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Gamot sa Cholesterol: Natural and Conventional Options

Gamot sa Cholesterol: Natural and Conventional Options

Paano pabababain ang cholesterol natin? Anong gamot sa cholesterol ay tama? If you have been diagnosed with high cholesterol, here are available options in the Philippines. Some of these treatments are effective to prevent high cholesterol while others are for improving your good cholesterol levels. Please take note that the following information is simply a general guide, not a replacement for professional medical advice.

Natural na gamot sa cholesterol

Bitter melon (ampalaya)

gamot sa cholesterol

Ampalaya is one of those foods that people either love or hate. While its taste is extremely bitter, there is no denying its many health benefits.

The entire plant – including the fruit, seeds, and leaves – is used in cooking, teas, and supplements. Aside from lowering cholesterol levels, ampalaya has been shown to help control blood sugar as well.

Garlic (bawang)

No Filipino viand would be complete without a bit of garlic and oil. While we should avoid going overboard with the oil, the more garlic there is, the better.

Not only does garlic add flavor, it is very heart-friendly. Fresh garlic contains the compound allicin which has lipid-lowering, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and even anti-cancer properties.

This all-in-one herb is great for people with hypertension, atherosclerosis, and high cholesterol. However, too much garlic can lead to bad breath and an increased risk of bleeding. So, always eat or take supplements in moderation.

Ginger (luya)

gamot sa cholesterol

Another staple of a Filipino kitchen is ginger. Ginger adds spice and freshness to dishes and makes for a potent cold-fighter when sipped as a tea.

Salabat ginger tea is an age-old remedy. It has antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer benefits. Additionally, it can help ease stomach cramps, nausea, and menstrual problems.

Green tea

Green tea is full of powerful antioxidants that slow down aging and cellular damage. People like to drink tea for its taste and many health benefits. There is data that shows the active ingredients in green tea can help lower cholesterol, boost metabolism, and help you lose weight.

Plus, it has zero calories which makes it a healthy alternative to sweet juices and other soft drinks.

Red yeast rice (angkak)

Originally used as food coloring in China, its health benefits have made it a useful ingredient in traditional Chinese medicine. Angkak is a by-product of fermenting rice with red yeast.

In the Philippines, it is used to preserve food. What’s interesting with angkak is that it has an active ingredient similar to lovastatin (a prescription cholesterol-lowering drug). This is more effective for lowering cholesterol levels compared to other natural remedies.

However, red yeast rice products have been banned in some places due to high amounts of a toxin called citrinin. Citrinin can damage the kidneys, liver, and other organs of the body.

Conventional treatment options

OTC medications

Fish oil capsules

Fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids. Although the word “fat” can be seen, omega-3s are essential fats that our cells use.

Healthy fat is necessary for our skin, brain, and heart health. Omega-3 found in cooked fish or supplements helps lower triglycerides and bad cholesterol. Your doctor may recommend this if your triglycerides are over 200 mg/dL.

Fenugreek supplements

Another popular supplement is fenugreek. Fenugreek is an herb related to soy. Despite its small size, the seeds pack plenty of nutrients, fiber, and active ingredients. Fenugreek seeds and supplements help lower cholesterol, control blood sugar, and can even improve breast milk production.

Prescription medications (gamot sa cholesterol)

Statins

Once your doctor diagnoses you with high cholesterol, statins are often the first-line drug along with a low-fat diet. Statins work by blocking the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase, which is responsible for synthesizing cholesterol in our bodies.

Statins are very effective for lowering cholesterol levels. However, some side effects may include muscle soreness, weakness, and possibly increase blood sugar and damage the liver.

There are several statins available, including:

  • Atorvastatin
  • Lovastatin
  • Rosuvastatin
  • Simvastatin

Fibrates

Fibrates work to remove excess triglycerides and low-density lipoprotein (LDL), which is “bad cholesterol”. It can potentially improve HDL or good cholesterol, as well. These are often used for very high triglyceride levels, with or without statins. Examples of fibrates include fenofibrate and gemfibrozil.

Niacin

Niacin (vitamin B3) is also known as nicotinic acid. While niacin can be found in food and supplements, there are prescription-strength versions of niacin available. Niacin modestly lowers triglycerides, however, it cannot be used alone.

Key takeaways

In summary, there are many medications for lowering cholesterol (gamot sa cholesterol). Before cholesterol becomes a problem, it is best to watch what you eat and get regular exercise.

Try adding more food such as ampalaya, garlic, and green tea into your diet early on. Diet and exercise are a must because medicine alone is not enough to correct high cholesterol and triglyceride levels.

Learn more about managing your cholesterol and maintaining your heart’s health, here.

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Sources

Cholesterol Medications https://www.heart.org/en/health-topics/cholesterol Accessed April 5, 2021

Red yeast rice (Angkak) may lower cholesterol https://www.pchrd.dost.gov.ph/index.php/14-r-d-updates/3185-red-yeast-rice-angkak-may-lower-cholesterol Accessed April 5, 2021

Health Effects of Garlic https://www.aafp.org/afp/2005/0701/p103.html Accessed April 5, 2021

Fenugreek https://www.nccih.nih.gov/health/fenugreek Accessed April 5, 2021

Hypertriglyceridemia Management According to the 2018 AHA/ACC Guideline https://www.acc.org/latest-in-cardiology/articles/2019/01/11/07/39 Accessed April 5, 2021

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Written by Stephanie Nicole Nera, RPh, PharmD Updated 2 weeks ago
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