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The data is clear: Heart issues are the leading cause of death in the U.S. for both men and women, claiming well over half a million lives each year — that’s 1 out of every 4 deaths.
When it comes to heart health, most doctors focus on the need for a balance of “good” HDL cholesterol and “bad” LDL cholesterol.
But as important as that advice is, there is another, more dangerous form of cholesterol that very few doctors ever mention, and even fewer monitor with their patients.
Indeed, this often-ignored form of cholesterol can lead to:
- Impaired artery function
- Lower levels of protective HDL cholesterol
- Triple the risk of serious heart problems!
Please keep reading, because you deserve to know about a safe, effective way to combat this especially dangerous form of cholesterol that your doctor has almost certainly never mentioned to you.
What Happens When LDL Cholesterol Oxidizes
The extremely dangerous type of cholesterol I’m talking about is oxidized LDL, or oxLDL. Essentially, oxidized LDL is normal cholesterol that’s turned rancid, wreaking havoc on your arteries. Here’s how…
If you think of a weather-beaten nail that has oxidized or become rusty over time, that is essentially what free radicals are constantly doing to the normal LDL within your body. Once oxidized, this cholesterol can more easily get lodged within the delicate lining of your arteries, which circulate blood and oxygen to your heart, brain and the rest of your essential organs.
As this jagged oxLDL scrapes along the delicate lining, it can trigger inflammation throughout the affected area. To help douse these inflammatory fires, healing white blood cells swoop in to gobble up the oxidized cholesterol and capture it inside cells known as foam cells — essentially rendering that rancid LDL harmless.
The Problem with Your Natural Defense Mechanism
Unfortunately, your natural defense mechanism has one major drawback. To effectively nullify the threat posed by oxidized LDL, these foam cells need another important substance to form a protective barrier over the oxLDL: plaque. Essentially, the plaque is drawn to the area, forms a protective coating over the foam cells and “locks in” the oxLDL, so it can’t cause further inflammation and damage.
As this process happens over and over again and more foam cells designed to heal the damage swoop in, large amounts of plaque are deposited inside your arteries!
And as you probably know, the more plaque in your arteries, the narrower they become, making it harder for blood and oxygen to pass through. This makes your arteries and blood vessels work harder to pump needed blood around your body. And the harder your arteries and blood vessels have to work to pump blood to all your cells, tissues and vital organs, the higher your blood pressure climbs.
It’s a vicious cycle. As plaque deposits grow…as arteries begin to narrow…as more pressure is needed to pump vital blood, nutrients and oxygen around your body, the more your health suffers.
So What Causes Oxidized Cholesterol?
Now you’ve seen what happens when LDL cholesterol turns into rancid, oxidized LDL cholesterol. But what causes this oxidation process? As it turns out, there are a number of triggers…
#1: Too many harmful items in your diet. If you regularly eat processed foods, then you’ve probably got an overabundance of oxLDL cholesterol in your body. And foods cooked in common vegetable cooking oils are absolutely loaded with harmful free radicals.
#2: Not eating enough fruits, vegetables, and omega-3. Healthy foods contain important nutrients to help lower cholesterol. And they’re also teeming with antioxidants that zap free radicals and promote a healthy inflammatory response. In addition, studies show that omega-3 can help lower oxidized cholesterol levels by as much as 16%!
#3: Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption. These bad habits trigger an overload of health-robbing free radicals. And as we’ve seen, free radicals are one of the biggest triggers behind the oxidation of LDL cholesterol.
So Why Aren’t You Hearing About Oxidized LDL from Your Doctor?
If oxLDL is the real culprit behind an increased risk of cardiovascular threats and a much more accurate predictor of severe heart issues, why are most doctors so focused on LDL, HDL and triglycerides? Unfortunately, the standard blood tests for cholesterol recommend by the American Heart Association, taught in medical schools across the country and practiced by most mainstream doctors don’t pick up oxLDL cholesterol levels.
Studies have shown that the cholesterol-lowering statin drugs doctors often prescribe can have a small positive impact on oxLDL. But there’s one big drawback when it comes to these drugs. These studies also show that statin drugs deplete levels of the precious heart-helper nutrient CoQ10 in your body!
Not only is CoQ10 important for your overall cardiovascular health, it’s also a powerful destroyer of oxLDL cholesterol. So in essence, what statins give you with one hand, they can take away with the other by depleting stores of CoQ10 in your bloodstream.
