High Cholesterol / Arteriosclerosis

Cholesterol has always been dubbed as the "bad fat" in certain foods and the main cause of blood vessel disease. These two entities have also been treated as the two main causes of heart attacks and strokes in South Africans

Frequently Asked Questions

  • 1What is High Cholesterol and Arteriosclerosis?
  • 2What other very important conditions contribute to Arteriosclerosis?
  • 3Why is only treating high cholesterol levels not enough to protect against Atherosclerosis?
  • 4How does Endothelial Dysfunction cause Arteriosclerosis?
  • 5What are the other atherogenic factors that cause Endothelial Dysfunction?
  • 6What are the symptoms?
  • 7How is it managed at Health Renewal?
  • 8What nutraceuticals are recommended?
  • 9What are the risks and complications of this disease and its management?
  • 10Can a wellness gene test be done at Health Renewal?
  • 11Why should one not self-medicate?
  • 12How do I get started?
  • 13How do we treat this at Health Renewal?
  • 14What should you bring along to your appointment with your Health Renewal doctor?
  • 15What is the cost of the extended consultation with the Health Renewal doctor?
  • 16How often should I see the integrative Doctor?
  • 17Health Renewal tip: How does one prevent Arteriosclerosis?
  • 18Can one do a genetic test/gene screening at Health Renewal to detect familial Hypercholestrolaemia?
  • 19Health Renewal's 10 Inspiring Quotes For Healthy Living:

Cholesterol has always been dubbed as the "bad fat" in certain foods and the main cause of blood vessel disease (Arteriosclerosis). These two entities have also been treated as the two main causes of heart attacks and strokes.

A survey of high cholesterol levels in South Africa (total cholesterol greater than 5 mmol/L) revealed that the majority of our adult Coloured, Indian and White population suffer from high cholesterol.

In these population groups:

High cholesterol increases the risk of a heart attack. The lowering of cholesterol is important for everyone: whether you are young or old, male or female, suffering from heart disease, or not.

The nasty fact is that in people over the age of 45, heart disease and stroke overtake HIV/AIDS as the leading cause of death among South Africans! It is important to remember that by lowering cholesterol that is too high you lessen your risk for developing heart disease and possibly dying from a heart attack.

Also remember, your cholesterol can be controlled.

Excess "bad cholesterol" (LDL) has the ability to clog up our arteries whereas "good cholesterol" (HDL) can do the opposite. Most cholesterol medications lower the LDL found in our blood, but doesn't do much for the HDL.

Another very important discovery over the last few years is that cholesterol is not the only culprit in this whole disease process. Many new conditions have been identified which can be remembered by the acronym HOEK;

  • Elevated Homocysteine levels
  • Oxidised cholestrol particles
  • Endothelial (the inner wall of vessels) dysfunction,
  • Vit K 2 deficiency

Having any of these associated conditions can be just as dangerous, if not more dangerous, than having high cholesterol levels. So just doing a cholesterol test or lipogram is not enough. We have to screen for these entities too which can be improved with certain nutraceuticals. We cannot over emphasize the role Nutraceuticals play in this whole process.

The solution that traditional / mainstream physicians recommend most often is cholesterol-lowering drugs, which target only a very small number of the numerous factors that contribute to cardiovascular disease. In the view of mainstream medicine, blood vessels have been thought of as stiff pipes that gradually become clogged with excess cholesterol circulating in the bloodstream. Most individuals have a flawed fundamental understanding of the disease. The fact is, long before any symptoms are clinically evident, vascular disease begins as a malfunction of specialized cells that line our arteries. These cells, called endothelial cells, are the key to atherosclerosis and underlying endothelial dysfunction is the central feature of this dreaded disease. Regrettably, mainstream medicine has failed to identify and correct all of the cardiovascular disease risk factors. This means that people wishing to stave off atherosclerosis must take matters into their own hands or see an integrative Doctor to ensure that all underlying causes are effectively neutralized.

