Arginine, Citrulline, and Nitric Oxide

There are certain elements created within the body that are crucial to maintaining circulation and heart health. There are others that go towards the production of those key elements; elements that can reduce your risk for heart disease, stroke, and many more cardiovascular related diseases. Arginine and citrulline are critical proponents of nitric oxide, which is a critical proponent of a healthy heart. Here’s how it works:

What is Arginine?

Arginine is an amazing little organic compound that has been medically proven to improve vasodilation, or the widening of blood vessels, allowing increased blood flow and decreasing blood pressure. Vasodilation is an automatic and direct response to distress within the body’s tissues and muscles. When these tissues and muscles are not receiving enough nutrients or oxygen, they send out the distress signal that alerts the body to increase vasodilation, widen the blood vessels, and send more blood with oxygen to the distressed areas.

According to the MayoClinic.com, this improved blood flow can help decrease the risk for, and treat, chest pain, atherosclerosis (clogged arteries), heart disease or failure, erectile dysfunction, intermittent claudication/peripheral vascular disease, and vascular headaches (headache-inducing blood vessel swelling).

What is Citrulline?

Like arginine, citrulline is an amino acid that has been researched in association with reducing high blood pressure and improving symptoms of sickle cell disease. This organic compound has also been used for Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, fatigue, muscle weakness, sickle cell disease, erectile dysfunction, high blood pressure, and diabetes, according to WebMD.com.

Arginine and Citrulline Together

Separately, arginine and citrulline are powerful amino acids that facilitate the production of nitric oxide (NO). However, together these two components can increase quicker production of NO, support exercise performance, increase weightlifting performance, delay muscle fatigue in weight training, improve immune system levels, improve vasodilation, and benefit overall heart health.

Nitric Oxide

Arginine and citrulline work together to create NO. Nitric oxide is a gas that is found naturally in the body. It’s main purpose is to keep oxygen flowing through the body by maintaining circulation with vasodilation. Nitric oxide is produced through nitric oxide synthase, which can only take place with the presence of amino acids like arginine and citrulline.

Once created, NO works wonders for athletes and those at high risk for cardiovascular diseases, as well as your everyday Joe. Bodybuilders and athletes take NO in the form of arginine supplements to increase blood flow, oxygen delivery, glucose uptake, muscle velocity, muscle growth, and after-work out recovery.

Nitric Oxide and Heart Disease

Nitric oxide has been used for many years as a preventative measure for those at high risk for heart disease. By increasing blood flow and keeping the blood vessels wide enough to avoid plaque build-up, NO can reduce an individual’s overall risk for certain cardiovascular diseases.

According to Dr. John P. Cooke, head of Stanford University’s vascular unit, the number one contributing factor to heart disease is damage to the inner lining of arteries, or the endothelium. A damaged endothelium cannot produce enough nitric oxide to widen the vessels enough, and more damage can occur as plaque builds up in the arteries.

“When the endothelium is healthy it’s like Teflon, and things don’t stick. When it’s unhealthy, it becomes more like Velcro, attracting blood-borne gunk like flies to flypaper.”

Maintaining a healthy diet that includes foods that contain arginine such as cottage cheese, milk, yogurt, beef, pork, poultry, seafood, granola, oatmeal and many more nuts can help increase nitric oxide production and reduce your risk for heart disease. Exercise is another wonderful way to reduce your risks.

Stroke

What Are the Symptoms of Stroke?

As the name suggests, stroke is like a bolt of lightening, and can bring on sudden death. Symptoms include weakness or paralysis down one side of the body (face, arms or legs), numbness or loss of sensation in the face or limbs, and loss of bladder control, speech or vision. Other symptoms can include weakness, difficulty swallowing, face drooping to one side, dizziness, loss of balance, severe headache, difficulty speaking or understanding simple statements, and loss of vision, especially in one eye. There is potential for a certain amount of recovery in the first few weeks after a stroke, which is why expert rehabilitation with a range of different health professionals is so important.

