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What is Beta-sitosterol?
Beta-sitosterol is plant sterol found in almost all plants. It is one of the main subcomponents of a group of plant sterols known as phytosterols. It is white in colour and waxy in nature. It has a chemical structure that is very similar to cholesterol. High levels of Beta-sitosterol are found in rice bran, wheat germ, corn oils, and soybeans Beta-sitosterol is the most abundant phytosterol in the diet. (See Phytosterols.)
It is also widely distributed in the plant kingdom and found in such botanicals as Serenoa repens (saw palmetto), Curcurbita pepo (pumpkin seed) and Pygeum africanum. These three botanicals are used in the herbal management of benign prostatic hypertrophy (BPH). There is some belief that beta-sitosterol plays some role in the possible benefits of these herbs in BPH. Beta-sitosterol itself is used as a medicine in Europe for BPH. INDICATIONS AND USAGE
Beta-sitosterol may be helpful in some with BPH.
A review of four double-blind, placebo-controlled studies that tested the efficacy of beta-sitosterol in men with symptomatic benign prostatic hyperplasia concluded that the phytosterol significantly improved urological symptoms and flow measure in those subjects. These trials included 519 men and lasted four to 26 weeks.
The latter did not improve flow volume. The reviewers cautioned that, despite positive results to date, "the existing studies are limited by short treatment and lack of standardized beta-sitosterol preparations. Their long-term effectiveness, safety and ability to prevent the complications of benign prostatic hyperplasia are unknown.
The benefits of Beta Sitosterol are as follows:-
Beta-sitosterol Controlling Cholesterol
Beta-sitosterol has been known to reduce cholesterol levels over the last three decades. Its close chemical resemblance to cholesterol enables it to block the absorption of cholesterol by competitive inhibition. Although beta-sitosterol is not well absorbed by the body (5-10%), when consumed with cholesterol it effectively blocks cholesterol's absorption, resulting in lower serum cholesterol levels. Beta-sitosterol has also been shown to improve lipoprotein (HDL, LDL) profiles.
Beta-sitosterol Promoting Prostate Health
In preventing and treating prostrate problems like benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), herbs such as saw palmetto extract, Pygeum africanum, and stinging nettle and pumpkin seeds are recommended.
Beta-sitosterol Anti-Cancer Effects
Beta-sitosterol acts against cancer. It is found to reduce the growth of human prostate and colon cancer cells. It also acts against lymphocytic leukemia.
It appears that diets high in vegetables and fruits prevent cancer to a certain degree. Soybeans are superb sources of protein that reduces the risk of cancer too. Beta-sitosterol is one of the key compounds in soybeans that suppress carcinogenosis.
Beta-sitosterol Boosts Immunity
Beta-sitosterol may give a boost to competitive athletes who often suffer from immune suppression and reduced inflammatory response during their intense training periods and competitions.
Beta-sitosterol Normalizes Blood Sugar
Beta-sitosterol has been shown to normalize blood sugar and insulin levels in Type II diabetics by stimulating the release of insulin in the presence of non-stimulatory glucose concentrations, and inhibiting glucose-6-phosphatase.
In the liver, the enzyme glucose-6-phosphatase is the primary pathway for conversion of dietary carbohydrates to blood sugar. Glucose-6-phosphatase dephosphorylates glucose-6-phosphate to yield free D-glucose. Free D-glucose passes into the blood, thus elevating blood sugar levels.
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Reduce Cholesterol - How I Keep A Fascinating Diet To Reduce Cholesterol Without Drugs
A month ago, I received news that a former colleague of mine collapsed in his office, and had a sudden massive heart attack and did not survive the night to see his family. He was in his early fifties.
The cardiologist recommended immediate hospitalisation and he was operated on for a triple coronary bypass within days.
This incident motivated another former colleague to have his blood checked for cholesterol. Without that bypass, this friend would likely encounter a fatal massive coronary heart attack.
