Amla For Cholesterol
Page Medically Reviewed and Edited by Cyrus Khambatta, PhD
In case you didn’t know, heart disease is the number one killer around the world. It impacts one out of every four people, which means that over 700,000 people each year will have a heart attack, or even die from one.
Recent statistics show, most people who have had a heart attack in the past, may be more likely to have a second (or even third) heart attack in the future.
Although lack of exercise and a poor diet may contribute to heart disease, it’s not the main culprit.
In fact, things like high blood pressure, elevated triglycerides, and cholesterol may all pose a risk to your heart health.
However, out of all the conditions above (blood pressure, etc.), cholesterol may be the single risk factor that could significantly increase your heart attack risk.
This is why, taking the steps NOW to reduce your total and LDL cholesterol levels is of the utmost importance if you’re going to protect your heart and live a long and healthy life.
What Is Cholesterol?
Cholesterol is a type of fat found in your blood. It is often made by your liver, therefore increasing circulating cholesterol levels.
Although you can get cholesterol from some of the foods you eat, current research shows that this cholesterol may not pose a significant risk to your health.
There are two different types of cholesterol—a good kind and a bad kind.
The good kind, also called HDL cholesterol, is protective in nature. It protects your heart, because it “sweeps” your arteries clean.
Simply put, HDL cholesterol removes excess cholesterol from your blood, cells, and tissues, and transports it back to your liver for processing.
It may also remove the cholesterol deposited in your arteries, which could lead to
inflammation and blockages that could prevent blood flow.
As you may expect, it’s vitally important that your HDL cholesterol stay high in order to protect you from future heart-related issues.
On the other hand, your “bad” cholesterol, also known as LDL cholesterol, may pose a significant risk to your heart.
Now, when we talk about LDL cholesterol, it’s important to note that there are two different types—one that may not be entirely harmful and the other that is.
You see, LDL cholesterol can be found as either big, buoyant LDL particles, or very tiny, dense particles.
The big buoyant particles may not pose as significant of a risk as the other type.
The small, dense LDL particles, as known as VLDLs, may easily become oxidized, which could lead to it invading the walls of your arteries.
And when this happens, damage occurs, which often leads to an inflammatory response. When this occurs, platelets and other cells are shuttled to the area to heal the damage.
However, this clumping of cells could lead to blockages in the arteries, therefore restricting blood flow to the heart.
And when blood flow is shut off to the heart (either partially or when there are full blockage), a heart attack occurs, which could damage your heart—or even lead to death (depending on where the blockage is).
Although this is a very quick overview of cholesterol, it’s important to note that lowering your cholesterol could improve your heart health and reduce the risk for suffering a heart attack.
So how do you lower cholesterol?
The Different Methods to Lowering Cholesterol
If you have elevated cholesterol, there are plenty of ways to lower your levels and protect your health.
One way to lower cholesterol is by exercising more. Studies consistently show that exercise (both strength training and cardiovascular exercise) may lower total and LDL cholesterol levels, while increasing your HDL cholesterol.
Although this is a simple way to lower your cholesterol, your doctor may not think it will come down fast enough with just exercise, so he/she may prescribe you a type of medication, called a statin, to lower it and cut your risk in half.
Statin medications may carry many side effects that may not be beneficial to your health.
Some of those side effects include:
• Stomach pain
• Abnormal heart beat
• Allergic reactions
• Muscle pain and weakness
• Increased blood sugar
• Liver dysfunction
• Back pain
• Chest pain
• Fluid retention
• Joint pain
Although statin medications may be very effective at lowering your cholesterol …
… the laundry list of side effects associated with statin medications may pale in comparison to the benefits of taking this medication.
There is a better and more effective way to lower your cholesterol, improve your heart health, and cut down on other risk factors associated with other chronic diseases.
And that would be to change your diet. A healthy diet, one that is plant-based, may effectively lower your cholesterol (plus, your blood pressure and triglyceride levels).
Although you should include more healthy proteins and fats, you should also include plenty of superfoods.
And even some you may have never heard of before—like Amla.
Amla, which is another name for Indian gooseberry, is an antioxidant-rich fruit that is native to India, the Middle East, and some parts of Asia.
It’s often used to treat a number of different health conditions, including heart disease and cholesterol issues.
In fact, a study published in 2012, showed that Amla supplementation was just as effective as Simvistatin at lowering cholesterol and reducing cardiovascular disease risk.
The researchers, looking at people with cholesterol levels of 240mg/dl and above, showed that 500 mg capsules of Amla powder was just as effective as Simvistatin at lowering total and LDL cholesterol, while giving the more protective HDL levels a boost.
The Take Home Message on Amla
Heart disease is the leading cause of death among both men and women around the world. One out of every four people will suffer, and possibly die, from a heart attack or some other heart-related disease.
That’s why it’s vitally important to lower your risk factors to protect your heart and improve your longevity.
Even though all the risk factors are important, lowering your cholesterol seems to be the most important.
If your cholesterol is elevated, your doctor may prescribe a statin to lower your cholesterol, which may carry dangerous side effects that may outweigh the benefits of taking a statin.
Luckily, though, there is a way to naturally lower your cholesterol and provide a host of other benefits for your health.
Amla, otherwise known as Indian gooseberry, may be just as effective at lowering cholesterol as some popular statin medications.
And amla doesn’t carry any of the side effects that you would normally see with statin medications. If you’re looking for an all-natural way to protect your heart, then including Amla in Your Diet would be a wise investment for your health and help in reducing cholesterol.
Lower Your Cholesterol And Protect Your Heart With This All-Natural Superfood Elixir called Amla.
Page Medically Reviewed and Edited by
Cyrus Khambatta, PhD
Cyrus Khambatta, PhD, is a cofounder of Mastering Diabetes and Amla Green is an internationally recognized nutrition and fitness coach who has been living with type 1 diabetes since 2002. Using an evidence-based approach to nutrition and fitness, he first reduced his own insulin usage by more than 40%, and has educated thousands of people with all forms of diabetes how to reverse insulin resistance using food as medicine. Cyrus earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University in 2003, then earned a PhD in Nutritional Biochemistry from the University of California at Berkeley in 2012. He is the co-host of the annual Mastering Diabetes Online Summit, a featured speaker at the Plant-Based Nutrition and Healthcare Conference (PBNHC), the American College of Lifestyle Medicine (ACLM) Conference, Plant Stock, and has been featured on Forks Over Knives, NPR, PBS, KQED, Fast Company, and is the author of the upcoming book Mastering Diabetes.
- Kevin DiDonato