What Type of Man Is at Risk of Stroke?

  • Older men – two-thirds of strokes occur in people aged over 65.
  • Those with a history of heart disease, previous stroke or mini-stroke
  • Men with risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, obesity and lack of exercise, smokers and heavy drinkers
  • Those with an irregular heartbeat, called atrial fibrillation, which increases the chances of clots in the system
  • Men with a high red blood cell count, as thicker blood is more likely to clot
  • Men with a family history of stroke Prevention of Stroke

Just like heart disease, you can reduce your chances of getting a stroke by making certain changes in your lifestyle, especially by not smoking and controlling high blood pressure. If you have high cholesterol, lowering your cholesterol levels may also reduce your risk. Your doctor may tell you to change your lifestyle as well as prescribing medication to lower your blood pressure or cholesterol. Aspirin or warfarin is often used to prevent clotting and reduce the risk of stroke.

Mini-Strokes

These are also known as transient ischemic attacks or TIAs, brought on when an artery in the brain becomes temporarily blocked. This can cause symptoms similar to a stroke but the symptoms disappear without any permanent damage within 24 hours. This is the key difference between a TIA and a stroke. However a TIA is a warning sign that you are at much greater risk of a stroke in the future. Therefore it is an early warning sign that you need to sit up and take notice of your health, and work with your doctor to do all that can be done to prevent a stroke later on.

Key Points

  • Heart disease Canadian HealthCare Mall and stroke are the number one causes of death and premature illness in Irish men.
  • High blood pressure is very common in Irish men and is a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke.
  • High blood pressure often has no symptoms; it is ‘the silent killer’.
  • Atherosclerosis is a disease process that damages the circulation and can affect the heart, brain, aorta and legs, causing heart disease, stroke, aneurysms and blocked arteries.
  • We can’t change our genes but many of the risk factors for atherosclerosis can be controlled – these include cigarette smoking, high blood pressure, diabetes, high cholesterol, stress, obesity and lack of exercise.
  • Know your numbers – you should get your blood pressure and cholesterol checked regularly.
  • High blood pressure, high cholesterol and many of the risk factors for heart disease, stroke and atherosclerosis can be very successfully treated, but only if you are aware that you have them.
  • Prevention is better than cure.

Checking for Heart Disease

Type 2 diabetes affects the small (micro) and large (macro) blood vessels. Driven by the rapid beating of your heart, your cardiovascular system includes many, many miles of veins, arteries, and capillaries. If your heart stops beating, or if your major blood vessels clog, you could die.

The coronary arteries feed blood to the heart muscle itself, and a blockage can have serious consequences. Researchers in the National Center for Global Health and Medicine in Tokyo, Japan, looked at the coronary arteries of diabetics with blood vessel damage in other arteries, in order to determine whether their coronary arteries could be blocked as well.

Their study, published in the British Medical Journal in January 2011, included 112 people with Type 2 diabetes and diseased blood vessels in either the eyes, kidneys, hands or feet, or brain. It was found…

– 79 per cent had heart muscle that was not getting enough blood.
– 53 per cent had coronary artery disease with more than a 50 per cent blockage.

Men were over six times more likely to have coronary artery disease than were women. None of the diabetics had suffered any signs or symptoms of heart disease.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States, causing 26 per cent of mortality. Coronary artery disease is the most common kind of heart disease. The Centers for Disease Control list:

  • inactivity
  • obesity,
  • high blood pressure,
  • cigarette smoking,
  • high cholesterol, and
  • diabetes

as risk factors for coronary artery disease.

Type 2 diabetics are advised to be monitored for blood pressure, weight, cholesterol levels and blood fats on a regular basis. If high blood pressure, overweight, obesity, high cholesterol, or abnormal blood fats are discovered, they should be addressed sooner rather than later.

