The body needs cholesterol for making hormones, digesting dietary fats, building cell walls, and other important processes. The bloodstream that carries cholesterol in particles called lipo-proteins that are like blood-borne cargo trucks delivering cholesterol to various body tissues to be used, stored or excreted. But too much of this circulating cholesterol can injure arteries, especially the coronary ones that supply the heart. This leads to accumulation of cholesterol-laden “plaque” in vessel linings, a condition called atherosclerosis.
When blood flow to the heart is impeded, the heart muscle becomes starved for oxygen, causing chest pain (angina). If a blood clot completely obstructs a coronary artery affected by atherosclerosis, a heart attack (myocardial infarction) or death can occur.
Heart disease is the number one killer of both men and women in the United States. More than 90 million American adults, or about 50 percent, have elevated blood cholesterol levels, one of the key risk factors for heart disease, according to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute’s National Cholesterol Education Program. Cholesterol lowering supplements containing Policosanol or Red Yeast Rice are known to assist in lowering cholesterol levels.
- Policosanol is a natural supplement derived from sugar cane. It is a mixture of eight higher primary aliphatic alcohols isolated and purified from sugar cane wax. One of the newest and more successful substances that benefits those suffering from high cholesterol is Policosanol, which is a safe and natural extract from sugar cane wax. It works by helping the liver control production and breakdown of cholesterol. Policosanol promotes healthy platelet function and helps to maintain cholesterol levels that are already within the normal range.
- Red Yeast Rice is the product of yeast ( Monascus purpureus ) grown on rice, and is served as a dietary staple in some Asian countries. It contains several compounds collectively known as Monacolins, substances known to inhibit cholesterol synthesis. Red Yeast Rice is proposed to be a mild aid for gastric problems (indigestion, diarrhea), blood circulation and spleen and stomach health.