If you could block cholesterol absorption in the intestine you might solve one of the dangers of modern living--hidden cholesterol in your food.
No longer do we eat well-prepared home-cooked meals.
We eat in restaurants, we eat fast food, we eat from convenience stores, and we buy ready-to-eat highly processed food from our grocery stores.
One result is that we can eat too much hidden cholesterol.
And that is dangerous.
High cholesterol is consistently associated with higher risk of cardiovascular disease
Cholesterol is necessary for life, but too much can hurt you.
Decades of research have proven high blood cholesterol contributes to artery blockages and increased risk of death from cardiovascular problems.
Fortunately, we can read labels and calculate our daily cholesterol and fat intake--when we take the time to do it.
But that doesn't help when nutrition labels aren't available.
When we can't check the contents of our food, it's easy to eat a meal containing several days' worth of cholesterol.
Managing cholesterol in food can help lower cholesterol naturally.
But for those times when we can't control the amount of cholesterol in our food, it's helpful to know about a convenient, safe, and powerful cholesterol blocker--green tea.
Green tea can block cholesterol absorption up to 89%*
Several studies (Muramatsu 1986, Ikeda 1992, Loest 2002, Raederstorff 2003) have demonstrated that an important way that green tea lowers cholesterol is by blocking the absorption of cholesterol from high cholesterol food during a meal.
Raederstorff found that green tea decreases solubility of cholesterol, keeping it too large to pass through the intestinal wall.
Both Raderstorff and Ikeda found that EGCG, the most plentiful antioxidant in green tea, was also the most effective part of tea to block cholesterol.
Double strength green tea is a better cholesterol blocker
*Loest discovered that the amount of cholesterol blocked is doubled when the concentration of green tea was doubled.
A low concentration only blocked 45% of the cholesterol in food, but double-strong green tea blocked 89% of the cholesterol.
All cholesterol blocking studies were done with animals using a diet high in cholesterol.
One note of caution: green tea blocks absorption of several fats, so additional supplementation of vitamin E should be considered.
Help stop the worst damage
When cholesterol is in your blood, the portion called LDL cholesterol or bad cholesterol can be rapidly oxidized.
Then it becomes deadly.
Oxidized LDL cholesterol tends to attach to blood vessel walls forming blockages, narrowing the arteries, and leading to atherosclerosis and arteriosclerosis.
The blockages can happen anywhere along your 60,000 miles (96,500 km) of blood vessels.
Frequently, the oxidized LDL cholesterol atherosclerotic blockages will concentrate in the arteries near your heart, increasing the risk of heart attacks, or near your brain, increasing the risk of stroke.
Green tea is not only a great cholesterol blocker. It also contains strong protective antioxidants and has shown prevention of new atherosclerotic blockages up to 73%.
Adding green tea is one of the easiest lifestyle choices
Adding green tea as a cholesterol blocker is one of the easy (and powerful!) ways to protect yourself when you are unsure about your food's nutritional content.
But you should also learn about all the lifestyle choices available for you to get healthy and stay healthy.
The National Cholesterol Education Program recommends following a low cholesterol and low saturated fat diet as one of the primary ways to keep your cholesterol count low, or lower it if you have high cholesterol.
Recommended lifestyle choices include not only following a diet to maintain recommended cholesterol levels, but also
regular exercise programs, stop smoking, and and lose weight if you are overweight or obese.
Learn more about cholesterol and your health
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This page last updated by Sharon Jones.
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