A prime indicator of heart health is your blood pressure. If blood pressure is found to be high, being overweight or obesity is frequently the cause, so both can be treated with a low-calorie, high nutrient diet, and exercise. Taking a walk after dinner every night is one way to begin lowering blood pressure. So is a low-fat diet. Which brings us to the problem of high cholesterol. Diets low in meats and dairy products are best for lowering cholesterol levels. The position of the American Dietetic Association is that vegan diets, without any meat or dairy products, are best for controlling Type 2 diabetes, so the best diet for diabetes is also the best kind for the heart.

When diet and exercise are not enough, medical and even surgical methods are available. Many kinds of medication are available for lowering blood pressure and cholesterol levels and helping with abnormal blood fats. Some doctors recommend an aspirin a day for preventing heart disease in diabetics over 30. Surgical methods of weight control are also available and have shown success in some people who have been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes.

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Dealing With Clogged Arteries

There are three sets of arteries that can become clogged and create life threatening problems.

 

  1. The most well known is, of course, the coronary arteries. These important blood vessels supply the heart muscle with the oxygen and nutrients it needs to keep blood moving throughout the body.
  2. The carotid artery in the neck can also become clogged. That can lead to strokes.
  3. The peripheral arteries in your legs are another plaque target. When either of these become clogged, clots can form and that’s what does the damage.

There are two ways you are likely to find out you’ve got clogged arteries. Testing before a problem begins or when the problem strikes. Needless to say, your chances of survival are much greater if it’s prior to a heart attack or stroke.

  1. Ultrasound: Special ultrasound equipment can check for clogged arteries without the need for invasive procedures. This is best done for those at risk but asymptomatic. In a way, it’s an arterial checkup. Ultrasounds may also be used after problems develop, but that would not be the only testing procedure used.
  2. Stress Tests: These tests are usually done on a treadmill. The doctor will attach the wires to the appropriate areas of the body and ramp up the machine. This shows how your heart and blood vessels work under load. If you are unable to use a treadmill, a chemical stress test is also available.

Angiogram: This is an invasive test, but it is one that can find blockages missed by the other tests, and that can happen. An incision is made in the groin and a camera is sent up to the heart. Dye in the blood stream allows the doctor to explore all the arteries in the heart, checking for blockages. If any are found, angioplasty may be done. This is done with a balloon like object that gently opens the passages. Sometimes stents are added as well, to make sure the artery stays open.

If you have or are at risk for any sort of artery problem, it’s a good idea to stay on top of it. Watch your diet, get plenty of exercise, but even that may not be enough. Get checkups regularly and make sure your doctor knows of your risk factors.

The Anatomy Of A Stroke

A stroke is a devastating attack upon the body that often comes on suddenly, many times without warning. Known as the “silent killer”, what many people do not realize is that it can be prevented, quite easily if they simply have a regular physical, and stay on top of any developing medical conditions.

What is a Stroke?

By definition, a stroke occurs whenever a blood vessel in the brain gets blocked or damaged. Without oxygen being delivered through that blood vessel, the brain begins to die, and whatever part of the body that portion of the brain controls will no longer work as it should. Brain damage can occur within minutes of the blood stoppage but quick treatment can limit the amount of damage and increase the chances for a full recovery.

Stroke Symptoms

There are several distinct symptoms that are considered to be signs of stroke, and if you should develop any of the following, please seek medical assistance immediately. There is also a condition known as a transient ischemic attack or TIA, that, while not as seriously damaging, its presence could be considered to be a harbinger of things to come.

Stroke symptoms include:

  • Sudden numbness, tingling, loss of movement or weakness: This will occur in the face, arm or leg, on one side of the body only.
  • Vision Changes: This could be anything from spots obscuring vision to sudden blurriness in one eye or a complete loss of vision in one eye.
  • Trouble Speaking: If the blood is stopped to the portion of the brain that controls vision or speech, the ability to speak clearly ends and your speech may become slurred.
  • Confusion: As the brain loses oxygen, cognitive reasoning will begin to slow, making it hard to understand even the most simple line of thought or concept.
  • Sudden Onset Headache: This headache is a sign of oxygen deprivation to the brain, and will be quite painful.
  • Problems with Walking or Balance: You will lose the ability to balance as you move, or you may experience weakness on one side of the body. It will become increasingly difficult to move about on your own as your balance deteriorates.

