Preventing heart disease starts in many cases by lowering dangerous cholesterol levels — and raising levels of the good form of cholesterol. A new health breakthrough has identified a supplement that might help. An extract from algae has been found to improve cholesterol levels and help prevent heart disease.
RECOMMENDED: Don’t Forget About ‘Good’ Cholesterol
Researchers in this case have found that intake of a particular algae supplement (“ProAlgaZyme”) has proven to raise levels of HDL cholesterol in animal models. HDL stands for “high-density lipoprotein” and higher levels of it help prevent heart disease — the opposite of its brethren, high-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol.
Medication to treat high cholesterol, such as statins, and many dietary supplements mainly work by lowering levels of LDL cholesterol. But could raising HDL cholesterol be just as important? That is where this research headed. HDL works in part by carrying cholesterol out of the arterial wall, and away from where it can cause harm. When cholesterol molecules build up in arteries, they disrupt the flow of blood.
The study was recently published in the “Journal of Nutrition and Dietary Supplements.”
In short, the cholesterol mechanism is crucial to heart disease. Few natural agents work to increase HDL cholesterol, and this algae extract has proven to be one of them. The study found the ratio of total to HDL cholesterol improved significantly with algae treatment. If this finding translates to humans in future studies, it would signify a definitive decreased risk of heart disease.
ProAlgaZyme, a clear liquid, was given as part of beverage over four weeks. In addition to increasing HDL levels, the algae supplement changed the expression of genes involved in cholesterol transport, which could point to further benefits.
Though more must be learned, this is a big step in the right direction.
Plus, here are some other great, all-natural ways to boost your levels of HDL cholesterol:
— Exercise regularly in a way that raises your heart rate for at least 20 minutes
— Shed pounds to boost HDL levels
— Stop smoking
— Don’t eat any foods that contain unhealthy trans fats (partially hydrogenated vegetable oil)
— Be careful with alcohol and only ever drink in moderation
— Eat more olive oil, peanut butter, canola oil, and other sources of “monounsaturated fats”
— Get more fiber in your diet
— Consider cranberry juice, fish rich in omega-3 fatty acid, and calcium supplements