These two ghastly incidents jarred me into researching ways to bring down my own level of cholesterol, and to read medical books on cholesterol. In my research, what amazed me was there were safe and effective ways to lower blood cholesterol and hence reduce the probability of a heart attack.
I was encouraged that it was possible to cut the risk of heart attack by more than half by limiting the amount of cholesterol produced by the body, and increase the amount of cholesterol eliminated by the body.
I discovered a fascinating diet of oatbran and a vitamin called Naicin that was being used by hundreds of concerned individuals throughout the world, popularized by the medical writer Robert E. Kowalski in his program and best-seller "The 8-Week Cholesterol Cure".
Oatbran contains soluble fibre that encourages the liver to produce bile acids. The more oatbran that is consumed, the more bile acids are produced, and excreted from the body. These bile acids draw the cholesterol from the blood, and therefore remove the cholesterol from the body when they are excreted. This means the chances for a congested artery is much reduced.
I was encouraged by the numbers. A study showed that six males who ate a high-fibre diet containing 50 grams of oat bran daily were able to maintain a 23.5 % decrease from their original cholesterol levels.
To me this was a convenient and natural strategy to reduce my personal cholesterol. It was a matter of getting down to the supermarket and to buy a packet of 500 grams oatbran.
By taking half a cup of oatbran a day, which is equivalent to some 50 gram of oatbran, a single packet of 500 grams will last me for around 2 weeks.
Now, I am not a great baker, and so I did not start by making oatbran muffins which is actually a great way to consume the oatbran. Instead, I mix the oatbran in a hot chocolate drink, consuming 25 grams of oatbran twice a day to get the 50 grams of oatbran.
As for the vitamin Naicin, I was encouraged that as far back as in 1975 the United States Coronary Drug Project singled out Naicin as being responsible for a 29 percent reduction in nonfatal heart attacks.
I have Naicin in the multivitamins I consume daily, and so I am not opting for single larger intake of this vitamin, and will prefer to let the soluble fibre of the oatbran to do its work.
It took one fatal case of a heart attack and a triple coronary bypass on another friend of mine to jolt me into serious action to take control of my cholesterol.
It is time to take some action to lower your cholesterol if you have been postponing this. Of course, you may opt for exercise and a balanced diet as well. It is never too late to begin a structured personal program to take control of your cholesterol.
Peter Lim is a Certified Financial Planner. In researching for natural methods to reduce his personal cholesterol, Peter has compiled a website that he hopes will be of help to many others who are concerned about cholesterol. You can access the website for free at http://reduce-cholesterol.get-health.info
All of us have been raised to believe that "milk does a body good" or "milk is a natural" or "milk is nature's perfect food." How could it not be? We associate milk with our first foods and our mothers. It is because of this association that many of us are more emotionally attached to milk and dairy products than any other food.
Because we have been so heavily indoctrinated by our culture and the dairy industry itself, you may be confused whether milk is good for you or not.
Let's take a close look at what our white and supposedly pure, wholesome drink has in it, and you decide for yourself whether milk is good for you and your health and fitness, or not.
1. Milk contains fat. * Whole milk, or 3% milk, contains 50% fat * Low-fat milk, or 1% to 2% milk, contains 24% to 33% fat * Skim milk contains 4% to 7% fat (yes, even skim milk has some fat) * Many cheeses contain 70% fat
Who needs or wants the extra fat in our bodies? Not only does extra fat cause many conditions and diseases, such as cancer, diabetes, strokes, gallstones, and heart attacks, but we also wear it right where we don't it--on our stomachs, hips, thighs, and butts.
2. Milk is also loaded with cholesterol--that same waxy substance that clogs up our arteries and veins and leads to heart attacks, cancer, high blood pressure, strokes, and many other conditions and diseases.
3. Milk contains milk sugar. It just so happens that an estimated 70% of the world is intolerant to the sugar in milk. Intolerance to the sugar in milk causes discomfort, gas, bloating, and other digestive problems.