So if you’re really serious about protecting your heart and your cardiovascular system and controlling your levels of oxLDL, then you need to know about an effective solution discovered in a tiny region in Italy.
In fact, the effects of this “Italian Secret” on oxLDL and other cholesterol markers are so powerful and so pronounced, it’s one of only a very few natural substances that have been granted a United States patent as a natural cholesterol remedy! (Patent #20110223271.)
The Bergamo Paradox
Discovered in the Calabria region of Bergamo, the cholesterol-lowering benefits of the bergamot orange were first observed in the residents of this small area of Italy. Researchers found that despite eating a high-fat diet, there was something startling about these people: They almost always were able to maintain a healthy cholesterol balance, and oxidized LDL was almost non-existent, helping them to maintain plaque-free arteries!
According to scientists at the University of Bologna in Italy, when the juices of this remarkable citrus plant were extracted and tested, the antioxidants and polyphenols in bergamot exhibited remarkable cardiovascular benefits.
In a 2013 study of this unique fruit published in the International Journal of Cardiology, participants with high cholesterol saw their levels drop 31% on average in just four weeks!
In another study, 192 patients were given 100 milliliters of citrus bergamot juice daily for 30 days. In addition to burning up levels of oxidized LDL, study participants also experienced…
- A reduction of total cholesterol levels by 35%…
- LDL cholesterol levels tumbling by 41%…
- Triglycerides falling 38%…
- And levels of “good” HDL cholesterol levels boosted by 56%!
In addition, the researchers also noted one other important benefit: study participants’ blood sugar levels also fell by 22%.
So what have blood sugar levels got to do with cholesterol? Well, as it turns out, high levels of blood sugar is a leading cause of harmful levels of inflammation in the body. And as we’ve seen above, inflammation is one of the biggest triggers behind the oxidation of LDL cholesterol.
How Bergamot Helps Clobber Cholesterol
Bergamot contains 7 powerful antioxidants, polyphenols, flavonoids and unique glycosides to help clobber cholesterol (including oxLDL), support your arteries and boost your entire cardiovascular system. Here’s how they work to help you balance cholesterol…
- Blocks cholesterol production in your liver. Powerful flavonoid compounds found in bergamot called melitidine and brutieridine keep cholesterol levels in check by blocking the action of the HMG-CoA reductase — the enzyme in your liver that produces cholesterol – resulting in reduced cholesterol in the cells of the liver.
- Protects your arteries, prevents LDL oxidation. Bergamot also contains three unique compounds known as glycosides — narigin, neoeriocitrin and rutin. Neoeriocitrin and rutin in particular are shown to help burn up oxidized LDL cholesterol. In addition, powerful polyphenols in bergamot help keep arteries healthy by neutralizing rogue free radicals that damage the delicate endothelium cells that line the arteries.
- Cuts blood sugar levels that trigger inflammation inside arteries. In addition to its powerful effects on the cardiovascular system, bergamot also helps lower blood glucose levels. High blood sugar damages your arteries by triggering inflammatory compounds in your body — including inside your arteries. And as we’ve already seen, inflammation inside your arteries causes damage to the artery lining, which leads to dangerous plaque formation.
Get the Powerful Cholesterol-Busting Effects of Bergamot, Plus Other Powerful Free-Radical Fighters
As you may be aware, in addition to my work with Live in the Now, I also run Stop Aging Now, a company that has been making premium grade dietary supplements for over 20 years.
After studying the effects of bergamot on cholesterol levels…after reading through pages and pages of clinical studies…and seeing the positive impact it has had on thousands of people just like you and me, I started looking for a bergamot-based supplement to recommend to my readers.
But everything I found that had the right ingredients in the right dosages was outrageously expensive. So I set out to work with the company’s Scientific Advisory Board to develop an effective bergamot formula that is both potent and affordable. It’s called Cholesterol360®.
Cholesterol360 is made with Bergamonte®, the extract form of bergamot that’s the purest, most potent, most effective form of bergamot available. And it’s by far the easiest way to get the cholesterol-lowering benefits of bergamot on a daily basis.
In a double-blind, placebo-controlled study, researchers split participants into two groups. One group received a placebo. And the other group were given 500 mg a day of bergamot extract for 30 days.
They tested the cholesterol levels of the patients at the beginning and end of the study, and the difference in the results between the two groups was like night and day.
In the placebo group, total cholesterol levels improved by just 0.14%… HDL levels increased by 1.2%… LDL went down just 1.1%. Triglycerides improved by 0.10%…and blood glucose levels dropped by just 0.5%.
