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Does Lowering Cholesterol Prevent Heart Attacks?

Published by Dr. Venn-Watson
Dr. Eric Venn-Watson’s Highlights

Heart disease, also known as cardiovascular disease, is the leading cause of death among Americans. Taking care of our hearts is important and multifaceted — cholesterol levels, blood pressure, weight, and physical activity all play a role in ensuring our hearts are healthy.

If you’re considering lowering your cholesterol levels, you’re off to a good start. LDL cholesterol, or “bad” cholesterol,” can increase your risk of developing heart disease and stroke.

We’ll talk about what causes heart attacks, how cholesterol plays a role in heart health, and what you can do to take care of your heart and stay out of the high-risk zone.

What Is a Heart Attack?

For someone who leads a healthy lifestyle, it’s hard to imagine ever worrying about a heart attack. However, heart disease is somewhat of a silent killer, and your risk of heart disease could be higher than you think.

A heart attack happens when the flow of blood to the heart is blocked in the coronary arteries which feed blood to the heart. This blockage can happen as the result of coronary heart disease, which causes a buildup of plaque in the arteries over time, or as the result of plaque that breaks off and lodges in the arteries, preventing blood flow.

What Causes a Heart Attack?

The American Heart Association states that the underlying cases of both heart attack and heart failure (when the heart cannot effectively pump blood to the rest of the body) are poor lifestyle habits like:

  • Obesity
  • Smoking
  • Lack of exercise
  • Eating foods too high in cholesterol and unhealthy fats
  • Long term, chronic stress
  • High blood pressure

A combination of these factors can cause stress on the heart and create conditions in the arteries that cause plaque to build.

How Does Cholesterol Affect Heart Health?

Cholesterol levels affect heart health because excess cholesterol can collect in the arteries that supply blood to and from the heart. If your doctor diagnosed you with high cholesterol, they may have placed you on statins to help keep your cholesterol numbers lower.

Where Does Cholesterol Come From?

There are two sources of cholesterol: your food and your liver. Your body needs cholesterol to function properly, but you don’t technically need to get cholesterol from dietary sources. Your liver makes all your body needs.

What Are the Different Types of Cholesterol?

There are several different types of cholesterol. LDL, HDL, and V-LDL are cholesterol readings you’ll see if you get a lipid panel.

  • Low-density lipoprotein (LDL). This is often referred to as “bad” cholesterol. Your health care provider relies heavily on this number to determine your risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
  • High-density lipoprotein (HDL). This type of cholesterol is referred to as “good” cholesterol. Higher circulating levels of HDL can help lower your circulating levels of LDL cholesterol.
  • Very low-density lipoprotein (VLDL). This type of cholesterol carries triglycerides, or fats, through your blood to transport them to the body tissues that need them.

Your total cholesterol is the measure of all your cholesterol numbers together. Lower cholesterol levels are considered anything under 200 mg/dL. High blood cholesterol is thought to be a measurement over 249 mg/dL. People with high cholesterol may have a greater heart disease risk and carry a higher risk of a heart attack than people with healthy cholesterol levels.

Your Blood Vessels

Your blood vessel health is crucial to your heart health. The development of plaque in your arteries and blood vessels is called atherosclerosis, a condition that leads to heart attack and stroke.

Lowing your blood cholesterol numbers by even 10% can help decrease your risk of developing heart disease and risk of heart attack by 30%. That’s great news, considering that it’s possible to lower your blood cholesterol levels by simply making some lifestyle changes.

How Can You Reduce Your Cholesterol?

High cholesterol numbers can be concerning, but you can take action to live a healthier lifestyle and reduce your risk of developing heart disease.

Exercise

You may be able to lower your risk of cardiovascular disease and improve your mood at the same time by simply moving more. Just 30 minutes of heart-pumping exercise per day can help lower your cholesterol numbers, shed pounds, and improve your mood.

Eat a Heart-Healthy Diet

Diets high in sodium and trans fats can lead to a higher risk of heart disease. Eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains is essential for keeping your cholesterol numbers within a healthy range and improving your vascular health.

Cellular Support

Your heart health, as well as the health of your entire body, begins in your cells.

When our cells are not healthy, we aren’t healthy. The good news? Supporting your cells can be as easy as using a supplement that research shows keeps them healthy and can even help reverse cellular aging.

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Fatty15: Protect Your Cells, Love Your Heart

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  • Improved cardiometabolic health. C15:0 binds to PPAR receptors throughout our bodies. PPARs help to regulate our metabolism, including our cholesterol levels! This helps to explain why daily fatty15 supplementation can help to directly support heart health.
  • Cell membrane support. As we age, our cell membranes often weaken. C15:0 is a sturdy fatty acid that integrates into cell membranes to fortify them and protect them against premature breakdown.
  • Mitochondrial function. Aging cells begin to lose mitochondrial efficiency, which can result in the formation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) that can do damage to cells. C15:0 improves mitochondrial function by 45%, prevents the formation of ROS, and keeps the ‘power houses of our cells’ producing power!

Although we can get C15:0 from consuming whole-fat dairy products like butter and cream, these foods come with additional calories and sugars.

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Fatty15 is the first and only supplement to contain the pure-powder, vegan-friendly version of C15:0, FA15™. Just one capsule per day can help you support your cells, resulting in a healthier you.

If high cholesterol is a problem for you, following these recommendations may lead to improved cholesterol values and improved heart health. Additionally, supplementing your diet with fatty15 can also help support healthy cholesterol numbers and promote heart health. Fatty15 gives you the ability to take charge of your heart health, beginning at the cellular level. Get started with fatty15 today here.

Sources:

High cholesterol - Symptoms and causes | Mayo Clinic

What Causes Heart Failure? | Heart.org

4 Exercises to Lower Cholesterol | Cleveland Clinic

​​VLDL cholesterol: Is it harmful? | Mayo Clinic

Profile photo for Eric Venn-Watson

Eric Venn-Watson M.D.

Eric is a physician, U.S. Navy veteran, and Co-founder and COO of Seraphina Therapeutics. Eric served over 25 years as a Navy and Marine Corps physician, working with the special forces community to improve their health and fitness. Seraphina Therapeutics is a health and wellness company dedicated to advancing global health through the discovery of essential fatty acids and micronutrient therapeutics.

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