A common organic compound in animal tissue, but completely absent from plant life, cholesterol (C27H45OH) can be found in the nerve tissue of the brain, spinal cord, liver, kidneys, and adrenal glands. Critical to metabolism, cholesterol acts as a precursor of various steroid hormones (adrenal corticoids, sex hormones, etc.) It can be synthesized in the liver and is a component of bile. Total blood cholesterol is the addition of its two major lipoprotein components: high-density (HDL) and low-density (LDL).
An elevated blood level of cholesterol increases the risk of coronary heart disease (CHD). Conversely, lowering high cholesterol to established "safe levels" reduces the risk. Factors that work to reduce cholesterol include avoidance of smoking and anabolic steroids, and diet (e.g. decreased total dietary fat, decreased percentage of dietary fat derived from cholesterol and saturated fats, saturated fats, etc.)
Orthodox medicine prescribes the following drugs to control cholesterol: clofibrate, bile-acid resins (cholesteryamine, colestipol), gemfibrozil, lovastatin, niacin, and probucol.
levated cholesterol is a common problem in the West. For this
reason, it's a smart idea to have your cholesterol checked at least once
every 5 years. A normal or "desirable" level for most people
is less than 200 mg/dl. Borderline: 200-230 mg/dl. Borderline
high with risk factors includes a family history of premature
coronary artery disease; hypertension; cigarette smoking;
low level of HDL; diabetes; history of stroke; or severe
obesity. High cholesterol: 240 mg/dl or higher.
If you have high cholesterol, or if you are a man in the borderline with one of these risk factors, or a woman with two, your physician will probably put you on a stringent dietary regimen (high fiber, low dietary fat, etc.) or drug treatment, if necessary.
However, taking the right herbs and foods makes an important difference, too. There are literally hundreds of studies, to date, proving the substantial cholesterol-reducing benefits of soy protein. One source for inexpensive soy protein products which are shelf-stable and high in isoflavones is soybean.com, which has its own online store. In addition, note that Neem has moderate cholesterol-reducing benefits. (See the second page of our Neem Common Use Table.) We recommend the regular use of the vegecaps for this purpose.
Note: This information is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the use of a qualified health care professional. We strongly recommend the use of a physician for the diagnostic phase of any treatment. With an accurate diagnosis in hand, we believe the consumer, at that point, has a basic, unalienable right to seek out factual information on all therapeutic approaches, both orthodox and alternative, and chose those approach(es) that are right for them. Nonetheless, a "good doctor" should be considered a requisite starting point.