If people do not take steps to correct the endothelial dysfunction occurring in their aging bodies, the consequence will be a worsening of the epidemic of arterial disease that currently kills 30% of all people worldwide (American Heart Association: Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics 2010). Mainstream medicine continuously fails patients by prescribing drugs such as statins (Zocor, Lipitor, Crestor amongst others) that address only a very small number of risk factors that contribute to the pathogenesis of vascular disease. In addition, these statins reduce Co enzyme Q10, a vital anti oxidant necessary to prevent oxidation of LDL particles. Aging individuals must address all of the underlying factors that contribute to endothelial dysfunction if they are striving to protect themselves from the ravages of vascular disease.

Endothelial Dysfunction is the underlying cause of all Vascular Diseases as the cause and progression of vascular disease is intimately related to the health of the inner arterial wall. Blood vessels are composed of three layers. The outer layer is mostly connective tissue and provides structure to the layers beneath. The middle layer is smooth muscle; it contracts and dilates to control blood flow and maintain blood pressure.

The inner lining consists of a thin layer of endothelial cells (the endothelium), which provides a smooth, protective surface. Endothelial cells prevent toxic, blood-borne substances from penetrating the smooth muscle of the blood vessel.

As we age, a barrage of atherogenic factors (see below) if left unchecked, can damage the delicate endothelial cells. This damage leads to endothelial dysfunction and ultimately allows lipids and toxins to penetrate the endothelial layer and enter the smooth muscle cells. This results in the initiation of an oxidative and inflammatory cascade that culminates in the development of plaque deposits. Subsequently, these plaques begin to calcify and, over time, become prone to rupture. If a plaque deposit ruptures, the result can result in a deadly blood clot.

Numerous factors that directly contribute to endothelial dysfunction have been identified and aging individuals can easily assess their risk for vascular disease through Blood testing. The results of these blood tests can then be used to develop targeted intervention strategies to modify levels of risk factors that do not fall within an optimal range. Atherogenic factors that all aging individuals must be aware of include:

Elevated LDL cholesterol:

LDL is dangerous because it can penetrate the endothelial wall and contribute to the creation foam cells, which form the core of a plaque deposit. Oxidized LDL cholesterol (LDL that has been exposed to free radicals) within the endothelium also triggers an inflammatory process that accelerates vascular disease. We recommend keeping LDL cholesterol levels below 1.8mmol/l.

Low HDL cholesterol.

HDL protects against vascular disease by transporting cholesterol from the blood vessel wall back to the liver for disposal through a process known as reverse cholesterol transport. If HDL levels are low, then reverse cholesterol transport becomes inefficient, allowing for increased accumulation of cholesterol in the vessel wall. HDL levels of at least 1.3 to 1.6 mmol/l are recommended for optimal vascular protection.

Elevated triglycerides.

Triglycerides interact with LDL cholesterol to form a particularly dangerous sub-type of LDL known as small-dense LDL. Small-dense LDL particles penetrate the endothelial layer and contribute to plaque formation much more efficiently than larger, more buoyant LDL particles. We recommend keeping fasting triglycerides below 1 mmol/l limit the formation of small-dense LDL particles.

Oxidized LDL.

The Oxidation of LDL results in severe vascular damage. Thousands of studies now reveal how oxidized LDL contributes to the entire atherogenic process from start to finish. Commercial blood tests are not yet available at affordable prices to measure oxidized LDL. Aging individuals should ASSUME their endogenous antioxidant levels (superoxide dismutase, catalase, and glutathione) are being depleted and that the oxidation of their LDL is progressively worsening. Many of the nutrient suggestions in this protocol afford considerable protection against LDL oxidation.

Hypertension.

High blood pressure is known to aggravate endothelial dysfunction and leading researchers have identified the endothelium as an “end organ” for damage caused by high blood pressure. We suggests a target optimal blood pressure of 115/75 mmHg (or lower).

Elevated C-reactive protein.

Inflammation is central to the endothelial dysfunction that underlies vascular disease. An effective way to measure inflammation is through a high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (CRP) blood test. Studies have shown that higher levels of CRP are associated with increased risk of stroke, heart attack, and peripheral vascular disease . Stroke patients with the highest CRP levels are two to three times more likely to die or experience a new vascular event within a year than are patients with the lowest levels.

Elevated Lp-PLA2.