In the Bergamonte group:
- Total cholesterol dropped 21%
- LDL cholesterol fell by 24%
- Triglycerides were reduced by 29%
- HDL cholesterol was boosted 22%
- And blood glucose levels fell by 18%
These outstanding results were confirmed in still another study. Dr. Vincenzo Mollace, professor of cardiology at the Magna Graecia University in Catanzaro, Italy, increased the dosage to 1,000 mg of bergamot extract daily for 30 days, and the results got even better:
- LDL cholesterol dropped 38%
- Triglycerides fell by 41%
- HDL cholesterol went up by 42%
- Blood glucose levels tumbled by 25%
And Cholesterol360 combines Bergamonte with potent antioxidant-rich extracts of green tea and grape seed to help further protect against cholesterol oxidation while supporting healthy blood vessels and overall cardiovascular health.
Why I Personally Recommend Cholesterol360
I invite you to do your own research to see what other options are out there, but I think you’ll find no other product quite like Cholesterol360. And certainly none that are both this potent and this affordable.
- Just one small Cholesterol360 capsule features a potent 500 mg dose of Bergamonte® citrus extract — the very same brand and extract that produced such impressive cholesterol-balancing research results.
- Cholesterol360 is enhanced with 25 mg of standardized green tea extract to provide crucial antioxidant polyphenols. Studies have shown that green tea can help keep LDL cholesterol levels in the healthy range, lower triglycerides, and even help boost “good” HDL cholesterol levels, too. It can also help burn up excess levels of oxidized LDL, prevent absorption of cholesterol in the digestive tract and help the body in removing excess cholesterol.
- Cholesterol360 contains 25 mg of standardized grape seed extract. Grape seed is rich in antioxidants like vitamins C and E, and beta-carotene. These important antioxidants help snuff out damaging free radicals that can trigger inflammation and lead to LDL oxidation. Plus, it’s rich in oligomeric proanthocyanidin complexes (OPCs) — a group of potent nutrients that have been shown in studies to boost beneficial HDL levels by up to 13%…and reduce LDL levels. In addition, grape seed extract is rich in linoleic acid which has been shown to help prevent the formation of oxidized LDL.
- Cholesterol360 is made in Stop Aging Now’s own FDA-inspected facility located in Florida to meet or exceed stringent USP standards for quality, purity and potency.
- Cholesterol360 ships to you for free and comes with an amazing 365-day “any reason” guarantee. If you are not satisfied with the results, you can get every penny back. This way you risk nothing!
For a limited time, Live in the Now readers can get Cholesterol360 for as low as $19.95 a bottle — with free shipping. I encourage you to take advantage of this great deal.
- Rundek T, et al. Arch Neurol 2004;61:889-892.
Every day, battles are waged inside your gut between beneficial bacteria and pathogenic bacteria, the outcomes of which have far-reaching effects, often influencing social and emotional behavior as well as physical health.
Research shows when you increase the beneficial bacteria in your gut through consuming probiotic-rich foods and supplements, you can make victorious outcomes over poor digestion and the skirmishes you’ve become uncomfortably accustom to. But what about the other, untold benefits of probiotics? After all, digestion influences nearly every bodily process.
10 Surprising Health Benefits of Probiotics
Probiotics are foods cultured with live beneficial bacteria, which include yogurt, kefir and fermented vegetables like sauerkraut. These healthful microbes may also be procured in the form of supplements, which should be taken in addition to eating the probiotic foods rather than as a substitution for them.
1. Probiotics May Keep E.coli at Bay
In a study published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, pigs were given feed supplemented with the probiotic Enterococcus faecium. The results showed it greatly reduced the numbers of pathogenic E.coli bacteria in the intestines. This microbe is one of the most common pathogens affecting pigs.
2. Probiotics Help Prevent Tooth Decay
Research indicates Lactobacillus reuteri promotes healthy teeth and gums, helping prevent tooth decay and reducing inflammation of the gum tissue. This benefit is even more important because poor oral hygiene is associated with serious maladies such as diabetes and heart disease.
3. Probiotics Help Reduce and Prevent Diarrhea
Harvard Medical School reports many studies that show probiotics can help reduce or prevent diarrhea from an infection. Diarrhea is also a common side effect of antibiotics; research indicates probiotics can help reduce the incidence of this problem as well.
