related to an increased risk of stroke, heart disease, and peripheral arterial disease.

 

The blood levels of homocysteine escalate when the body lacks three B Vitamins, namely the folate, B6, and B12, which are essential for protein metabolism.

 

Elevated levels of the blood marker homocysteine are much more predictive of a heart disease that a high cholesterol. This byproduct of protein metabolism is a significant risk factor for a heart attack or stroke.

 

It is not possible to get this amino acid, homocysteine, from the diet. The methionine, folic acid, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin B12 are needed to make the amino acid homocysteine.

 

This is how the body produces the homocysteine. Foods that contain the methionine are transformed into the homocysteine in the bloodstream with the help of the Vitamin B6 and related enzymes.

 

Unconverted into cysteine, an increased level of homocysteine is associated with heart attack, stroke, blood clot, and the development of the Alzheimer’s disease.

 

High cholesterol at a young age is a possible homocysteine problem. Some researchers theorize that increased levels of homocysteine damage the endothelial lining within the blood vessels.

 

This damage creates the conditions for cholesterol to build up into plaque. Homocysteine also contributes to plaque ruptures, which can lead to the harmful blood clot formation.

 

People with high levels of homocysteine may have as much as four times the risk of heart disease as those with normal levels, contributing to the position of many medical experts that high homocysteine may be a marker for increased risk of heart disease.

 

 

 

Lower your homocysteine

Usually, it is difficult to obtain the required amount of the B Vitamins from food, which is one reason you need to take B Vitamins dietary health supplement.

 

The Vitamin B6, Vitamin B12, folic acid, and the trimethylglycine can help lower the homocysteine. If you eat a lot of red meat and chicken, you can increase your B6 intake and lower your homocysteine levels. Also, eat a lot of fruits and vegetables every day.

 

A diet high in meat, dairy, and sugar increases the acidity of your body. Soft drinks have a very high sugar level and high phosphorous content. Because of this, the body leeches out more minerals, which are the same minerals it needs to lower the homocysteine levels. These minerals are being leeched from the bones.

 

When the body is too acidic, it sets up a cancer friendly environment. You start to develop chronic and acute diseases. Acidity can result in hypertension, because it causes sodium to replace potassium.

 

Loss of potassium can raise your blood pressure. The acidity level of your body has distorted the potassium and sodium ratio.

 

Cholesterol is inevitable, but you can control it if you start being careful with what you feed your body and make sure you flush out the excess. Although it is a household word, homocysteine is still everything. This amino acid contributes to the hardening of arteries leading to a blood clot.

 

Just in case you still don’t know, the homocysteine is a by-product of a diet high in animal protein. To lower your homocysteine, you can alter your diet and take in B Vitamin supplements.

 

 

Niacin

Niacin, Vitamin B3, can specifically lower your LDL cholesterol by 10 to 20% and increase your HDL cholesterol by 15 to 35%. The niacin is one of the B Vitamins that can help raise your good cholesterol.

 

It has been used by medical professionals to increase the lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. Although it has the ability to raise the HDL cholesterol by more than 30%, medical experts agree that this vitamin is not for everyone.

 

Just in case you still do not know, the good cholesterol helps remove the bad cholesterol from the blood. Niacin should be used only under strict medical supervision, because it has its own side effects.

 

The niacin can increase the effects of the high blood pressure medication and can cause nausea, gout, diarrhea, liver inflammation, high blood sugar, and peptic ulcer. A combination of niacin with other medication should be done only under the close supervision of a medical practitioner.

 

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Why lower cholesterol?

The number one reason doctors are trying to lower your cholesterol is to decrease your risk of a heart disease. The generic guideline is to lower cholesterol to less than 200 mg/dL.

 

You may use the Framingham Risk Calculator to figure out which factors affect your risk of a heart attack. Putting everything into perspective, you should not undermine the huge impact of managing stress, healthy eating, exercising, and addressing your weight.

 

If you are a woman it is important that your waistline should not be more than 35 inches and if you are a man, your waistline should not be more than 40.