Like CRP, Lp-PLA2 is a marker of inflammation. However, Lp-PLA2 is a much more specific measure of vascular inflammation than CRP. Lp-PLA2 is an enzyme secreted by inflamed vascular plaque, thus the quantity of it in circulation correlates with the amount of inflamed plaque in the blood vessels. Levels of Lp-PLA2 above 200 ng/mL are indicative of heightened levels of vascular plaque buildup.

Elevated omega-6:omega-3 ratio.

High levels of pro-inflammatory omega-6 fatty acids relative to anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids create an environment that fosters inflammation and contributes to vascular disease. It has been shown that lowering the omega-6:omega-3 ratio significantly decreases atherosclerotic lesion size and reduces numerous measures of inflammation. We recommends maintaining a blood omega-6:omega-3 ratio of less than 4:1.

Elevated glucose.

High circulating levels of blood glucose (and insulin) cause microvascular damage that accelerates the atherogenic process, partly by contributing to endothelial dysfunction. It has been shown that a fasting blood glucose level of greater than 4.7 mmol/l significantly increases risk of cardiovascular related mortality. We suggests keeping fasting blood glucose levels below 4.8 mmol/ l.

Excess insulin.

As we age, we lose our ability to utilize insulin to effectively drive blood glucose into energy-producing cells. As glucose levels rise in the blood, the pancreas compensates by producing more insulin. As “insulin resistance” worsens, even more insulin is secreted in attempt to restore glucose control. Excess insulin is associated with a significantly greater risk of heart disease. Health Renewal suggests keeping fasting insulin below 5 mcIU/mL.

Elevated homocysteine.

High homocysteine levels damage endothelial cells and contribute to the initial pathogenesis vascular disease. Homocysteine levels are associated with risk of heart disease. To keep homocysteine-induced endothelial damage to a minimum, levels of homocysteine should be kept below 7-8 µmol/L.

Elevated fibrinogen.

When a blood clot forms, fibrinogen is converted to fibrin, which forms the structural matrix of a blood clot. Fibrinogen also facilitates platelet adherence to endothelial cells. People with high levels of fibrinogen are more than twice as likely to die of a heart attack or stroke as people with normal fibrinogen levels. In a review which included data for over 154,000 patients, every 100 mg/dL increase in fibrinogen levels was associated with a significantly increased risk of developing coronary heart disease, stroke, and with vascular related mortality. This risk goes up even more in the presence of hypertension Fibrinogen levels should be kept between 295 to 369 mg/dl.

Insufficient vitamin D3.

Vitamin D protects against vascular disease via several different mechanisms, including reducing chronic inflammatory reactions that contribute to the pathology of the disease. It has been shown that low vitamin D levels are associated with increased cardiovascular mortality. Health Renewal suggests maintaining a 25-hydroxy vitamin D3 blood level of 50 – 80 ng/mL.

Insufficient vitamin K 2.

Vitamin K is essential for regulating proteins in the body that direct calcium to the bones and keep it out of the arterial wall. Low vitamin K 2 status predisposes aging humans to vascular calcification, chronic inflammation, and sharply higher heart attack risks. There is a substantial amount of evidence that suggests that supplementation with vitamin K (Ac MK-7) easily corrects the vitamin K deficits that are so common among in the first world today.

Low testosterone and excess estrogen (in men).

Numerous studies link low testosterone (and excess estradiol) with increased heart attack and stroke risk . Testosterone is intimately involved in the reverse cholesterol transport process, which removes cholesterol from the arterial wall by HDL. Excess estrogen is linked with higher C-reactive protein and a greater propensity for abnormal blood clots to form in arteries, causing a sudden heart attack or stroke. Men should keep their free testosterone in a range of 20 – 25 pg/mL and their estradiol levels between 20 – 30 pg/mL.

Insufficient CoQ10.

Supplemental CoQ10 alters the pathology of vascular diseases and has the potential for prevention of vascular disease through the inhibition of LDL cholesterol oxidation and by the maintenance of optimal cellular and mitochondrial function throughout the ravages of time and internal and external stresses. The attainment of higher blood levels of CoQ10 (> 3.5 micrograms/mL) with the use of higher doses of CoQ10 appears to enhance both the magnitude and rate of clinical improvement.

Nitric oxide deficit.

