Cholesterol is a soft, waxy substance found among the lipids (fats) in the bloodstream and in all the body's cells. It is an important part of a healthy body because it's used to form cell membranes and some hormones and is needed for other functions. But high cholesterol in the blood—hypercholesterolemia—is thought to be a major risk factor for coronary heart disease, which can lead to a heart attack or a stroke.
If too much low-density (LDL) cholesterol circulates in the blood, it can slowly build up plaque—a thick, hard deposit—that can clog arteries that feed the heart and brain. This condition is known as arteriosclerosis. If a clot forms near this plaque, it can block the blood flow to part of the heart muscle and cause a heart attack or a stroke. Conversely, medical experts think high-density (HDL) cholesterol tends to carry excess cholesterol away from the arteries and back to the liver, where it is excreted from the body, thus reducing plaque growth and diminishing one's risk for heart disease.
People get cholesterol in two ways. One way is through the body's functioning-mainly the liver-which produces varying amounts of cholesterol. The other way is through the foods we consume. Typically the body makes no more cholesterol than it needs. Some excess dietary cholesterol is removed from the body through the liver.
Everyone should remember that lowering their dietary intake of saturated fats lowers their dietary cholesterol intake. Also, regular physical activity (i.e. walking, gardening, yard work, housework, dancing, swimming, jogging, etc) increases HDL, thereby lowering the risk of heart disease.
Natur-Leaf ® is clinically proven to lower cholesterol absorption. The plant sterols found in Natur-Leaf ® offer effective protection against the low-density cholesterol discovered in many high-fat foods. Studies have shown that the sterols—particularly beta-sitosterol, stigmasterol and campersterol—combine with the lipoprotein cholesterol, or "bad" LDL cholesterol (an important risk factor for heart disease) in the intestine, forming a new, crystalline matrix which cannot be absorbed. The body naturally passes this matrix. Furthermore, in 2000, the FDA ruled that foods containing plant sterols or stanols can state that the product may reduce the risk of heart disease when combined with a diet low in cholesterol and saturated fats.
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