Vitamin B3 (niacin) health benefits

B3 imageI recently found some health-related documentaries on Netflix that are pretty good. You may already know some of them, like “Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead”, “Food, Inc”, and “Hungry for Change”, all of which are excellent.

Check them out if you haven’t already.

The one that really caught my attention though, is called “Food Matters”. It’s a little more laid-back in approach than the others, with mostly experts talking.

The theme of the film is how much your health could be improved by eating more healthy food, and not relying on the standard drugs and surgery approach to healthcare.

I was aware of several of the topics covered, such as mega-dose vitamin C to prevent and treat various illnesses and infections.

The thing that I hadn’t really heard about before was that Vitamin B3, also known as niacin, can be used to treat depression and lower your blood cholesterol. [Read more…]

High blood cholesterol – why is it bad for you?

burger with stethoscopeWhat is cholesterol anyway?

Cholesterol is a kind of fat that you eat as a normal part of the diet. You also produce your own cholesterol in your liver.

Cholesterol is essential in your body. It is used to produce steroid hormones (testosterone, estrogen, aldosterone, cortisol, and so on), and it is important to make our body cells flexible.

So why does cholesterol get such a bad press?

High levels of cholesterol in the blood, also known as hypercholesterolemia, has been linked with all sorts of health problems, mostly due to blood vessel damage.

You may have heard about “good” cholesterol and “bad cholesterol”, but really there is only one kind of cholesterol (a bit of an oversimplification but we don’t want to go mad here). It is where the cholesterol is found that makes it good or bad, and how much of it there is.

You may also have heard of LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, total cholesterol, dietary cholesterol, endogenous cholesterol, and so on. What I thought I might do here is try to make some sense of cholesterol and why too much of it can be bad for you. [Read more…]