Cholesterol is a naturally occurring substance in all the cells of the body. It is waxy and fat-like.
It is needed by the body to produce hormones like estrogen, cortisol and testosterone. It is also used in the production of vitamin D. Cholesterol is needed for proper functioning of the body.
But, if found in unhealthy amounts, it mixes up with other substances and causes the formation of a substance called plaque which sticks to the wall of the arteries. Plaque is capable of blocking the arteries.
73.5 million adults in the United States suffer from high concentration of bad cholesterol. That is 31.7% of the population.
It is already discussed above that copious amounts of cholesterol is not good for the body. Cholesterol is mainly a lipid(fat). Excess of cholesterol in the body is called ‘Dyslipidemia’.
There are two lipoproteins (proteins associated with lipids/fats) linked with cholesterol. One of them is called Low density lipoprotein (LDL) and the other one is called high density lipoprotein (HDL).
Cholesterol associated and transported by LDL is called LDL cholesterol and cholesterol associated and transported by HDL is called HDL cholesterol. It is usually said that HDL transports “good” cholesterol and LDL transports “bad” cholesterol.
Increase in the level of LDL increases the level of bad cholesterol. This puts the person at high risk of atherosclerosis (blocked arteries), angina pectoris, cardiac arrests etc.
Risk of developing high cholesterol increases with age.
The best way to treat cholesterol problem is by yourself. If a person is overweight/obese, has bad habits like smoking/drinking, have fat-rich foods, etc, they can tackle their cholesterol problems much better if they lose weight/stop smoking and drinking/decrease the amount of fat intake.
Regular physical activity also brings down the amount of cholesterol content in their body.
How Turmeric Benefits In High Cholesterol
Here are a few proven ways by which turmeric lowers high cholesterol
- Oxidised LDL cholesterol is responsible for plaque formation. Turmeric is proven to help in dipping the level of oxidation and also circulation of LDL cholesterol.
- The liver has certain receptors which detect LDL and cholesterol, and then metabolize it; thus reducing the risk for dyslipidemia. Curcumin in turmeric helps in increasing the level of metabolism.
- Turmeric is helpful in suppressing plaque accumulation, hence lowering the risk of atherosclerosis.
- Diabetes is one of the lead causes for cholesterol. Curcumin in turmeric is proven to be effective in managing blood sugar levels.
- Patients suffering from atherosclerosis are said to have benefited by the anti-platelet properties of curcumin.
Best Ways To Take Turmeric For High Cholesterol
Disclaimer – There is no particular prescribed dose of turmeric defined for high cholesterol/hypercholestremia or related condition. Based on the studies and reader’s reports we have summarized various ways of taking turmeric which could benefit in this disorder.
Various clinical studies have confirmed the role of turmeric in high cholesterol and related conditions.
The dosage depends in terms of the formulation and severity of the condition. Here is the recommended dose:
Fresh Turmeric roots
Turmeric roots are a great addition to diet but it is difficult to expect a therapeutic effect from the limited amounts of roots we consume.
Recommended intake: 1-3g or ½ inch long piece of root sliced or chopped. You can also juice it and take it with a pinch of black pepper. This can be a part of your fresh juices or taken individually. You can also make Golden Paste from fresh roots.
Further Read – Is fresh turmeric better then powder?
However if you take turmeric powder straight with black pepper then it would be 1-2 g of turmeric powder with a pinch of black pepper.
In terms of teaspoon that would be 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder with ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper powder twice a day.
Start with small dose and increase gradually. Avoid taking it on an empty stomach. You can also prepare DIY Turmeric Capsules.
Maximum dose: 1 tsp of turmeric powder with ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper thrice a day
Golden Paste combines heat, black pepper and healthy fats to increase the absorption of turmeric.
It is highly recommended to take this paste after/with meals and to avoid taking it close to other medications. (Read Does Turmeric cause acid reflux? Black pepper in GP: Does it cause drug interaction?) Here is the recipe.
You can also make Golden Paste from fresh roots.
Start with small doses such as 1/4-1/2 tsp and if you see no side effects then increase the dose by ¼ teaspoon every week. Continue till reach a dose of 1-2 tsp 2-3 times a day.
This is the ideal dose of Golden Paste where you should experience relief. However the ideal dose differs with every individual; some may need less some may need more.
Thinking of other ways to take Golden Paste read 10 ways to take Golden Paste
Maximum dosage: 1 table spoon 2-3 times a day only advised if you are comfortable taking it and not experiencing gastric side effects.
Turmeric tinctures are great for pain relief and inflammation but much is not known about its efficacy in high cholesterol. Please consult a herbalist regarding the same.
Take 10-30 drops 2-3 times a day depending on the condition. It can be added to teas, juices or smoothies.
Maximum dosage: 20-30 drops 3 times a day
This is a good option for tea lovers and who want to skip the taste of turmeric paste. Here is the recipe for Turmeric Tea.
Recommended intake: 1-2 cups a day
This is just perfect when it comes to combating pain naturally. You can find the recipe for Turmeric Milk here.
Recommended intake: 1-2 cups a day
The recommended dosage for supplements is 300-400mg 2-3 times a day for standardized 95% curcumin extract.
However the dose would differ based on the formulation, hence it is best to consult a doctor before taking turmeric supplements.
Avoid taking supplements on an empty stomach and close to the time of taking medicines. Consult a doctor before taking turmeric supplements.
Turmeric in diet is absolutely safe. Turmeric supplements should be taken with care. (Read Side effects of Turmeric)
If you are taking blood thinners, turmeric supplements should be avoided. Turmeric can be included in diet in small doses. If suffering from a bleeding disorder consult a doctor and herbalist or naturopath before taking turmeric.
Turmeric supplements should be avoided in case of pregnancy and lactation. Discontinue use of turmeric supplements 2 weeks prior to surgery.
Turmeric supplements should be avoided in case of gall bladder obstructions. (Should you take turmeric if you have gallstones?)
Turmeric may interact with certain medications like stomach acid reducing drugs, diabetes medications, blood thinners. Avoid taking turmeric supplements at the same time as medicines.
Consult a health practitioner before taking turmeric supplements.
If harrowed by turmeric stains here is how you can take care of them.
High cholesterol problems are very common all over the world. Simple lifestyle modifications like indulging in less trans fat rich foods, exercising regularly and having a consistent healthy body habits helps in keeping any cholesterol related problems at bay.
As discussed, turmeric has its good share of benefits on controlling cholesterol. Simple lifestyle modifications and incorporation of turmeric in the diet can help in alleviating cholesterol issues naturally.