4. Probiotic Therapy May Alleviate Autism
Scientists have known that gut bacteria can affect social and emotional wellness, but a new study is the first to show negative changes in this bacterial population can contribute to autistic-like symptoms. In the study published in Cell, researchers found that autistic mice had leaky gut, a condition that has been reported in some people diagnosed with this illness. When they treated the mice with probiotic therapy, the leaky gut was healed and, amazingly, their autistic behavior was alleviated.
5. Probiotics May Help Reduce Cholesterol
A small study presented at a recent American Heart Association meeting found Lactobacillus reuteri, a probiotic in dairy foods, lowered low-density lipoprotein cholesterol, or bad cholesterol, 12 points more than the control group. Moreover, the total cholesterol count was lowered by 9 percent.
6. Probiotics May Help Prevent Eczema, According
A study published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology discovered babies who are at risk of getting eczema may benefit from their mother’s consumption of probiotics. Allergy-prone mothers who had eczema were given probiotics two months before the birth of their baby and during the first two months of breastfeeding. The findings showed their babies had a significantly lower risk of developing the skin inflammation. Another study indicated that probiotic therapy early in life can also reduce a child’s risk of developing eczema by up to 50 percent.
7. Probiotics May Prevent Respiratory Infections
Scientists reviewing studies from the Cochrane Library found probiotics seem to reduce the incidence of respiratory infections. In a another study published in the British Medical Journal, children in 18 daycare centers in Finland who were given milk enriched with probiotics had a 17 percent lower likelihood of contracting a respiratory infection than those who drank milk without the probiotics.
Some probiotic studies show a strong benefit, while others have weak findings. But eating probiotic foods cannot hurt and it may prove to be very beneficial.
8. Probiotics Can Help Prevent Female Urogenital Problems
Several factors can upset the bacterial population in the female urogenital tract, permitting the overgrowth of harmful microbes. According to Harvard Medical School, probiotics may possibly restore the normal bacterial balance, thus helping prevent bacterial vaginosis, yeast infections and urinary tract infections.
9. Probiotics May Help Your Baby to Cry Less
A 2007 study published in Pediatrics discovered breastfed babies whose mothers daily consumed a probiotic cried 194 minutes less than the control group. In a later study published in 2010 of the same journal, researchers found similar results.
10. Probiotics May Help With Bloating, Gas and Constipation
Some yogurt companies are putting extra strains of beneficial bacteria in their product in hopes of providing more health benefits. An example is Dannon’s Activia, which contains an additional bacterial culture, Bifidobacterium animalis. John Hopkins reports on an Activia study that showed those who ate two 4-ouce servings per day experienced less abdominal bloating and discomfort along with more frequent bowel movements after a few weeks. Another study published in Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics found yogurt with this bacterial culture alleviated the discomfort and bloating associated with irritable bowel syndrome.
What we learn from this research is that the condition of the gut affects the entire spectrum of wellness. Therefore, improving the health of the bacteria in the intestine through probiotics may result in many health benefits.
Mary West is a natural health enthusiast, as she believes this area can profoundly enhance wellness. She is the creator of a natural healing website where she focuses on solutions to health problems that work without side effects. You can visit her site and learn more at http://www.alternativemedicinetruth.com. Ms. West is also the author of Fight Cancer Through Powerful Natural Strategies.
After water, tea is the most frequently consumed, cheapest beverage worldwide and one that delivers a host of health benefits. Various studies have linked tea intake with potential cancer-preventative effects, improved heart and metabolic health, and more. While all different types of tea offer general health benefits, certain teas are more effective than others at targeting specific health conditions and ailments. Read on to see what your favorite teas can treat.
One of the more widely studied teas, green tea is full of antioxidants and noted for its polyphenol and flavonoid concentration. These compounds help fight free radicals and combat cell damage, both contributors to certain diseases and health conditions.
Polyphenols are compounds found in natural plant food sources and have antioxidant properties—green tea reportedly contains the highest concentration of the compound. Consumption of green tea and its correlation to polyphenols shows that those who consume the beverage have a stronger defense against ultraviolet radiation and aggression by pathogens compared to those that don’t drink green tea. These polyphenols also appear to have a prebiotic effect as research on green tea found that the polyphenols help balance gut flora by increasing good bacteria and reducing the number of bad bacteria.
Similarly, flavonoids are a group of plant metabolites with potential antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. Green tea is the best food source of a flavonoid group called catechins, which are more powerful than vitamins C and E in halting oxidative damage to cells. Studies have found that these oxidative properties prove an association between consuming green tea and a reduced risk for several cancers.
