Hypercholesterolaemia is a condition characterised by an excess of cholesterol in the blood. An alternative term is dyslipidaemia, which encompasses elevated triglycerides, low levels of HDL-C, and high LDL-C (1).
Hypercholesterolaemia is an important risk factor for cardiovascular disease, coronary heart disease and arterial disease and is the leading cause of death for men, women, and people of most racial and ethnic groups in the United States (2).
Following on from Is Resveratrol Worth The Hype? comes the mighty Turmeric. Turmeric is a plant from the same family as ginger and grows natively in the India and Southeast Asia region. It looks very similar to the ginger root, with the bright orange colour of turmeric being the main physical difference.
Much has been touted about the benefits of this little plant compound over the years with lots of claims about its protective influence against cancers, cardiovascular disease and other chronic conditions. The headlines seem to always revolve around drinking wine, unsurprisingly – it’s almost as if we just want to be told to drink more wine, it’s good for you!
While the exact mechanisms by which the components of this diet may improve cardiovascular health does require further research, the cumulative effects of higher fibre intake, antioxidants, healthy fats including the essential fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, protein and complex carbohydrates all appear to contribute to an overall reduction in inflammatory markers (hs-CRP, IL-6,7,18), oxidative stress, endothelial dysfunction, blood pressure, insulin resistance, blood glucose dysregulation, LDL, HDL, total cholesterol levels and body weight (3, 4, 6, 7).
Cardiovascular disease is a favourite topic of mine so when it comes to dietary interventions to prevent and reverse heart disease, the Mediterranean diet (MD) is right up there, alongside a whole-food plant based diet low in sugars as the best dietary choices available.