 

Eat smart and start to lower your cholesterol. However, a supplementation of the B Vitamins can make it much better.

 

You can find these vitamins in proteins such as meat, eggs, and dairy. The B Vitamins support metabolism, mitigate bad cholesterol, and support adrenal function.

 

 

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Mental and emotional health

A deficiency of the B Vitamins may affect the cognitive functioning, mood, and energy production of the body. It highly affects your emotional health and sustains a healthy brain function.

 

You will know when you lack any of the B Vitamins if you experience stress, anxiety, and depression for longer periods. It is essential for the production of nerve-regulating hormones.

 

 

Fatigue or low energy?

If you suffer from lethargy or fatigue, then you may be deficient of the B Vitamins or biotin. The Vitamin B9 or folic acid helps the body convert the carbohydrates into energy. It also helps the body utilize both fat and protein.

 

The folic acid aids in the production of the body’s DNA and RNA including the cells and tissues. It helps the iron work properly as well as make the red blood cells.

 

The folic acid also helps control the blood levels of the amino acid homocysteine that is associated with the heart disease. A deficiency of the folic acid causes gingivitis, tongue inflammation, shortness of breath, poor growth, irritability, mental sluggishness, and diarrhea.

 

 

Hearing loss and macular degeneration

The supplementation of the folic acid was found to slow down the progression of the age-related hearing loss especially those with very high homocysteine levels. The same study revealed that women taking at least 2,500 mcg of folic acid daily reduced their risk of developing macular degeneration that may lead to loss of vision.

 

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A combination can be fine

The CoQ10 is a hardworking antioxidant that helps lower cholesterol and maintains a regular heartbeat. Taking at least 30 to 60 mg a day can improve the circulation and enhance the immune system.

 

 

Healthy tips in lowering your cholesterol

When you decrease your saturated fat intake, you are able to lower your cholesterol. Eating less cholesterol and fat, especially saturated fat, may reduce the plaques in your arteries.

 

Weight loss of as little as 10 pounds may lower your blood pressure and improve your cholesterol levels.

 

Strict control of your blood sugar may reduce damage to your brain if you do have a stroke.

 

Aerobic exercise like walking, can lower your blood pressure, increase your level of HDL cholesterol, and improve the overall health of your blood vessels and heart.

 

Avoid stress. Stress can cause a temporary spike in your blood pressure. It can also increase your blood’s tendency to clot, which may elevate your risk of an ischemic stroke.

 

Drink alcohol in moderation. Binge drinking and heavy alcohol consumption increase your risk of high blood pressure and of ischemic and hemorrhagic strokes.

 

Scientists believe that consuming a diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and low fat dairy products, such as the DASH diet, which is also rich in these vitamins, helps lower blood homocysteine and therefore reduce risk of heart disease.

 

Eating fruits, vegetables, legumes, and grains that contain fiber helps lower cholesterol levels. These foods contain antioxidants and B Vitamins, such as B6 and folate, that may also reduce the risk of heart disease.

 

Look for sources of Omega 3 fatty acids and fiber in your food choices.

 

The cholesterol levels are greatly influenced by your diet. The consumption of food high in saturated fat can definitely increase your cholesterol levels.

 

 

 

References

Archer, S. S. (2004). 101 ways to lower your cholesterol. Avon, MA: Adams Media.

Better Nutrition February 2000.

Challem, J. (2010). AARP The Inflammation Syndrome: Your Nutrition Plan for Great Health, Weight Loss and Pain Free Living. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons Inc.

Chillemi, S. & Chillemi, M. (2013). The Complete Herbal Guide: A Natural Approach to Healing the Body. USA: Lulu.

McMurray, R. G. (1999). Concepts in fitness programming. Boca Raton, FL: CRC Press LLC.

University of Maryland. Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid)

Scheinbaum, M. A. & Getoff, D. J. (2004). Reduce Blood Pressure Naturally: A Complete Approach for Mind, Body, and Spirit. USA: XLibris.