4. Milk protein presents another set of problems.
* Little problems linked to milk protein may be:
o Allergies o Ear infections o Asthma o Sinus infections o Colds o Eczema o Bed-wetting o Fatigue o Mood swings o Excess mucous - Did you ever experience or notice in others that you tend to have a runny nose and you are often draining and sniffing, particularly in the mornings? Often that excess drainage or mucous is caused from the protein in dairy products, along with other mucous-producing foods that you eat on a daily basis.
* Big problems linked to the protein in milk: o Rheumatoid arthritis o Lupus o Type 1 diabetes o Inflammation in the kidneys o Inflammation in the arteries o Iron deficiency anemia o Heart disease
Yes, all of these conditions have been linked to the protein in milk.
Along with the fat, cholesterol, milk sugar, and milk protein, milk and milk products may contain contaminants, such as:
* E.coli * Salmonella * Tuberculosis * Listeria (in cheese) * Bovine leukemia * Bovine aids - Bovine leukemia and bovine aids virus can now be found, so I have read, in about 60% of all dairy herds * Pesticides * Hormones (eBGH, eBST, IGF) - Cows make their own hormones that come through the milk, and, if that is not bad enough, to increase a cow's natural production of milk, cow's are often given growth hormones. These hormones get into the milk. There are many experts who believe that cancers thrive on these hormones. In other words, there is a high correlation between the hormones found in cow's milk and many cancers, such as breast cancer, prostate cancer, and ovarian cancer. * Antibiotics - Because cows are artificially forced by extra hormones to produce more milk than nature intended, they often get udder infections. They are then given antibiotics for these infections. Did you know that all milk is allowed to contain a certain percentage of pus for it to meet government regulations?
With all the fat, cholesterol, milk sugar, milk protein, and contaminants that come in a glass of milk, why drink it?
People are the only mammals that continue to drink milk after they are weaned and that milk comes from another mammal at that.
Cow's milk is the perfect food--the perfect food for baby cows that can grow up to 800 pounds in a year.
Does it not make more sense to drink pure water or, even better, homemade fresh fruit and vegetable juices?
And for all you cheese lovers out there, including myself, cheese is the same thing as milk only worse. Cheese contains a whole bunch more fat (cheddar cheese is about 70% fat), salt, dyes, and more chemicals than milk.
Just as a reminder, yogurt is not a health food. It too is made from milk.
So the next time you see one of those athletes or movie stars or T.V. hosts don a fake white mustache, ask yourself two questions:
First, "Got how much fat, cholesterol, milk sugar, protein, hormones, and contaminants?"
Second, "Got how much money to wear that white mustache?"
There is only one reason to drink milk or eat cheese or yogurt, and that is because you like it and choose to consume it, not because it is necessary or even good for human health and fitness.
Dr. Leslie Van Romer is a motivational health speaker, writer and lifestyle coach. Visit Dr. Leslie at Http://DrLeslieVanRomer.com for practical direction, hope and inspiration.
The cholesterol is actually a fat-like waxy substance produced by the liver from saturated fat in your diet. The cholesterol plays a vital role in many functions of the body such as in building and repairing the hormone cells and producing bile acids. But when the cholesterol level becomes elevated it can be very dangerous as high cholesterol level build-up in the blood causes clogging, which is very much responsible for heart disease and stroke.
Types of Cholesterol
The cholesterol in our body can broadly be divided into two types i.e. HDL or Good Cholesterol and LDL or Bad Cholesterol. The 'HDL' or the good cholesterol is very useful in fighting the risk of heart attack and stroke as they are usually made of more protein than that of triglycerides or cholesterol. The 'LDL' cholesterol or bad cholesterol is mainly responsible in the clogging up the system. Therefore they lead to a much higher risk of different heart disease and stroke.
