Do you know that high cholesterol in the blood is not always considered a risk factor for heart disease or stroke?

In fact, LDL cholesterol is really not “bad”. LDL cholesterol is essential for building good cell membrane, other cell parts and many hormones. The problem with LDL starts only when it is oxidized by free radicals turning it into oxidized LDL, which is “bad” cholesterol.

Oxidized LDL is bad because it triggers a series of inflammation response by the body. First the oxidized LDL irritates the blood vessel lining and injures it. Then, white blood cells come around to remove the oxidized LDL to stop the irritation. But the “bad” cholesterol convert the white blood cells into “foam cells” causing the lining of the blood vessel to swell and thickens forming plaque.

The plaque continues to thicken and build up silently without any signs and symptoms, until it ruptures and clot forms around the rupture, causing a total blockage of the blood vessel.

If the blockage of the blood vessel occurs at the heart, heart attack happened. If the blockage occurs at the brain, it causes a stroke.

What is the true prevention of heart disease and stroke?

If oxidative stress and free radicals attack are the root cause of making cholesterol “bad”, then antioxidants are the key to reducing or preventing the inflammation of the blood vessel, building of plaque and ultimately and heart disease and stroke.

Here are the key antioxidants that will prevent heart disease and stroke

1) Vitamin E

Vitamin E being fat soluble, is important as it resides within the blood vessel wall. It incorporates itself onto LDL cholesterol and prevents it from being oxidized by free radicals. Therefore, LDL cholesterol will not oxidized and turns “bad”

A large-scale research study reported by Daniel Steinberg in the New England Journal of Medicine, May 1993. The study covered 40,000 men and 80,000 women over a few years showed that the use of large dose of Vitamin E supplements was associated with significant reduction in the risk of heart disease.

2) Vitamin C

Vitamin C being water-soluble is a powerful antioxidant that resides in the blood fluid or plasma. It serves to protect the lining of the blood vessel wall, preventing it from being irritated and inflamed.

Vitamin C regenerates the production of Vitamin E, glutathione and they can be used again and again.

3) Bioflavonoids

They are potent antioxidants, anti-inflammatory and are found in colorful fruits and vegetables.  Some examples of active ingredients of bioflavonoid are grape seeds, red wine, pine bark and pomegranate.

As you can see that it is not about your cholesterol level, but whether there are enough antioxidants to prevent the cholesterol from turning “bad”. So, you should take sufficient antioxidants to reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.

What antioxidants are you taking right now? Share with me in the comment box below.

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