High cholesterol is when a person has too much cholesterol (a fatty substance) in their blood. Having some cholesterol, particularly HDL ‘good’ cholesterol, is important as it helps make a person less likely to have heart problems or a stroke. But LDL ‘and’ cholesterol can increase a person’s risk of these life-threatening conditions. Eating fatty food is one of the key contributors to cholesterol build-up, so making changes to diet is recommended. Eating less fatty food is one change to make, but taking artichoke extract could also be effective.
A large review involving more than 700 people found supplementing with artichoke leaf extract daily for five to 13 weeks led to a reduction in total and LDL cholesterol.
Another study looked at 143 adults with high cholesterol and found artichoke lead extract taken daily for six weeks resulted in a 18.5 per cent and 22.9 per cnet decrease in total and LDL cholesterol.
An animal study also reported a 30 per cent reduction in LDL cholesterol after regular consumption of artichoke extract.
A number of studies may have demonstrated how artichoke extract can reduce levels of LDL cholesterol, but it can also have a positive impact on HDL cholesterol.
One study showed regularly consuming artichoke extract may boost HDL cholesterol in adults with high cholesterol.
Artichoke is believed to get its benefit from its luteolin content.
Luteolin is an antioxidant which prevent cholesterol formation. While diet plays a big part in lowering cholesterol, it can also be reduced by exercising more.
The NHS says people should aim to do at least 150 minutes of exercise a week.
Stopping smoking and cutting down on alcohol can also help lower cholesterol,
The health body advises: “Smoking can raise your cholesterol and make you more likely to have serious problems like heart attacks, strokes and cancer.
“If you want to stop smoking, you can get help and support from your GP or the NHS Stop Smoking Service – your GP can refer you or you can ring the helpline on 0300 123 1044 (England only).
“They can give you useful tips and advice about ways to stop cravings.”
It adds: “try to avoid drinking more than 14 units of alcohol a week, have several drink-free days each week, and avoid drinking lots of alcohol in a short time (binge drinking).
“Ask your GP for help and advice if you’re struggling to cut down.”
A certain superfood has also been found to lower cholesterol.
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