The benefits of lowering Cholesterol
There is no doubt that lowering LDL cholesterol has huge benefit in bringing the total cholesterol of our body down to a safe level. The main benefits of lowering the LDL cholesterol are as follows:
1) The chances of heart attack and stroke is decreased. 2) The formation of new cholesterol plaques is reduced. 3) The existing plaques are also eliminated. 4) It also prevents the rupture of present plaques
The Different methods of lowering Cholesterol
The different methods of lowering the raised cholesterol in our body are as follows:
Cholesterol Lowering Drugs: There are various drugs which are prescribed by the physicians and are proved to be successful in lowering cholesterol level.
Natural and Herbal Supplements: There are several natural and herbal supplements such as Policosanol, Guggul, Curcumin, Pantethine, Garlic, Fish-Oil, Niacin, Beta Carotene, etc. are very effective in managing the high cholesterol level and helps in reducing the risk of heart disease.
Cholesterol Lowering Foods: Whole-grain breads, cereals, rice, beans, avocados, almonds, olive oil, soybeans, garlic, mushrooms, oat bran, onions can lower your LDL cholesterol in a short span of time. Foods high in fiber like leafy vegetables and fruits with low cholesterol are ideal for daily meals.
Regular Doctor's check up: The best course of action for lowering our cholesterol level is to do regular check up by the physician.
Total cholesterol level can be determined through a simple blood test, and in fact, an at-home test kit is available and can be just as accurate as the standard tests procured in a doctor's office. So how do you know if you're at risk for heart disease or blood clots from cholesterol? The first step is to know your 'number'. In other words, have your cholesterol level checked.
240 mg/dL and over - People with cholesterol levels over 240mg/dL are at increased risk for heart attack and stroke. If your cholesterol level is 240 mg/dL or greater, consult your doctor and follow his/her advice on lowering that level.
200-239 mg/dL - Consult your doctor. Your doctor will be best equipped to interpret the results and test further for LDL andHDL levels.
Less than 200 mg/dL - This is where your cholesterol level should be. Even so, to ensure that you have the right balance - more HDL than LDL cholesterol - you should follow the Guidelines for Healthy Living.
Although these levels are important guidelines, they do not give the whole picture - they are really just rough guidelines. The LDL cholesterol level is a more important indicator of overall cardiovascular health, but having your cholesterol level checked will not necessarily give you your LDL cholesterol number.
Less then 130 is optimal; 130-159 is borderline, increasing your risk for heart disease; 160 or greater puts you at greater risk for heart disease.
Less then 40 increases your risk for heart disease; 60 or greater decreases your risk.
Traditional cholesterol testing is a good indicator for assessing heart disease and stroke risk; however, there are many variables that can not be controlled in this traditional testing, such as genes, race, age and past medical history. A person may appear 'heart healthy', at a good weight, fit, and eating a balanced diet, and still have unacceptable cholesterol levels. On the other hand, another person may have acceptable cholesterol levels - even acceptable HDL cholesterol levels - and still be at risk for heart disease. There is still much research to be done on cholesterol and our bodies' manufacture and control of cholesterol levels.
Fortunately, there is another test available, rather than the traditional cholesterol testing, which provides a more in-depth study of cholesterol levels. This is the VAP, or Verticle Auto Profile. This test not only indicates the HDL and LDL cholesterol levels, but also provides an analysis of the many subclasses of cholesterol and it offers a more comprehensive indication of who may be at an increased risk of heart disease. In fact, statistics show that the VAP has a 90% detection rate for persons at risk for heart disease, whereas traditional cholesterol testing may miss up to 60% of the patients at risk! Please see the VAP website for more information on the importance of this test, especially for anyone at risk for heart disease, and for information on taking the VAP.
Elizabeth McNally is a certified RN and has worked in heath care for the past 30 years. For more information go to http://www.cholesterolinfo.net
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Help Lower Cholesterol - According to American Heart Association figures, there are more than 50 percent of Americans who have less than desirable cholesterol levels. This means that every other person in the United States is at risk for heart disease due to high cholesterol levels.
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