Types and Causes

  1. An ischemic stroke is caused by a blood clot that completely blocks a blood vessel in the brain. It could form within the vessel, or it could travel from elsewhere in the body to the brain. This is the most common type of attack in adults today, and nearly 8 out of every 10 strokes will be an ischemic stroke. Blood clots form for various reasons, and unless they are caught early and removed, they can break free and travel throughout the body.
  2. A hemorrhagic stroke will develop when an artery in the brain either leaks or breaks, causing bleeding inside of the brain or near its surface. These are less common but are actually more deadly than a ischemic stroke, because bleeding in the brain can cause it to shut down far more quickly, and the entire event can become critical within seconds.

Treatment

  1. The first thing done upon arrival is for the patient to undergo a CT scan, which will show where any bleeding is occurring. Treatment for ischemic strokes will focus on restoring blood flow to the brain where the clot occurred. The medicine used to treat this will dissolve clot quickly, and improve recovery from stroke, if given within 90 minutes of the attack.
  2. Hemorrhagic strokes are very difficult to treat effectively. Surgery or other methods to stop the bleeding may be required, to prevent swelling of the brain. This can include medicines that will affect your blood pressure, agents to counteract the swelling and coagulants to reduce the bleeding.

Prevention

To avoid the possibility of a stroke, the easiest thing to do is to listen to your body. If health issues develop, see a doctor and get treated, especially if you have a family history of high blood pressure, cholesterol or diabetes. Simple lifestyle changes like a healthy diet, and quitting smoking and alcohol use will also reduce your chances of one ever happening to you.

The Number One Secret Ingredient in Recipes for Lowering Cholesterol

High cholesterol is a potentially life-threatening condition that impacts literally millions of people around the world. Study after study has shown that high cholesterol is a precursor for heart attacks and strokes. For anyone trying to lower cholesterol, there are now studies showing that there is one secret ingredient that can be effective in recipes for lowering cholesterol. This secret ingredient is the simple nut.

It doesn’t really matter the type of nut that is eaten, although nuts containing a high amount of “good” fats are more beneficial than those with lower levels. Almost every type, including almonds, walnuts, and hazelnuts, have some benefit. These nuts contain unsaturated fatty acids which are very heart-healthy, and they can easily replace those unhealthy snacks that are bad for your health. On top of the health benefits, nuts are inexpensive, easy to carry with you, and very tasty either by themselves or in your favorite recipes.

Nuts have been reported to lower LDL “bad” cholesterol, which is a major contributor to heart disease. Eating nuts and lowering the LDL levels helps to lower the risk of blood clots which, if left untreated, can lead to a heart attack or stroke. In addition to this benefit, nuts can also improve the lining of your arteries.

So what is in nuts that makes them so healthy? There are a number of substances found in nuts that have significant health benefits. Most nuts contain at least one of these healthy substances.

  • The first is unsaturated fats. Both monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats lower “bad” cholesterol.
  • The second is omega-3 fatty acids. Omega-3 acids are found in fish and nuts and can help prevent heart arrhythmias.
  • The third component is fiber. Every nut contains at least some amount of fiber. Fiber lowers cholesterol and also helps you feel full. This means that fiber from nuts benefits you directly by lowering your cholesterol and indirectly by helping you to lose weight.

The benefit of nuts is that it can be a substitute for saturated fats, such as eggs, meat, or dairy products. However, since nuts can be as much as 80% fat, they should be taken in moderation. Over-eating nuts is similar to over-eating any other type of food. Eating too much has the negative effect of weight gain. The FDA recommends eating about 1.5 ounces daily of nuts such as peanuts, pecans, almonds, pine nuts, pistachio nuts, walnuts, or hazelnuts. This amount equates to about a handful per day. Eating this amount daily may lower your risk of heart disease if included as part of an overall healthy diet.

