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Cholesterol: how to keep healthy levels naturally

Cholesterol: how to keep healthy levels naturally | Mr Vitamins

Australians and Cholesterol Levels

You may have been told by your doctor that your cholesterol is above the normal range, statistics show that almost 1 in 3 Australians aged between 30- 65 have been told by doctors that they have high cholesterol. We live in a fortunate society where you can easily access treatment for the management of healthy cholesterol levels. Yet there are a percentage of those who are unable to take cholesterol-lowering drugs due to side effects.

Why Do We Need Cholesterol?

Although it is often spoken of in a negative manner, cholesterol is a very important substance for many of your body’s functions. You cannot function without cholesterol because it is vital for:
  • Cell membrane structure
  • Hormone production (oestrogen, testosterone and cortisol)
  • Vitamin D production
  • Production of bile acids
  • Digestion and nutrient absorption
  • Brain and neurological function

Types of Cholesterol

There are different types of cholesterol, and these have varied roles in your body.
  • LDL cholesterol carries the cholesterol and other fat soluble nutrients in the blood to the cells. If there is too much LDL in the system, your arteries and blood vessels can become clogged and pose a danger to heart health that is why LDL is known as ‘bad’ cholesterol.
  • HDL cholesterol removes excess cholesterol particularly from your arteries taking it back to the liver for recycling or excretion. HDL is known as ‘good’ cholesterol.

Bergamot the Natural Option for Healthy Cholesterol Levels

Bergamot is a citrus fruit about the size of a small orange and it is thought to be a hybrid of sweet lime and bitter orange. The Bergamot fruit is native to the Calabrian region in Southern Italy, located at the "toe" of the Italian Peninsula. Bergamot is an excellent choice for natural cholesterol balancing as the fruit juice extract has been clinically demonstrated to help maintain healthy cholesterol and triglyceride levels, whilst supporting a healthy LDL:HDL ratio. Additionally Bergamot also helps to maintain healthy blood glucose levels.

Antioxidant Flavonoids – the Actives in Bergamot

The active components in Bergamot juice are antioxidant flavonoids. Particular flavonoids have different biological actions attributed to them. Specifically melitidine and brutieridine exist only in the citrus Bergamot, and have been found to help maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

Clinical Trials on Bergamot

The Mollace study* 2011. was conducted at the University of Rome, Vascular Medicine & Atherosclerosis Unit. It was a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of 237 patients. Participants were administered Bergamot fruit juice extract (Bergamot polyphenol fraction BPF) or placebo for a 30 day treatment period. The trial showed improvement when taking Bergamot fruit juice extract on the LDL:HDL cholesterol ratio as well as helping to maintain healthy triglyceride and blood sugar levels in healthy individuals. *Mollace V. et al. Hypolipemic and hypoglycaemic activity of Bergamot polyphenols : From animal models to human studies. Fitoterapia, 2011, vol. 82, pp. 309 - 316   'Ask a Naturopath' at Mr Vitamins for advice on maintaining healthy cholesterol, triglyceride and blood sugar levels. Also see out article Having a Healthy Heart in 2014