Elevated apolipoprotein B can mean a higher risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, specifically those that impact blood vessel functions. If your blood test shows high ApoB, working closely with your doctor is recommended to better understand your lipid profile. In addition, check out these five natural ways to lower ApoB, which can supplement the treatment prescribed by your doctor.
|What Is ApoB? ApoB, or apolipoprotein B, is a protein involved in the metabolism and transportation of lipids. It is a part of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and very-low-density lipoprotein (VLDL) particles containing cholesterol and triglycerides.|
- Consume Plant Sterol and Stanols
Sterols and stanols can be found in specific types of plants. They are naturally occurring compounds that share a similar molecular structure with cholesterol, contributing to their ability to block cholesterol absorption in the intestines. For this reason, stanols and sterols have sealed their reputation as supplements for LDL reduction. However, this does not make them an absolute substitute for cholesterol-lowering medications or therapies, as more clinical trials are needed to form solid science-backed evidence.
Examples of plants rich in sterols and stanols include the following:
- Sesame seeds
- Sunflower seeds
- Wheat germ
Keep in mind, however, that before you add some of these food items to your grocery list, you have to be sure you don’t have an underlying allergy or intolerance toward them. Review your family history and check for any recent reactions to eating such foods. You can also consult a nutritionist or your primary care provider to be sure.
- Do Moderate-Intensity Aerobic Exercises
Getting physically active improves lipid management, including lowering your ApoB. Regular exercise allows you to use more energy, which may utilize stored glucose in fat (glycogen). This can significantly reduce fat accumulation over time.
Consider doing moderate-intensity aerobic exercises to help lower your bad cholesterol. You can choose from activities like brisk walking, swimming or water aerobics, bicycling, jogging, and pilates. If you wish to start with something simple, try these light physical activities you can do at home.
- Add Garlic to Your Diet
Garlic is not just an herb for many types of meals. It’s also a medicinal plant with a wide range of health benefits. One advantage that garlic is popularly known for is its role in helping manage cholesterol levels.
A 2022 scientific review published in the Frontiers in Pharmacology has shown that garlic possesses anti-inflammatory, hypolipidemic (ability to lower lipoproteins), and antiatherogenic (inhibiting plaque formation) properties. These make garlic an ideal supplement for people at risk of cardiovascular disease, including those with high ApoB.
However, further clinical studies are needed to uncover the exact mechanism of how these properties come into play with garlic’s role in managing lipids. Nonetheless, with the nutrients and other natural health-boosting compounds found in garlic, don’t hesitate to add the herb to your diet.
- Eat Red Yeast Rice
In Chinese culture, Red Yeast Rice is a traditional food and medicinal product made by fermenting rice with Monascus purpureus red yeast, which produces a compound called monacolin K.
A 2022 systematic review published in the Frontiers of Pharmacology highlighted monacolin K as the main lipid-lowering component of Red Yeast Rice (RYR). Monacolin K inhibits the 3-hydroxy-3-methyl-glutaryl-coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase enzyme, which produces cholesterol. By inhibiting this enzyme, RYR reduces cholesterol production, including ApoB-containing lipoproteins.
This mechanism is similar to statin drugs, such as lovastatin. RYR supplementation has been shown to effectively reduce LDL cholesterol levels by 15-34% compared to placebo. This leads to potential benefits in managing hypercholesterolemia (high bad cholesterol) and reducing cardiovascular risk.
- Practice Stress Management Techniques
Stress is known to increase the risk of lipid disorders, including changes in ApoB levels. Chronic stress triggers the constant release of cortisol, a hormone directly related to stress responses. This impacts blood flow and blood pressure, contributing to lipid transport in the bloodstream.
Fortunately, you can manage stress by practicing mindful meditation, doing breathing exercises, getting physically active, engaging in hobbies, and connecting with other people. If chronic stress has a deeper impact on your regular routine, consider booking a consultation with a mental health professional.
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Understanding Apolipoprotein B
The role of ApoB proteins in assessing your risk of atherosclerosis and other cardiovascular diseases boils down to its job to help transport lipids in the bloodstream and its contribution to plaque formation. Thus, if you get high ApoB in an Apolipoprotein B blood test, it could indicate a higher risk for cardiovascular disorders.
Apolipoprotein B proteins are encoded by the APOB gene in humans. They can be classified into two types based on the gene that produces them. It can be apolipoprotein B-48 and apolipoprotein B-100.
Apolipoprotein B-48 is produced in the intestine and helps deliver fat and cholesterol from the intestine into the bloodstream. On the other hand, Apolipoprotein B-100 is synthesized in the liver and found in various lipoproteins. It allows LDLs (low-density lipoproteins) to attach to specific receptors on cells, facilitating cholesterol breakdown and release.
Managing ApoB and Keeping Track of Progress
To effectively lower your ApoB levels, it’s imperative to monitor them regularly. Your doctor can order an ApoB lab test to assess your cardiovascular risk and see how your efforts to lower high ApoB progress over time. This way, you can evaluate the effectiveness of your lifestyle changes and make any necessary adjustments.
In addition to ApoB levels, you can monitor other lipid parameters with the instruction and guidance of your healthcare provider. Some of the most common health health blood tests include the following:
- Lipid Panel Blood Test
- Comprehensive Lipid Profile Blood Test
- Lipid Panel with LDL/HDL Ratio Blood Test
- Triglycerides Blood Test
- Cholesterol Follow-Up Blood Test
|Check out our other guides on heart health management and risk assessment:💡How Serious Is Holiday Heart Syndrome?💡Widow Maker Heart Attack: What Is It and How Does It Happen?💡How to Check Your Heart Health After the Holidays|
Getting Personalized Advice From Your Doctor
The actions mentioned above can no doubt help you naturally lower your ApoB levels. However, keep in mind that your health needs might be different and may require a more specialized approach to lipid management.
For this reason, it’s imperative to seek personalized advice from a healthcare professional, such as a cardiologist or a registered dietitian. With their guidance, you will better understand your health status. This includes knowing any potential underlying conditions or risk factors that can aggravate an elevated ApoB.
Frequently Asked Questions
What does a high ApoB mean?
High levels of ApoB, as indicated in your blood test results, may equate to an increased risk for developing cardiovascular disease (CVD), mainly myocardial infarction and stroke. It also suggests susceptibility to plaque formation caused by the buildup of cholesterols in the blood vessels.
What causes high ApoB?
Elevated ApoB is associated with increased lipid synthesis, which can be attributed to lifestyle and genetic factors. For example, a poor diet that mostly contains foods rich in saturated and trans fats in large volumes can significantly increase ApoB and other markers of CVD. Additionally, if you have a family history of heart disease, you may have a closer affinity to developing the condition. Other factors that increase ApoB include smoking, a sedentary lifestyle, and obesity.
Is ApoB the same as LDL cholesterol?
ApoB is not exactly the same as LDL cholesterol, but it is directly connected with LDL in that ApoB is a component of LDL particles. It facilitates the transport of LDL in the bloodstream, which makes it a marker for the concentration of this cholesterol type.
The Bottom Line
Lowering ApoB typically means lowering your bad cholesterol or LDL. By extension, the actions outlined above are the same recommendations for improving heart health as a whole. As most of the natural ways to lower ApoB cover lifestyle adjustments, keep in mind that working closely with your physician can increase the likelihood of sticking to the plan and monitoring your progress.