The polyphenol compounds found in green tea are also present in black tea, but with different types of flavonoids present due to the degree of oxidation during processing where black tea is fermented the longest. While black tea possesses some of the same health attributes of green tea, there are some distinctions.
Black tea contains the most caffeine content of all types of tea, anywhere from 14-70 mg per 8-ounce cup. Also found in the drink is the stimulating substance theophylline, which can speed up heart rate. As such, black tea is commonly used to increase energy. Conversely, while black tea can increase alertness, it also has an effect to decrease stress hormone levels in the body. Studies show that those who drank black tea four times a day for six weeks were found to have lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol in their blood after a stressful event than those who didn’t.
One unique benefit of black tea is that it provides more fluoride per serving than other teas—consuming fluoride can help harden your teeth and prevent cavities. Another interesting finding shows that black tea may help prevent lungs from injury caused by exposure to cigarette smoke.
White tea, uncured and unfermented, is the least processed of all teas. Among the rarer of tea types, white tea may have the strongest potential of all teas to fight cancer. White tea contains greater proportions of antioxidant-rich polyphenols than green tea in addition to also inhibiting mutations more effectively. A study on colon cancer found that white tea consumption inhibited the proliferation of cancer cells and helped protect against further damage.
Research has shown that white tea also outperforms other teas in healthy aging effects—out of a panel of 23 plant extracts, white tea showed the highest inhibiting activity. White tea prevented the activities of enzymes that break down elastin and collagen, which can lead to wrinkles.
Partly fermented, oolong is a traditional Chinese tea. It is lauded for its potential to decrease body fat content and reduce body weight through improving lipid metabolism. Oolong tea has also been linked to reduced ovarian cancer risk—a two-year case-control study with 1,000 participants showed that ovarian cancer risk declined with increasing frequency and duration of overall tea consumption. Lastly, while more studies are necessary, oolong tea has been cited to potentially lower bad cholesterol and hypertension.
Herbal teas are made from herbs, fruits, seeds and roods steeped in hot water and often include varieties of ginger, ginkgo biloba, ginseng, hibiscus, jasmine, rosehip, mint, rooibos and echinacea. While herbal teas generally have lower concentrations of antioxidants than green, white, black, and oolong teas, findings show that certain herbal teas can help with specific issues.
- Hibiscus: Those looking for a more holistic approach to cutting blood pressure should consider hibiscus tea—drinking three cups of herbal tea containing hibiscus each day resulted in a seven-point drop in systolic blood pressure.
- Chamomile: Bioactive phytochemicals found in chamomile have been touted to have therapeutic effects such as reducing anxiety. In many cultures, chamomile tea is particularly used to treat stomach ailments such as diarrhea and indigestion.
- Ginger: Ginger is most widely known as a natural way to soothe stomach discomfort and studies suggest that it can help relieve motion sickness, morning sickness and nausea induced by chemotherapy or surgery.
- Verbena: Verbena tea, sometimes referred to as verbain, is made from the leaves of the purple verbena flower. While further studies are needed to investigate its health benefits, certain chemicals in verbena tea are known to reduce inflammation and treat depression, painful periods, and colic.
- Elderflower: The blossom from the elder tree is lauded as a natural cure for colds that acts as a decongestant and helps clean nasal passages. Studies have shown that use of elderflower shortened the duration of the flu by three days and reduced flu symptoms.
Those with specific issues may consider increased consumption of any of the teas mentioned above to potentially help with particular ailments. The great news is that whichever tea you prefer, it will offer a tasty slew of health benefits with each cup.
So how do different teas get such differing flavors despite being from the same tea leaf? How many teas get their unique flavor profiles and medicinal properties is a rather complicated and interesting process. Here’s a fabulous infographic that explains the tea-making process from the time the leaf is plucked to the pour into your cup.
Brittany DeLong is a health enthusiast and freelance writer and editor based in Sterling, Virginia. For the past eight years she has focused her writing on health, fitness, and lifestyle topics for various publications including The Health Journal, Posh Seven Magazine, and Washington Family Magazine. Brittany earned a master’s degree in electronic publishing from The George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from George Mason University. She is an avid hiker and most recently hiked to the summit of Huayna Picchu in Peru.
If you’re like most Live in the Now readers, you probably eat well and exercise regularly but still wish you felt more vibrant and energized on a daily basis.
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