Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance, found in all cells in the human body. Its main function is making the hormones and vitamin d and plays a great role in food digestion, in other words, it is the organic molecule that is a subtype of circulating lipid in the body. Less than 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dl) is total cholesterol level is considered to be good and when between 200 to 239 mg/dl it can be said as borderline but 240 mg/dl or above, is considered high.
High levels of cholesterol in the bloodstream are known as ‘hypercholesterolemia’ and it leads to a condition where arteries become progressively hardened, called atherosclerosis. It happens due to depositions of plaques in the lumen of coronary arteries. This plaque forms as a result of high blood cholesterol levels and results in hardening and blockage of coronary arteries.
In general, cholesterol and triglycerides represent the lipid and fat in the human body when this lipid level becomes high in the bloodstream, a condition called ‘hyperlipidemia’.
Ayurveda can help with successfully controlling the cholesterol and lipid levels in the blood. If one follows the principles of diet and lifestyle of Ayurveda, it is possible to keep cholesterol levels within the optimal range.
Types of Cholesterol…
Cholesterol mainly performs several anatomical and physiological functions in the body and there are 2 types of cholesterol present in the body. Cholesterol is derived from the food and serum or blood present in the body and as cholesterol doesn’t dissolve in the bloodstream, it requires a transport system in form of a carrier which is known as ‘lipoprotein’.
– Low-Density Lipoprotein (Bad)
– High-Density Lipoprotein (Good)
High-Density Lipoprotein (HDL) helps to completely flush out the low-density lipoprotein cholesterol from the blood which prevents it from depositing in the lumen of the various arteries and this condition leads to cardiovascular disorders.
Risk Factor of High Cholesterol
Raised serum cholesterol levels add to the risk factors for developing heart disease which is as follows:
- Age – weakening and progressive narrowing of arterial walls and heart musculature increased the risk of contracting heart disease.
- Males – heart disease affects men more commonly than women as per studies conducted, after menopause in women, this increases manifolds.
- Smoking – contraction of the blood vessels causing ‘atherosclerosis’.
- Family History – people who have heredity of heart disorder in their family, are naturally inclined to suffer from heart problems at some point in their life.
- Poor diet – overeating, a high greasy diet, and eating at the odd time is an adverse effects on the development of heart disease.
- High blood cholesterol levels
- Sedentary lifestyle
- Poor hygiene – precipitate many heart infections.
Ayurvedic Concept with Management
According to Ayurveda classical texts, the main cause of elevated levels of cholesterol in the bloodstream is the inadequate level of nutrition that leads to the vitiation of ‘Kapha Dosha’.
Note- Cholesterol is explained in Ayurveda as ‘Agni’ which represents the metabolic process in health promotions as well as disease management.
‘Kapha dosha’ is the vital energy in the human body, which regulates the optimal condition of the fluids in the organism including the bloodstream.
‘Pitta Dosha’ is also related to high cholesterol, responsible for the transformation and when disturbances occur, leads to improper digestion and metabolic problem, and fat cannot be processed completely, so they build up in the blood vessels.
The third energy- Vata Dosha, also can contribute, directly or indirectly to high cholesterol, by increasing the clogging of arteries.
Ayurveda further explains the high cholesterol level as ‘Haridra’ which means disease of the cardiovascular system. Due to unhealthy diet regimes such as heavy, cold, oily, fried, meat, fatty fish, etc and environmental factors such as emotional stress, mental trauma, anxiety, and obesity are the main causative factors for heart disease. Sometimes it is also associated with arthritis and liver ailments.
Ayurveda describes five kinds of ‘Hridroga’ that can occur due to high levels of cholesterol:
- Vata Hrida Roga (Angina Pectoris)
- Pitta Hrida Roga (Myocarditis)
- Kapha Hrida Roga (Organic Disorder)
- Tridoshaj Hrida Roga
- Krimija Hrida Roga (Valvular Heart Disease)
At Pranava Kerala Ayurveda Clinic, Ayurvedic physicians state that ‘high cholesterol’ can be controlled by strictly following a healthy diet plan and using herbal Ayurvedic medicinal support, and by following a healthy lifestyle.
Some of the diets Ayurveda recommends are that have a rich source of antioxidants such as citrus fruit, nuts such as walnuts/ almonds, fruits, and vegetables such as carrots, strawberries, and apples, spinach, and broccoli.
Herbal medicine – As recommended by Pranava Kerala Ayurveda Clinic’s Practitioners.
Diet and lifestyle advice by Pranava Kerala Ayurveda Clinic to control high cholesterol
The most important aspect of the diet is controlling lipid intake. As such, vegetable oils such as Olive oils, Avocado oils are good in this regard but care should be taken to consume them only in moderation.
Prefer only baked or roasted food items over fried ones.
Maintain a healthy intake of vegetables and fresh fruits.
Maintain physical fitness by exercising according to body type or constitution.
Weight should be controlled.
Smoking should be stopped.
Medical Advice Disclaimer
DISCLAIMER: THIS WEBSITE DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE
The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. No material on this site is intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare providers with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.