Nitric oxide is an important messenger molecule required for healthy cardiovascular function. Nitric oxide enables blood vessels to expand and contract with youthful elasticity and is vital to maintaining the structural integrity of the endothelium, thus protecting against vascular disease. Even when all other risk factors are controlled for, the age-related decline in endothelial nitric oxide too often causes accelerated vascular disease unless corrective measures are taken.

As with conditions like hypertension, there usually are no Symptoms. Your first symptom could be a heart attack or angina (chest pain associated with this condition). By this time it means that the blood vessels are so narrowed, that not enough blood is getting through to the heart. Screening for this condition is our most powerful weapon. What makes symptom classification so difficult with this is the fact that angina can feel exactly the same as indigestion. In fact, a heart attack can mimic the symptoms of indigestion or anxiety exactly.

The most important thing is screening for the condition. This is mainly done with a short questionnaire, history taking and blood tests. Depending on the results of these three entities a very specific treatment protocol is drawn up for the individual taking into account aspects like gender, age, family history, stress, weight, blood results and a few more. A healthy lifestyle is very important. No supplement or medication can replace a healthy lifestyle, but they certainly can help you achieve and maintain it.

You cannot run a brand new Ferrari petrol engine on diesel. You need the right fuel for the job. Supplementation plays this role. The readily available foods are not what they need to be in order to satisfy our daily health needs.

Health Renewal strongly recommends that people who have already had a heart attack (or other episode of heart disease) discuss aspirin therapy with their Health Renewal doctor as part of a strategy to prevent future problems. We also suggests that people with no previous history of cardiovascular disease—but who are nevertheless at high risk for heart disease—strongly consider aspirin therapy in consultation with their personal physician. See prescription medication: aspirin.

The recommended dose for preventing heart-related problems is 81-325 mg daily. Speak with your doctor about your personal needs before beginning aspirin therapy which prevents clots. Aspirin helps blood flow more smoothly past any plaque that is narrowing an artery, and if a plaque ruptures, aspirin will reduce the likelihood of a clot clinging to it. Aspirin can also help prevent heart disease through its anti-inflammatory action. Inflammation participates in many disease processes in the body, including plaque accumulation in the arteries.

Another very important discovery over the last few years is the cholesterol is not the only culprit in this whole disease process. Many new conditions have been identified, especially endothelial ( the inner wall of vessels) dysfunction, oxidised cholestrol particles and elevated homocysteine levels etc. Having any of these associated conditions can be just as dangerous, if not more dangerous, than having high cholesterol levels. By just doing a cholesterol test or lopogram is not enough. We have to screen for these entities too which can be improved with certain nutraceuticals. We cannot over emphasize the role Nutraceuticals play in this whole process.

The different causes of cholesterol issues and arteriosclerosis makes it impossible to give a simple answer to this question. It is based on the individual. If taking a simple medication for cholesterol was enough, we would not see the increase in fatal heart attacks in younger individuals as we are currently. A holistic approach is needed and imperative. With arteriosclerosis, the supplements are individually tailored. Please do not self medicate. Self Medicating is done when a person takes prescription medication or nutraceuticals on their own without a doctor's supervision and/or consent. By doing this, vital deficiencies or conditions may be missed. There is no single supplement given to all clients with arteriosclerosis. The doctor will decide, based on your examination, history and blood tests, what would be the best for you and your specific needs and/or deficiencies.

  • Male hormone balancing /Replacement
  • Female hormone balancing /Replacement
  • Vitamin B12 (as methylcobalamin): L-carnitine, Standardized pomegranate, Pycnogenol, Resveratrol extract, Co-enzyme Q10 (as ubiquinol), L-arginine, R-lipoic acid, Aged garlic extract, Ginkgo biloba extract, Green Tea; standardized extract, Quercetin, Vitamin C, E, K2 and B6, Niacin, Aspirin.

