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Management of Hyperlipidemia

Tieraona Low Dog, MD, David Riley, MD

Atherosclerosis is the major cause of coronary heart disease and one of the leading causes of death in the United States. While genetic variables contribute to the development of the disease in some individuals, the real tragedy is the fact that many deaths could be prevented by eating a low fat diet, exercising regularly, not smoking and maintaining a healthy body weight. New medical research is evaluating the interplay between plaque formation in atherosclerosis and inflammation with new evidence suggesting that C-reactive protein—a marker for inflammation— may be of primary importance in evaluating risks in heart disease. This section will focus primarily on the use of therapeutic lifestyle changes and the current state of evidence for diet, botanicals, and nutritional supplements that are commonly used for the prevention and treatment of coronary heart disease (CHD). LIPIDS Cholesterol and triglycerides comprise the major plasma lipids found in the body and are essential for human health. Cholesterol can be synthesized by the liver or absorbed through the intestine from dietary sources. It is an important component of cell membranes and serves as a precursor to bile acids and steroid hormones.

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