I have high liver enzymes. What is the best alternative to lower my cholesterol?
If one has high liver enzymes, then the liver is working double-time thereby making it harder for your liver to regulate cholesterol.
A couple of your liver's functions are to create more HDL (high-density lipoprotein, or "good cholesterol") and to process sugars properly. The first thing would be determining the cause(s) of the high liver enzymes - and there are many.
Common causes of elevated liver enzymes include:
- Side effect of medication, such as certain nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), cholesterol medications, antibiotics or anti-seizure medications
- Drinking alcohol
- Elevated triglycerides
- Infection, such as viral hepatitis and mononucleosis
- Autoimmune disorders of the liver and bile ducts, such as autoimmune hepatitis, primary sclerosing cholangitis or primary biliary cirrhosis
- Metabolic liver disease, such as hemochromatosis or Wilson's disease
- Excessive use of certain herbal supplements, such as kava, comfrey, pennyroyal or skullcap
- Tumors of the liver, pancreas or bile ducts
These have shown effectiveness clinically in reducing liver enzymes.
Below is a section from an article I wrote on EZINEarticles.com:
Ways to lower cholesterol naturally:
- Exercise: How many times do you have to hear it - everyone says it. Because it works better than any drug out there. Why does it work? Simple biochemistry and physiology. Exercise requires energy. Energy comes from sugars, fats and proteins. When the sugars and proteins are burned, fats must be converted into useable forms of energy. The liver steps up by making good cholesterol, HDL. HDL goes around and picks up bad cholesterol, LDL. It converts this into useable energy. So, by exercising, your energy requirements increase thereby lowering cholesterol naturally. Exercise 30 minutes a day as often as you can in a week. Try one day a week and build up. You'll become addicted to it. Better that than statins.
- Eat soluble fiber: Where can you find that? In beans and whole grains. Fruits and vegetables contain insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber actually binds to cholesterol removing it from your body. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to your stools making you more regular - which is extremely vital as well.
- Limit animal fat foods: damn again. Even Stedman's Medical Dictionary said cholesterol is the most abundant steroid in animal tissues. They didn't say plant tissues. I'm not saying avoid it completely. Just keep an eye on it - don't chomp down endless roast beef sandwhiches with mayo and four kinds of cheese.
- Inositol: This is time-released niacin in the no-flush form. Niacin is a main player in cellular metabolism. If one is low in niacin, then the energy reactions do not go forward. If they do not go forward, lipids accumulate which is directly tied to high levels of choleterol. A study on time-released niacin shows its effectiveness. The study I found used pharmaceutical time-released niacin but I believe these two are very similar - with the natural form being superior. The bottom line of the study: "The results show that niacin ER [extended release] produces a beneficial effect on lipoprotein subclasses, specifically decreasing the more atherogenic small, dense LDL particles and enhancing the cardioprotective large HDL particles." Remember what I said about bad LDL and good HDL? The inositol sounds pretty good now doesn't it?
- Red Yeast Rice: This is what the pharmaceutical companies make some statin drugs from - directly! So why not take it in its natural state? It works quite well. It works by limiting the cholesterol reaction from going forward. This means that cholesterol's production is slowed down thereby lowering cholesterol naturally. I have found a great research article on PubMed for Red Yeast Rice. The research was done by the Center for Human Nutrition and is not biased by a natural supplement company. Here is another study about the cholesterol-lowering effects of a proprietary Chinese red-yeast-rice dietary supplement.
- Policosanol: This is sugar wax. Sound safe? It is. It does not turn off the cholesterol forming reaction as strongly as statin drugs. Our bodies need some cholesterol formed. Without it, numerous hormones would not be made and we would be dead. Thus, it is better to moderately limit production rather than severly limit. Policosanol has also shown to increase the levels of HDL. Do statin drugs do this? No. There is a good study on Policosanol that I found on PubMed. You'll notice it is not a study made by a natural supplement company or with biased interests. The title of the study is: Comparison of the efficacy and tolerability of policosanol with atorvastatin in elderly patients with type II hypercholesterolaemia.
- Bio Lipotrol: Bio-Lipotrol has been shown to naturally lower cholesterol. Bio Lipotrol has Red Yeast Rice, Inositol, Policosanol and Guggal Gum extract. I have visited with physician after physician that have used Bio Lipotrol and the results are seen within a few weeks. Now this doesn't mean you can sit on your couch eating hamburgers and pizza while popping Bio Lipotrol capsules. I have already stated that exercise is the best medicine - along with the limitation of animal fats and an increase in soluble fiber. I did not know about Bio Lipotrol until a classmate kept buying it. I found her in the hall one day and asked her what it is. She told me it is working very well on her grandmother's high cholesterol levels. Then I became more interested. The benefits of being in med school - you find what works and what doesn't.
I hope this helps!
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