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H
erbal Medicine
 

Curbing cholesterol with garlic

© Steven Foster
 (Excerpted from Herbs for Health Magazine)



Monitoring your cholesterol levels
Your health-care provider can check your blood cholesterol levels and advise you on proper treatment if necessary. You can also call the American Heart Association at (800) 242-8721 for information on low-cost or free cholesterol screenings in your area. Although age, hormone levels, genetics, and whether you smoke or have high blood pressure all contribute to your risk of developing heart disease, guidelines provided by the American Heart Association can be used as a general measure of cardiovascular health.

Total blood cholesterol
Desirable: 199 milligrams per deciliter of blood or less
Borderline: 200 to 239 mg/dl
High: 240 mg/dl or more

LDL cholesterol
Desirable: 129 mg/dl or less
Borderline: 130 to 159 mg/dl
High: 160 mg/dl or more

HDL cholesterol
Low (increased risk of heart disease): 34 mg/dl or less
High (decreased risk of heart disease): 60 mg/dl or more

If your total blood cholesterol is higher than desirable, consider changes in your diet and lifestyle. Cut fats to no more than 30 percent of your total calories, and saturated fats to 10 percent or less; eat foods rich in fiber such as oats and many fruits and vegetables; limit cholesterol intake to no more than 300 mg daily. Control your weight with regular exercise. Quit smoking.


Reading

Avins, A. L., and W. S. Browner. "Lowering Risk without Lowering Cholesterol: Implications for National Cholesterol Policy''. Annals of Internal Medicine 1996, 125(6):502 - 506.
Gaziano, J. M., P. R. Hebert, and C. H. Hennekens. "Cholesterol Reduction: Weighing the Benefits and Risks''. Annals of Internal Medicine 1996, 124(10):914 - 918.
Kleijnen, J., et al. "Garlic, Onions and Cardiovascular Risk Factors. A Review of the Evidence from Human Experiments with Emphasis on Commercially Available Preparations''. British Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 1989, 28:535 - 544.
Koch, H. P., and L. D. Lawson, eds. Garlic: The Science and Therapeutic Application of Allium sativum and Related Species. 2nd ed. Baltimore: Williams and Wilkins, 1996.
Murray, M., and J. Pizzorno. Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine. Rocklin, California: Prima, 1990.
Reuter, H. D. "Allium sativum and Allium ursinum: Part 2. Pharmacology and Medicinal Application''. Phytomedicine 1995, 2(1):73 - 91.
Warshafsky, S., et al. "Effect of Garlic on Total Serum Cholesterol''. Annals of Internal Medicine 1993, 119:599 - 605.
Wise, G. R., and T. T. Schultz. "Hyperlipidemia. When Does Treatment Make a Difference?'' Postgraduate Medicine<1996, I>100(1):138 - 149.

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