Originally published August 5 2008
Niacin and Fruit Effective in Controlling Cholesterol
by Ella Andersen
(NaturalNews) High blood cholesterol is an unfavorable imbalance between HDL (so-called 'good' cholesterol) and LDL ('bad' cholesterol), where there is more LDL to HDL. LDL cholesterol builds up on artery walls, causing clogging, narrowing and hardening of the arteries. This disorder presents no symptoms, and can cause stroke and heart attack; fortunately, there is a way to combat this problematic condition. The vitamin niacin (or vitamin B3), apples and grapes have demonstrated abilities to help control cholesterol levels and support healthy arteries, according to recent research.
Vitamin B3 is primarily known for how it, along with the vitamins riboflavin (B2) and thiamin (B1), facilitates the metabolism of carbohydrates, fats, proteins. In recent news however, a new function for this vitamin has been discovered. In one study, a research team found that niacin helped maintain adequate HDL cholesterol by blocking the liver from removing the HDL cholesterol from the blood. Whilst doing this, this vitamin also allows for an important pathway known as the ‘Reverse Cholesterol Transport’ to work as effectively on other forms of cholesterol, thus maintaining ample HDL cholesterol levels and removing the ‘bad’ forms of cholesterol.
Niacin can be readily found in protein-rich foods such as organic, pastured free-range chicken, or healthy whole beans (preferably sprouted beans). Supplementation of niacin should be monitored carefully, as the upper limit for this vitamin is 35 milligrams (when consumed in the form of nicotinic acid). Since this vitamin is water-soluble, toxicity should not really be a concern if most of this vitamin comes from food sources.
In another study, published in the Molecular Nutrition and Food Research publication, purple grape juice had the strongest effect in maintaining healthy arteries. Purple grapes, apple juice and finally apples had similar and efficient effects. These fruits had such an effect because of the phenols –- an antioxidant -- contained within them along with vitamin C and carotenoids, yielded such favorable results.
Though this is good information regarding the fruit juice, this news should not prompt any one to start wildly consuming fruit juices. Fruit Juices normally contain high amounts of sugar (especially the store bought variety, which should be completely avoided), so diabetics and those who have a history of insulin resistance in their family should avoid large amounts of fruit and fruit juices –- especially if the pulp has been removed. The emphasis should instead be placed on consuming mainly healthy saturated/monounsaturated fats (coconut oil/palm oil, raw butter, avocado fats, etc.); healthy proteins from organic sources; and many raw, organic vegetables like broccoli, kale, spinach, etc.
Generally, even those who do not have a history of insulin resistance/diabetes should avoid high sugary foods; however, due to the high antioxidant content of many raw, organic fruits, consumption of such food stuffs shouldn’t be completely avoided –- remember to eat your vegetables and your fruits, in that order. Moderation is key and an indispensable tool that can aid in a better well-being.
In order to reap the benefits of both vitamin B3 and fruit phenols, a combination of vigilance and moderation is essential. Consumption of natural, organic raw foods is also crucial.
As a rule of thumb, health is a function of moderation, temperance, and self-control. Moderation in sun exposure, moderation in exercise, moderation in carbohydrate consumption: these are all themes that need to be more emphasized. This ‘all or nothing’ and ‘more is better’ attitude needs to cease, giving way to the ever-important moderation that will keep sickness and disease at bay.
About the authorElla Andersen is a college student who intensely researchs topics on health and nutrition. In college, she is furthering her love of nutrition by pursuing a degree in clinical dietetics.
She also runs her own blog:
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