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The word cholesterol has been synonymous with heart disease for as long as we have all been around but there are some common misconceptions about this.

Contrary to popular belief, we need cholesterol in our bodies! This soft, waxy substance is found not only in your bloodstream, but also in every cell in your body, where it helps to produce cell membranes, hormones, vitamin D and bile acids that help you to digest fat. Cholesterol also helps in the formation of your memories and is vital for neurological function.

Be especially careful with medications to lower our cholesterol, commonly known as statin drugs. For starters, statin drugs deplete your body of Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), which is beneficial to heart health and muscle function.  This depletion leads to fatigue, muscle weakness, soreness, and eventually heart failure.

Statin drugs have also been linked to:

· An increased risk of polyneuropathy (nerve damage that causes pain in the hands and feet and trouble walking)

· Dizziness

· Cognitive impairment, including memory loss

· A potential increased risk of cancer

· Decreased function of the immune system

· Depression

· Liver problems, including a potential increase in liver enzymes (so people taking statins must be regularly monitored for normal liver function)

Now if the body's cholesterol gets up to dangerous levels (over 280), then it's time to look for alternative ways to lower it.

Natural ways to lower your cholesterol:

-High quality, animal based omega 3- fats (krill oil, lean meats without hormones or antibiotics)

-Reduce and hopefully eliminate refined sugars from your diet

-Consume as much raw foods as possible (dairy included!)

-Healthy fats such as olive oils, coconuts and coconut oil, avocados, raw nuts, seeds, organic and cage free eggs (yes, EGGS!!!!)

-Consistent exercise (at least 20-30 minutes per day)

-Avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption

-Yoga and meditation techniques

If you have any questions or need further advice, please feel free to contact Baratta Chiropractic and Wellness Center at 916-979-0716 for a complimentary consultation.

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