Vitamin K2 is steadily gaining attention for its ability to reduce vascular calcification and help prevent vascular disease. A study in showed that higher vitamin K2 intake was associated with a 20% decreased risk of coronary artery calcification. Vit K2 redirects calcium to the place where it is needed (the bones) and out from the arteries where it causes arteriosclerosis and the resulting vascular disease. See Vitamin K2 webpage

In a nutshell: Death. Or even worse, to a certain extent, destruction of quality of life. A severe but non-fatal stroke can render you bedridden. You might suffer severe brain damage. A severe non-fatal heart attack can weaken the heart so much that you are left with heart failure. Which means you live with a weakened heart that eventually will just not cope. We cannot sugar coat this as it is THAT serious. This disease entity is killing our nation. If the right combinations of Nutraceuticals and possibly, if needed, medication is used, the side effects are minimal to none. If you compare this to the previous paragraph, it's an easy choice.

A multi-gene DNA test can routinely be added to assessment of:

  • blood cholesterol and
  • glucose levels,
  • blood pressure and
  • body mass index (BMI) as part of Wellness Programs offered by healthcare practitioners.

It includes analysis of variation in clinically useful genes that may contribute to:

  • abnormal cholesterol levels,
  • homocysteine accumulation,
  • blood clotting,
  • iron overload and
  • inflammation.

Some of these abnormalities contribute to the development of type II diabetes, obesity and hypertension. Oxidative stress, detoxification of carcinogens and oestrogen exposure are also important considerations in this context.

This pathology supported genetic test is performed in conjunction with assessment of any food allergy or intolerances known to be associated with many chronic disorders. The results of the genetic test are combined with clinical indicators and lifestyle factors to identify a combination of risk factors that may lead to disease development or progression, if left untreated.

For all health conditions, the nutraceuticals are individually tailored by the Health Renewal Doctor. The doctor will decide- based on your history, physical examination and blood tests what would be the best for you and your specific needs and/or deficiencies. It cannot be overemphasized that one must not self-medicate. Self-Medicating is done when a person takes prescription medication or nutraceuticals on their own without a doctor's supervision and/or consent. By not having a physical examination and blood testing done by a qualified and practising integrative medical practitioner, you could be not treating vital deficiencies or conditions such as elevated blood pressure, high sugar level, high stress levels (that can lead to adrenal burnout) and high blood clotting factors that could lead to heart attacks and stroke. In addition, aggressive program of dietary supplementation should not be launched without the supervision of a qualified physician. Several of the nutrients suggested in this protocol may have adverse effects. There is no single supplement prescribed to clients as there is no magic bullet that can support all the essential nutrients that one's body needs. Today's food is not functional and we need to supplement in order to maintain optimal bodily functions and nutrition.

Make an appointment to consult with your Health Renewal Doctor who is an integrative doctor and he/she will assist you in determining your risk factors and how best to prevent any problems or conditions that you may be susceptible to. The importance of early management of any condition cannot be overstated. Once certain conditions set in and damage to organs occurs, complete recovery may be difficult to attain. Best results for prevention and longevity is early detection of a possible problem combined with conventional treatments, nutritional supplements and a healthy diet and lifestyle.

The initial medical consultation at Health Renewal will be approximately 45 minutes. As this is a prolonged medical consultation, the initial consultation fee will be R 975 on arrival (for non loyalty programme members) you will have to complete an in depth questionnaire before the consultation so please arrive 20 minutes before the time. During the 45 minute consultation your Health Renewal doctor will obtain a FULL medical history from you to determine your personal risk. A physical examination will be done after which the Doctor will decide which blood tests need to be requested from your local pathology laboratory. If you have a medical aid, these should be able to be claimed as well.

Once your blood results are received, they will then be analyzed by your Health Renewal doctor who will begin working on a unique prescription plan for you with the compounding pharmacy. At your pre-scheduled second appointment 2 weeks later, the results and examination findings will be discussed with you. This will determine what abnormalities or deficiencies exist and you will be advised on your treatment options. These options may range from prescription medications, nutraceuticals, bio-identical hormonal creams/tablets or alternatively to having bio-identical implants/pellets inserted.

In office treatments such as Carboxytherapy may also be recommended for certain conditions such as hair loss, erectile dysfunction ED, menopause or PMS. If you need to lose weight our Body Renewal Medical Weight loss program may be recommended. All these recommendations will be summarised on a sheet / print out which you can take home with you. The nutraceuticals offered at Health Renewal are of superior quality (Solgar) and are not rancid nor contain Hg (mercury ) or PCB'S (which is very important for Omega 3 Essential fatty acids EFA's). They are also free of gluten, preservatives, wheat, dairy, soy, yeast, sugar, artificial flavour, sweetener and colour. We have a great professional team made up of doctors, trained and registered nurses and therapists to support you at any time.

