High cholesterol levels are troublesome as it means there is too much ‘bad' cholesterol floating in the blood, which can result in serious complications. The condition does not have any obvious symptoms in the early stages meaning many are unaware until it is too late. Fortunately, there are natural ways to help lower your cholesterol levels and taking either flaxseeds or supplements fish oil could help. How?
Flaxseed and flaxseed oil contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), which is one of the essential omega-3 fatty acids that partly and inefficiently converts more omega-3s in the body.
While flaxseed hasn't yet been shown to improve heart disease risk, there's good evidence that flaxseed and flaxseed oil may lower cholesterol levels.
Flaxseed oil, like fish oil, has been studied for lowering triglycerides.
Flaxseed is being studied for many other conditions, ranging from cancer to diabetes to osteoporosis.
Fish oil is a dietary source of omega-3 fatty acids which is a substance needed by the body for numerous functions, from muscle activity to cell growth.
Omega-3 fatty acids are derived from food and cannot be manufactured in the body.
Fish oil supplements come in liquid, capsule and pill form.
Taking fish oil supplements are known to help with lowering high blood pressure, reducing the risk of heart attacks, to improve symptoms of arthritis and to lower cholesterol levels.
In a study published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, fish oil for the treatment of cardiovascular disease caused by high cholesterol was investigated.
The study noted: "Omega-3 fatty acids, which are found abundantly in fish oil, are increasingly being used in the management of cardiovascular disease.
"It is clear that fish oil, in clinically-used doses, reduces high triglycerides.
"Omega-3 FA most likely reduce serum triglyceride levels by modulating very-low-density lipoprotein and chylomicron metabolism."
The American Heart Association recommends having your cholesterol levels checked every four to six years if you are a healthy adult over the age of 20.
If you have a family history of high cholesterol, it's recommended to have it checked more often.
A person may also need more frequent cholesterol checks if they have a family history of heart attacks or strokes.
As high cholesterol does not cause any major symptoms in the early stages, it's integral for one to make good lifestyle choices by eating a healthy diet, maintaining an exercise routine and regularly monitoring cholesterol levels.