Most nuts are generally healthy although some are healthier than others. Nuts that seem to have the best effects on heart health are walnuts, pecans, macadamia nuts, almonds, and hazelnuts. Peanuts, which are technically legumes instead of nuts, have shown to have positive effects on the heart.

While this article offers you the best ingredient to use in your diet and recipes for lowering cholesterol, there are a number of foods that can help anyone struggling with this condition. It is important to always keep learning about high cholesterol and the natural ways to reduce it.

Preventing Heart Disease and Adhering to a Healthy Lifestyle

As the US population continue to age, mainly due to the baby boomers reaching the age of 65, one of the health problems to watch for is heart disease. Heart Disease and Cardiovascular disease can be prevented, but it requires a concerted effort and continued commitment to remind seniors and middle age Americans of proper health and nutriton. Health experts, nutritional experts have long advocated a daily adherence to a low fat diet, low carb diet, low calories and low cholesterol diet. This can all be done by a conscientious decision by Americans to only by foods that meet those criteria, but more important people need to develop several recipes or several dishes that they can altenate on a daily basis. Isolating the bad stuff, while taking more and more of the good stuff is a lifestyle that people can learn to love.

Efforts to eliminate high cholesterol is critical with respect to heart disease. Americans simply must eliminate fast foods and the processed foods from their diet. And for parents, emphasis of a cooked dinner must once again become the norm in everyday American life; as it was back in the 1960’s. Fast foods and processed foods are very low in nutritients and therefore are useless to the body cells. Malnourishing the body cells make them weak and ineffective against viruses, which in turn can cause a lot of problems, if not addressed in a timely manner. A simple little problem can become a huge headache, all of which contribute to the high health care costs for the government. Reversing bad eating habits for Americans perhaps will not be as difficult as once thought, now that the Obama administration have agreed to cuts in Medicare. The government simply does not have any money to sustain the growth in that program.

This is a unique opportunity to continue the movement to instill proper nutrition to the American family once more. Obviously health shows like Dr Oz is helping tremendously to promote the healthy lifestyle. But, we must not relent. Other ways that promote a healthy lifestyle are the natural supplements that are plentiful now in the huge health and wellness industry. With regards to heart disease, one company in particular with a product containing Resverotrol is Sisel International. Resverotrol have long been known to exist in red wines, and numerous scientific studies going back to the 1980’s have shown that countries with population that drink a lot of red wine (such as France and Italy) have a very low rate of heart disease or heart attack. The Sisel product Eternity contains resverotrol and is 100% natural, without any toxin or harmful chemical. More information on the product can be obtained at the website below.

Long Hours on the Job Increases Risk of Heart Disease By 67%

These days, every penny counts. For this reason, many people work long and stressful hours every single day. While these extra hours do boost the paycheck and make you feel more financially secure, recent medical news has shown that those hours may greatly increase your risk of developing heart disease.

Risk Factors and Research

When you go to a doctor for the first time, he has you fill out sheet that asks you all sorts of questions. The answers that you put down help the doctor evaluate you, so that he knows what types of medical problems you are at risk for. When he is looking to see if you are at risk for heart disease, he may want to know if you smoke, what your weight is, and whether you have diabetes or are closely related to someone who does. He will check your vitals to see if your blood pressure is stable and will also check your cholesterol level.

According to medical news, during this type of evaluation, many researchers also believe that doctors should ask how many hours you work each day. In some studies that have been performed in England, it was shown that if doctors had this type of information available to them, they were able to more easily predict which patient was going to suffer from heart disease. These ten year research studies were able to show that longer work hours increase the risk of heart disease, especially when accompanied by other risk factors.