1. You are kindly requested to bring any supplements that you are currently taking, along to your consultation. The doctor can check the ingredients in take this into account when prescribing a treatment plan for you.

2. Also, if you have had any blood work done in the past 6 months, please bring the results along to the consultation. Should you not be in possession of the hard copies, please request these results from the lab you visited. Usually your ID number is sufficient.

Depending on the exact prescription given, you may be required to return to the doctor within 1-4 months’ time, in order to ensure optimum hormone levels are achieved. This will be determined by a repeat blood test and may be requested by your Health Renewal doctor.

You should ensure that you are current with your gynaecological visits/breast exams/mammograms (for female patients) and prostate exams (for male patients) as recommended by your GP/gynaecologist.

Fees:

  • The fee for the initial consultation and evaluation of 45 minutes is R975. A deposit of R400 is required up front in order to secure your consultation with the doctor. This advance payment goes towards your consultation fee. Proof of payment needs to be received one week in advance of appointment email. Please see banking and contact details below. This consultation fee may be claimed back from your medical aid depending on which kind of medical over you have.
  • A second follow up consultation is essential in order for the doctor to assess your blood work and prescribe a personalised treatment plan for you. Another deposit of R400 will be required to secure the second consultation.
  • All subsequent follow up consultations with the doctor will be charged at R650 for 30 minute consultations. This may be amended from time to time at the practice’s discretion.
  • You may pay for your consultation by cash, credit card or EFT.
  • BIHRT prescriptions must be paid for prior to ordering, as each patient’s prescription is unique to his/her own needs, and you will receive an invoice advising you of the cost.
  • The patient is responsible for paying all consultation and prescription fees to Skin, Body and Health Renewal – regrettably we do not accept medical aid.
  • An added bonus is that not only improving your health and well being , any nutraceuticals purchased will go towards loyalty points at any Skin, Body and Health Renewal branches

Depending on which form of supplementation you and your Health Renewal Doctor have decided on, one could expect to follow up with your physician from anything between every 3 months to once every 6 months.

The importance of early management of any condition cannot be overstated. Once certain conditions set in and damage to organs occurs, complete recovery may be difficult to attain. Best results for prevention and longevity is early detection of a possible problem combined with conventional treatments, nutritional supplements and a healthy diet andlifestyle.

Your lifestyle has the single greatest impact on your HDL cholesterol. Even small changes to your daily habits can help you meet your HDL target.

Don't smoke. If you smoke, quit. Quitting smoking can increase your HDL cholesterol by up to 10 percent. Quitting isn't easy, but you can increase your odds of success by trying more than one strategy at a time. Talk with your doctor about your options for quitting.

Lose weight. Extra pounds take a toll on HDL cholesterol. If you're overweight, losing even a few kilos can improve your HDL level. For every 2.7 kilograms you lose, your HDL may increase by 0.03 mmol/L. The Body Renewal Medical Weight loss program is offered at Body Renewal. If the program is strictly adhered to patients lose between 8 and 12 kilograms a month, generally find it quite easy, and feel good with high energy levels.

Turn off your fat switch by limiting your fructore intake

Limit your total fructose intake to less than 25g per day (which is equivalent to 2 low fructose fruits) as Fructose can increase your hunger and lead to overeating by triggering changes in your brain. Fructose-containing sugars cause obesity by turning on your fat switch. Effective treatment of obesity requires turning off your fat switch (limiting fructose) and improving the function of your cells' mitochondria.

Limit fructose from fruit to 15 grams a day. For example 1 cup berries contains between 3 to 4g of fructose, an orange 6.1g, a banana 7.1g, an apple 9.5g, 1 cup grapes 12.4 g & 1/2 mango 16.2 g. Fructose is also metabolized to fat in your body far more rapidly than any other sugar, and the metabolism of fructose by your liver creates a long list of waste products and toxins, including a large amount of uric acid, which drives up blood pressure and can cause gout.

