In past issues, I’ve shown you how cholesterol really isn’t a problem – it’s actually beneficial – unless it becomes oxidized. Oxidation damages cholesterol, much like rust damages metal. Once the cholesterol is damaged, it then causes damage. Most of that damage is seen in your brain and your cardiovascular system (though it affects most of the cells in your body). So it would make sense that oxidized cholesterol would cause high blood pressure.
The evidence for oxidized cholesterol and blood pressure is fairly obvious. It starts with free radicals, which we know cause plaque in your arteries. If your arteries stiffen or narrow, it pushes your blood pressure up. But what’s the connection between free radicals and cholesterol?
Free radicals are actually what cause your LDL cholesterol molecules to oxidize. In other words, the free radicals injure the cholesterol, making it dangerous to the cells that line your vascular system. This is why smokers have such elevated levels of oxidized LDL – cigarette smoke is loaded with free radicals. But smoke isn’t the only culprit. Damaged fats from fried foods have tons of free radicals as well. So the connection is clear. The more important question is what can you do about it?
Well, it’s easier to fix than you might think. Researchers at the University of Granada in Spain recently conducted a study to find out if olive leaf extract can help. These researchers evaluated the effects of olive leaf extract on both pre-hypertensive and hypertensive patients. They wanted to see if it could help lower their blood pressure, improve their blood antioxidant status, and help their lipid profiles as well.
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But that’s not all they looked at. They also wanted to know how it affected oxidized LDL cholesterol, blood nitric oxide levels, and several other markers for heart disease.When the researchers gave the participants the olive leaf extract, it helped 100% of them. It lowered their blood pressure and increased their nitric oxide levels. Plus, they observed that it improved the health of LDL cholesterol and significantly slowed the amount of time it took to oxidize. What’s more, it brought LDL cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels down. This is important, as triglycerides are hard to reduce.As you may know, I’m not a big fan of blood pressure drugs. They force your pressure down rather than correct the cause of the problem. Olive leaf extract works to fix the cause of high blood pressure and doesn’t have any side effects (unlike the drugs). However, if you’ve already started taking the drugs, don’t stop them cold turkey. That can be very dangerous. Instead, work with an integrative physician to wean you off of the drugs.Then consider taking olive leaf extract. It can help lower high blood pressure, high oxidized cholesterol, and high triglycerides. A great formula for addressing all of these issues is Advanced Bionutritionals’ new Mediterranean Cholesterol Formula. It contains olive leaf extract and berberine, which I’ll tell you more about in a future issue of Nutrient Insider. This is one powerful nutrient with which many people are seeing tremendous results, including a decline in belly fat. Combined with the olive leaf extract, this formula packs a mighty one-two punch.
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