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Emily Butler
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Premenstrual Syndrome (PMS)

Premenstrual syndrome is a condition that occurs prior to the onset of menstruation.

Women can have symptoms such as breast tenderness, food cravings and low back pain about a week to 10 days prior to the onset of their period. By the way there are about 150 symptoms associated with premenstrual syndrome. The first couple of days of the period symptoms tend to be more severe and as the menses come to an end the symptoms disappear. Some women have no symptoms and some have very severe symptoms that interfere with their daily routines.

Dietary and Lifestyle Approaches

To prevent premenstrual syndrome, doctors advise a well-balanced diet combined with exercise. Women should comsume whole grains, legumes, vegetables and fruit. Many women crave chocolate during this time. Some chocolate is alright but it better to eat fresh fruit to counteract the УsweetsФ cravings.

Nutritional Supplements

Researchers have claimed that vitamin B supplements as well as regular physical activity alleviate the PMS symptoms. Omega 3 fatty acids found in fish oil is also use to alleaviate premenstrual symptoms such as menstrual cramping.

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is made by the liver, but also found in fatty foods. There are two types of cholesterol: HDL or "good" cholesterol (high-density lipoproteins) and LDL or "bad" cholesterol (low-density lipoproteins (or LDL). If LDL cholesterol is high it gets deposited on the walls of your arteries, forming a plaque that clogs your blood vessels and stops your blood flowing properly. Eventually the plaque hardens your arteries, a condition called atherosclerosis. HDL cholesterol removes LDL cholesterol from the arteries and the body, via the liver. 
It is important to keep LDL cholesterol levels low as high levels can make you more likely to have a heart attack or a stroke. So statin drugs have an important role to play. Unfortunately statin drugs are well known for their side effects and many people find that the side effects of the drugs outweigh their benefits.

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Choosing the right red rice yeast

It is possible to buy red rice yeast on its own. This is the cheapest way but there are some things to take into consideration. Red rice yeast capsules made in the USA does not contain monacolin K. This is because the FDA regulations require it to be removed to avoid people who are taking it with statin drugs receiving too high a level.

So it is 'weaker' than red rice yeast produced in the European Union where this is not required. 

Red rice yeast is often sold in combination with the natural enzyme CoQ10 (ubiquinone) which is found in every cell of the body. Low levels of CoQ10 are particularly associated with heart failure, Parkinson's disease and gum disease. Statin drugs can reduce coenzyme Q10 levels by up to 40% (Ghirlanda et al, 1993). Some studies have also found, although results are mixed, that CoQ10 supplementation helps to reduce the muscle weakness commonly experienced as a side effect of statin therapy ( Caso et al, 2007). 

CoQ10 also has other benefits as well as supporting heart health. It can increase energy. The heart, liver and kidneys which have the highest energy requirements also naturally have the highest CoQ10 levels in the body. It also boosts antioxidant levels. Antioxidants are found in berries, grape seeds and Vitamin E. They help to fight free radicals which are a primary trigger in cell ageing.

Although it is more expensive, it is a sensible precaution to buy a red rice yeast capsule with CoQ10 included, especially if you are taking high doses of red rice yeast or are still taking some statin drugs under the supervision of your medical herbalist or healthcare practitioner.
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