The Hours

While it doesn’t seem like a lot of time, the research study showed that people could work up to ten hours every day without significantly increasing their risk of heart disease. Once the workers went over 11 hours of work, though, the risk of developing this type of disease in the future increased dramatically.

Framingham’s risk score

To further test the study and to make sure that all of the risks factors for each person were taken into consideration, Framingham’s risk score was used. With this type of evaluation, the people in the study are separated into three categories: low, moderate, and high risk. Each type of risk factor was taken into consideration, including weight, blood pressure, diabetes, smoking, and cholesterol levels. If the participant did not have many risk factors, he was put into the low category, but if he was a great risk, he was placed in the high category. Those in the moderate category were somewhat a risk for heart disease.

After a few years, some of the participants were moved to different categories. At times, those that were moved from the low category to the moderate category were moved simply because the number of hours that they had to work increased, making them more at risk for disease.

The reason for the increased risk

Doctors and researchers are not entirely sure the exact reason that an 11 hour day has such a big effect. According to some medical news, though, the negative effects of working such long hours may cause the increased risk of heart disease. When a person works for those many hours, he may not get enough sleep, may not exercise as much, may eat the wrong types of foods, and may become depressed. All of these factors can lead to an increased risk of heart disease and can possibly be caused by working longer hours.

The Real Secret to Controlling Heart Disease and the Cholesterol Hype

Cholesterol constantly gets bad press, but the truth is cholesterol performs necessary functions in our body as well as creating some cardiovascular risks. The trick is to keep a good balance.

One of the little known facts about cholesterol is that it protects us from the effects of toxicity. As we know, our environment is far more toxic than it used to be, and as toxicity is passed on from mother to child via the placenta, we are starting life full of toxins. Each day we eat, breath and absorb more toxins. So the binding of cholesterol to toxins in order to protect the body, is vitally important to our health. So while diet can increase cholesterol levels, so to can a heavy load of toxins such as heavy metals (mercury, lead etc), petrochemicals, drugs or pesticides. In particular heavy metals such as mercury increase total cholesterol and LDL Solvents (such as alcohol) raise LDL and triglycerides.

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A cholesterol level that is too low is a risk marker of cancer, intestinal problems, stroke and depression. So balance really is the key.

Dyslipidaemia or abnormal blood lipids (fat), such as cholesterol or triglycerides increases your risk of atheroschlerosis, heart disease, stroke, hypertension and other cardiovascular disorders. A total cholesterol reading by itself is not particularly useful.

There are 2 main types of cholesterol that you need to be aware of.

  1. HDL cholesterol refers to high density lipoprotein. This is the good cholesterol, so remember that we want HDL to be high. HDL carries cholesterol away from the heart and back to the liver where it is excreted as bile. It also helps remove excess cholesterol from inside the blood vessels.
  2. Low density lipoprotein or LDL is supposedly the bad stuff which we need to keep low.LDL transports cholesterol & triglycerides towards the cells and tissues which readily take them up. LDL cholesterol can adhere to the walls of the blood vessels that feed the heart and brain. Increased LDL cholesterol supposedly therefore leads to an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.

So why I am saying that LDL cholesterol is supposedly bad? New research tells us that it is only when LDL cholesterol becomes oxidized that it causes problems for the heart. A raised LDL cholesterol on its own has not been found to cause any problems. Oxidation is like a rusting effect. It occurs as a result of inadequate antioxidants such as Vitamin C, E and selenium. If you diet is high in nutrient poor foods such as breads, cakes, biscuits, pasta or processed foods, you are at increased risk of insufficient antioxidants and therefore heart disease.

So before you go into a spin about the effects of cholesterol on heart disease, remember that inflammation and lack of antioxidants is likely to be a greater risk factor of cardiovascular disease than raised cholesterol. Cholesterol repairs membranes that are damaged by inflammation. By reducing inflammation you can therefore reduce the stimulus for the synthesis of cholesterol by the liver. Any treatment that is designed to protect you from heart disease must decrease inflammation. Fish oil can effectively reduce inflammation & triglycerides and slowly bring cholesterol to a satisfactory level.