High fructose diets will lead to obesity,insulin resistance, fatty liver, and high triglycerides, signs of inflammation, vascular disease, and high blood pressure. Fruit juices are high in Fructose, so strict avoidance is recommended. Likewise, honey is very high in fructose. A far safer alternative is to use pure glucose (dextrose) or Stevia or Xylitol.

Get more physical activity. Within two months of starting, frequent aerobic exercise can increase HDL cholesterol by about 5 percent in otherwise healthy sedentary adults. Your best bet for increasing HDL cholesterol is to exercise briskly for 30 minutes five times a week. Examples of brisk, aerobic exercise include walking, running, cycling, swimming, playing basketball and raking leaves — anything that increases your heart rate. You can also break up your daily activity into three 10-minute segments if you're having difficulty finding time to exercise. Make sure to incorporate high intensity interval training ( peak fitness) at least once or twice a week.

Choose healthier fats such as olive oil and coconut oil. A healthy diet includes some fat, but there's a limit. In a heart-healthy diet, between 25 and 35 percent of your total daily calories can come from fat — but saturated fat should account for less than 7 percent of your total daily calories. Avoid foods that contain saturated and trans fats such as cakes and biscuits , which raise LDL cholesterol and damage your blood vessels.

Monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats — found in olive and coconut oils — tend to improve HDL's anti-inflammatory abilities. Nuts, such as walnuts, almonds and Brazil nuts, fish and other foods containing omega-3 fatty acids are other good choices for improving your LDL cholesterol to HDL cholesterol ratio. Some foods may have a healthy effect on blood cholesterol levels. Some options include:

  • Whole grains, such as oatmeal, oat bran and whole-wheat products

If you're currently taking medications, talk to your doctor before starting any supplement to avoid potential harmful interactions.

Drink alcohol only in moderation. Moderate use of alcohol has been linked with higher levels of HDL cholesterol. If you choose to drink alcohol, do so in moderation. For healthy adults, that means up to one drink a day for women of all ages and men older than age 65, and up to two drinks a day for men age 65 and younger. If you don't drink alcohol, don't start just to try raising your HDL levels.

Get an appropriate amount of sunlight (6 to 10 mins per day) on your skin (not face) to optimize your vitamin D3 levels. It has been calculated that if you expose your skin to sun in a bathing suit long enough to produce slight redness of the skin, you'll produce the equivalent of 10,000-25,000 IU of oral vitamin D. Just five to ten minutes in the sun two to three times a week, exposing your hands, legs, and arms, is more than adequate to satisfy your vitamin D requirements, and you're not likely to significantly increase your risk of skin cancer in the process. Optimal Vit D 3 levels are between 50 and 80 mmol/ml.

Get plenty of sleep in terms of its effect on your metabolism and weight, lack of sleep has been shown to affect levels of leptin and ghrelin—two of the hormones linked with appetite and eating behavior. When you are sleep deprived, your body decreases production of leptin, the hormone that tells your brain there is no need for more food, while increasing levels of ghrelin, a hormone that triggers hunger. (These are the same hormones detrimentally affected by a high-fructose diet, as discussed above).

Manage your stress with exercise, meditation, yoga, prayer etc.

Yes, one can do a DNA test/Genescreen that consists of two components for disease diagnosis and gene-based intervention:

  • A population-specific familial hypercholesterolaemia (FH) test including 8 gene defects in the LDL receptor gene.
  • A globally applicable multi-gene cardiovascular disease (CVD) test including multiple mutations in genes involved in lipid metabolism, folate metabolism, blood clotting and iron overload.

The FH gene test is usually performed in patients with high cholesterol levels and a family history of early-onset coronary heart disease.

The CVD multi-gene test is applicable in any person at risk of CVD and related disorders, including venous thrombosis that may also be related to pregnancy complications, vascular dementia, and inherited iron overload (haemochromatosis). Confirmation or exclusion of FH, irrespective of whether the diagnosis of this lipid disorder is made on the clinical or DNA level, forms the basis of the Cardiovascular Genescreen. The results of the genetic test and the lipid profile are combined with clinical indicators and lifestyle factors to identify a combination of risk factors that may lead to disease development or progression, if left untreated.

