Lipids: What are Lipids?
Lipids are a fat like substance found in the blood stream or stored in the body. Lipids are derived from two main sources, exogenously from food and endogenously made in the liver. Lipids are essential for many body functions such as building cell membranes, brain functioning and to synthesize hormones.
If the lipids are excessive these can stick to the blood vessel walls and form a buildup called plaque, which can block the blood flow to the heart or brain and cause heart attack or stroke.
HDL or the good cholesterol. This prevents the build up of cholesterol in the blood vessels; higher the HDL the better it is.
Triglycerides: When high these can be associated with a higher risk of heart disease.
Natural supplements to help control lipids:
Some of the dietary changes shown to have a beneficial effect are:
• Eating fatty fish or taking Omega 3 fatty acid supplements can lower triglcyerides
• Increasing the daily fiber intake and intake of oatmeal can lower LDL cholesterol
• Intake of walnuts in moderation helps to lower the LDL cholesterol.
• Oils which are healthy to eat are olive oil, rice bran oil and cannola oils which have a high content of monounsaturated fats.
Though these are natural supplements, these should be taken with the advice of a doctor or nutritionist familiar with your lipid levels.
*Data Courtesy: Dr. Preeti Chhabria, M.D., Consultant Internal Medicine, Consultant Lipid clinic, Hinduja Hospital, Mumbai.