Turmeric and Cholesterol

Tumeric and Curcumin Information


General Turmeric

Using Turmeric as a Spice

Turmeric and Alzheimers

Turmeric as an Anti-Inflammatory

Turmeric and Arthritis

Turmeric and Atherosclerosis

Turmeric and Cancer

Turmeric and Cataracts

Turmeric and Cholesterol

Turmeric and Crohns Disease

Turmeric and Cystic Fibrosis

Turmeric and Liver Disease

Turmeric and Psoriasis

Research Updates

Cholesterol is a waxy, fat-like substance that is found in the body’s cells and which is used for a variety of purposes. Among other essential functions, it creates the lining of cell walls as well as forming myelin sheaths (a kind of protective coating) around peripheral nerves. Originating for the most part in the liver, cholesterol then travels through the bloodstream in small packages called lipoproteins, which have fat (or lipids) on the inside and proteins on the outside. There are two kinds of these lipoproteins, HDL or High-density lipoprotein (the so-called “good cholesterol”) and LDL, or Low-density lipoprotein (also known as “bad cholesterol”). In fact, cholesterol is more complex than “good” and “bad.” The human body needs some of both kinds of cholesterol in order to function properly, as cholesterol plays an important role in the production of hormones and vitamin D, as well as substances that aid in digestion. However, it should be noted that the body produces all the cholesterol it needs on its own. A body with too much cholesterol risks developing heart disease. Other names for high cholesterol are Hypercholesterolemia and Hyperlipidemia.

High cholesterol levels often lead to heart problems. This happens when cholesterol builds up on the artery walls, forming plaque. An abundance of plaque causes a narrowing of the arteries, which in turn leads to hardening of the arteries, also called atherosclerosis. When the arteries narrow and harden, it becomes more difficult for blood to circulate properly. Moreover, plaque deposits may rupture, releasing fat and cholesterol into the bloodstream. When this happens, platelets in the blood react by clotting which in turn blocks the flow of blood. Such blockage can result in angina (chest pain) or even a heart attack.

The plaque that hardens the arteries is usually blamed on an excess of LDL. Like HDL, LDL is produced naturally by the body. It is also found in certain foods, particularly those that come from animal sources, such as meat, egg yolks, and dairy products. It also exists in foods that contain trans fats. Trans fats result from the hydrogenation of vegetable oil, which is done in order to lengthen the shelf life of many food products.

Preliminary research suggests that turmeric may lower LDL cholesterol levels, as well as prevent LDL from being oxidized. Oxidized LDL has been shown to be largely responsible for promoting atherosclerosis and thereby accelerating the progression of heart disease. A recent study, conducted on rabbits, reported that turmeric may play a significant role in reducing LDL levels. Turmeric’s anti-coagulant properties may also prevent the build up of platelets along the walls of injured blood vessels. Platelets, while essential for preventing excess bleeding and blood loss, can also accidentally block the arteries by forming blood clots at the site of damaged blood vessels.


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