If you are still concerned about reducing cholesterol here are a few tips:

  • Eat a high fibre diet as fibre prevents cholesterol absorption and promotes elimination
  • Have at least one serving of green leafy vegetables – this will assist with adequate fibre intake.
  • Eat other foods that are rich in antioxidants such as berries to prevent oxidation of your LDL cholesterol.
  • Despite the hype around saturated fats, grains can contribute to dyslipidemia as they contain palmatic and stearic acid.
  • Keep processed foods to a minimum.of
  • Eat 30 percent protein (eggs, milk, dairy, fish, and soy), and 40 percent carbohydrates and 30 percent good fats from foods such as avocado, nuts, sesame, coconut or olive oil.

The secret as with all good health is to ensure you have a balanced diet with plenty of whole, fresh foods.

9 Reasons Why You May Have High Bad Cholesterol

What causes high bad cholesterol? Bad cholesterol is also referred to as LDL. LDL particles are less dense and less buoyant, which means they are more likely to get trapped in the bloodstream and cause clogging of the arteries. Here you will learn what causes high LDL levels and how to correct the problem.

1. Genetics

Some genetic mutations have been identified as being associated with high LDL levels, but these mutations are rare. The condition familial hypercholesterolemia, for example, is accompanied by very high LDL levels, very low HDL (good) cholesterol and very high total triglycerides. Triglycerides are fats in the bloodstream. High triglycerides are usually associated with high total cholesterol and high LDL.

2. Low HDL Levels

Not only are low HDL levels an accompanying problem associated with high bad cholesterol, they are also a cause of the problem. HDL particles are larger and more buoyant. They can attract the smaller LDL particles, pick them up and carry them back to the liver for reprocessing or disposal. Basically, HDL particles are bloodstream scavengers.

3. Diet

Diet can contribute to high triglycerides, high total cholesterol and the imbalance in HDL and LDL particles described above. But the cholesterol in your diet accounts for only about 20% of the cholesterol circulating in your bloodstream. Most of the particles are produced by your liver and other bodily organs.

4. Lack of Exercise

Although the association between physical inactivity and high bad cholesterol is not fully understood, it is known that regular physical activity decreases triglyceride levels and associated problems. The most likely reason is that the muscles use more fatty acids for nourishment. Triglycerides are composed of fatty acids. Another factor is that muscles use fatty acids for nourishment when they are at rest. So, the benefits of exercise are long-lasting.

5. Smoking

Smoking contributes to high bad cholesterol. Nicotine and other chemicals alter the entire cardiovascular process. Cigarette smoking has a negative effect on the liver, where most cholesterol is produced. Your body produced more cholesterol in response to cigarette smoking as a perceived defense mechanism, but the mechanism provides no defense against the effects of cigarette smoke.

6. Excessive Alcohol Consumption

Cholesterol is a fatty waxy alcohol. Excessive alcohol consumption leads to excessive cholesterol production.

7. Inefficient Excretion of Cholesterol

Normally, bile acids carry cholesterol out of the bloodstream and out of the body. In some cases, the excretion process is inefficient. This leads to increased accumulation of total cholesterol in the body.

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8. Excess Absorption and Re-absorption of Cholesterol

Your body sometimes absorbs more cholesterol than normal from the foods that you eat. Often, this is due to a lack of other nutrients in the diet. Re-absorption of cholesterol accounts for a great deal of circulating LDL particles. Instead of being excreted via bile acids, the particles are re-absorbed through the intestinal walls.

9. The Role of Oxidation

LDL particles are bad because they become trapped on the walls of the cardiovascular system and become hardened through the process of oxidation. So, while balancing and controlling cholesterol is important, it is also important to reduce oxidation of the particles, which is caused primarily by free radicals. In my next article, you will learn how to reduce bad cholesterol and reduce oxidation, naturally.