According to a recent report put out by MSNBC.com new studies show that many men may be able to lower their risk of acquiring the most aggressive form of prostate cancer if they keep their cholesterol levels in a healthy range.
The report states that men whose cholesterol was under 200 had less than half the risk of developing high-grade prostate tumors compared to men with high cholesterol. This information comes from about 6,000 men who participated in a federal cancer prevention study.
While having high cholesterol is typically a consequence of aging, young people are not in the clear either. Luckily there are preventive measures that anyone can do to help lower their cholesterol levels.
In fact, with simple lifestyle modifications — and, if necessary, drug therapy — people often see significant reductions in cholesterol within six weeks.
There are four basic ways to help maintain a healthy cholesterol level:
1. Eat a Healthy Diet- One of the first things to do when trying to lower cholesterol is to take in less saturated fat and eat more smart fats. Try substituting canola oil or olive oil for vegetable oil, butter, margarine and substitute meat for fish. Fruits and vegetables, including whole grains, are good sources of heart-healthy antioxidants but also cholesterol-lowering dietary fiber.
2. Exercise- In addition to lowering LDL or bad cholesterol, regular physical activity can raise HDL or good cholesterol by up to 10%. Even more benefits can be acquired with moderate exercise. Try getting a pedometer and aim for 10,000 steps a day. And try to at least fit in a regimen of brisk walking at least five days a week.
3. Quit Smoking- Smoking lowers levels of HDL or good cholesterol and is a major risk factor for heart disease. So if you haven’t already, try to stop this unhealthy habit.
4. Consider Medication- According to WebMD lifestyle modifications are important, but the benefits of medication, when appropriate, should also be considered. Several types of cholesterol-lowering medication are available, including niacin, bile acid resins, and fibrates. But statins are the treatment of choice for most individuals and can lower LDL cholesterol by 20% to 50%.
Some people will need to implement only one of these, while others may require a combination of these tips to help regulate their cholesterol.