"Guard your heart for it is the wellspring of life."

Here are ten quotes from great thinkers to challenge, motivate and inspire us to exercise, eat right and live healthier lives: Health and intellect are the two blessings of life.

  • "Cheerfulness is the best promoter of health and is as friendly to the mind as to the body." - Joseph Addison
  • “We can, and must, develop dialogue and relatedness with our body because it’s talking to us all the time. And please remember, your body loves you. It does everything it can to keep you alive and functioning. You can feed it garbage, and it will take it and digest it for you. You can deprive it of sleep, but still it gets you up and running next morning. You can drink too much alcohol, and it will eliminate it from your system. It loves you unconditionally and does its best to allow you to live the life you came here for. The real issue in this relationship is not whether your body loves you, but whether you love your body. In any relationship, if one partner is loving, faithful and supportive, it’s easy for the other to take that person for granted. That’s what most of us do with our bodies. It is time for you to shift this, and working to understand your cravings is one of the best places to begin. Then you can build a mutually loving relationship with your own body.” ― Joshua Rosenthal, Integrative Nutrition: Feed Your Hunger for Health and Happiness
  • "A wise man should consider that health is the greatest of human blessings, and learn how by his own thought to derive benefit from his illnesses. - Hippocrates
  • "You know, all that really matters is that the people you love are happy and healthy. Everything else is just sprinkles on the sundae." - Paul Walker
  • “Since the experience is different for each individual, the tension will reflect that experience. In some persons the whole lower half of the body is relatively immobilized and held in a passive state; in others the muscular tensions are localized in the pelvic floor and around the genital apparatus. If the latter sort of tension is severe, it constitutes a functional castration; for, although the genitals operate normally, they are dissociated in feeling from the rest of the body. Any reduction of sexual feeling amounts to a psychological castration. Generally the person is unaware of these muscular tensions, but putting pressure upon the muscles in the attempt to release the tension is often experienced as very painful and frightening.”
  • “When our emotional health is in a bad state, so is our level of self-esteem. We have to slow down and deal with what is troubling us, so that we can enjoy the simple joy of being happy and at peace with ourselves.” ― Jess C. Scott, Clear: A Guide to Treating Acne Naturally
  • “About eighty percent of the food on shelves of supermarkets today didn't exist 100 years ago.” ― Larry McCleary, Feed Your Brain, Lose Your Belly
  • “It is your brain that decides to get you out of bed in the morning to exercise, to give you a stronger, leaner body, or to cause you to hit the snooze button and procrastinate your workout. It is your brain that pushes you away from the table telling you that you have had enough, or that gives you permission to have the second bowl of Rocky Road ice cream, making you look and feel like a blob. It is your brain that manages the stress in your life and relaxes you so that you look vibrant, or, when left unchecked, sends stress signals to the rest of your body and wrinkles your skin. And it is your brain that turns away cigarettes, too much caffeine, and alcohol, helping you look and feel healthy, or that gives you permission to smoke, to have that third cup of coffee, or to drink that third glass of wine, thus making every system in your body look and feel older.Your brain is the command and control center of your body. If you want a better body, the first place to ALWAYS start is by having a better brain.” ― Daniel G. Amen, Change Your Brain, Change Your Body: Use Your Brain to Get and Keep the Body You Have Always Wanted
  • “The center [of the supermarket] is for boxed, frozen, processed, made-to-sit-on-your-shelf-for-months food. You have to ask yourself, "If this food is designed to sit in a box for month and months, what is it doing inside my body?" Nothing good, that´s for sure.” ― Morgan Spurlock, Don't Eat This Book: Fast Food and the Supersizing of America

Reviews

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*Please note results may vary by individuals.
Review -Dr Burt Jooste
Reviewed on 15 September 2014 by Anonymous*

The first time I visited Dr Jooste was the 09 June 2014. Dr did blood test to see what the problem was... he found quite a bit of problems. He gave me medicine for treating the problem he had found and while I am drinking it I lost weight from June till now - I have lost 13 kg. Shows what the Doctor can do. I believe in him even my husband said he is good, he solves my problems!

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