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Cholesterol, heart & diabetes

Cholesterol, heart & diabetes

You are doing ok but the doctor has just told you to lose a bit of weight. Your cholesterol is high and your blood sugar levels may be creeping up too. You love baked goods and fried foods, so you know it’ll be a bit of a challenge.

Perhaps you’ve had a health scare: a heart attack. You know you need to make some drastic changes. Fast.

Maybe you are being proactive because your family has a history - and you don’t want history repeating itself.


“Why is this happening to me?” or “How can I get better so I can get back to doing what I love?”

We understand you may feel frustrated, hopeless, or confused by now.

It’s normal to wonder:

How can I lower my LDL cholesterol?

Am I eating too many eggs?

What can I do to lower my blood pressure?

Can I get rid of diabetes?

Can exercise and diet help me get rid of cholesterol and blood pressure medications?

Well please know you’re not alone. Here at Body and Brain Centre, we hear this a lot.

Ways we can help you manage cholesterol, heart and diabetes

Our team will look at your health as a whole. There may be a few tweaks and easy changes that can make a significant impact to your health. Other times you might need an overhaul. Whatever your need, we’re here for you.

People manage cholesterol, heart disease and diabetes to lead a healthy, happy lifestyle through a range of ways, depending on preference and their needs:

  • Dietetics
  • Nutrition
  • Naturopathy
  • Counselling
  • Acupuncture
  • Exercise

You don’t need to worry about which service suits - we’ll point you in the right direction. However, you may like to understand how a few of these services may help:

Dietetics for cholesterols, heart and diabetes control

You know you need to clean up your diet. But where to start? Dr Google, your personal trainer and your neighbour all give you different advice.

Dietitians are nutrition experts - exactly what you need.

Learn what to eat and how much. Understand how to nourish your body while enjoying your food. Have someone keep you accountable and set realistic goals.

Naturopathy for cholesterol, heart and diabetes control

Research shows folic acid is not only healthy for pregnancy but it may also reduce the risk of stroke and cardiovascular disease (Schwingshackl et al. 2017). Your naturopath keeps updated with the scientific literature so you don’t have to.

Your naturopath will use clues like marks on your nails, bumps on your skin or look into your eyes to check your overall well-being. You may be given diet & lifestyle advice, and a uniquely formulated herbal blend or supplements. Your medication, preferences and goals are all taken into consideration.

Counselling for cholesterol, heart and diabetes control

Maybe you’re overworked at home or in the office. You don’t have enough hours in the day. Time just gets away from you. Your sleep is interrupted. Your mind is always on the go.

Perhaps you’ve tried nicotine patches, gum, cold-turkey - and read all the books. Yet you continue to puff away. There’s convincing evidence that ridding yourself of risky behaviours wards off heart disease, diabetes and strokes.

Counselling helps deal with your inner thoughts and helps you understand what fuels your addictions and keeps you in a stressed state. Your counsellor can give you strategies to deal with cravings and help you find a compassionate approach to make changes that will last.

Acupuncture for cholesterol, heart and diabetes control

Unbalanced energy creates disharmony and disease in the body according to Traditional Chinese Medicine. Creating balance with acupuncture can help lower blood pressure adding more benefit to medication (Li 2014) (Zhao 2015).

Acupuncture can also help reduce pain -getting you moving again to reduce your chances of future heart disease, stroke and more. In fact, acupuncture can help with the pain from your diabetes as well as your back pain (Choa et al. 2019).

Chinese Medicine is more than just needles. It includes herbal remedies, cupping, moxa herbs and advice for your diet, exercise, sleep, and stress.

Exercise for cholesterol, heart and diabetes control

You know you need to exercise but your knees are too achy. You had an injury and it’s too hard to get back into it again. You are scared of a flare up.

Our caring team can help you get out of pain - so you can exercise again.

Exercise can help strengthen your muscles to protect you from future injuries. It may also lower your blood glucose and cholesterol levels, drop your blood pressure and strengthen your heart.

If you have trouble with injury, we can help you manage it so you can get moving again.

Let us help you

Not sure which service to start with? 

No worries. Book your free phone consultation and we’ll point you in the right direction. Medical rebates may be available. From here we can start an open, and honest conversation about your cholesterol, heart disease, or diabetes concerns - just to make sure we’re the right fit for you.

Book your free phone consultation now.

Research references

  • AbuMweis S, Jew S, Tayyem R & Agraib L ( 2018) Eicosapentaenoic acid and docosahexaenoic acid containing supplements modulate risk factors for cardiovascular disease: a meta‐analysis of randomised placebo‐control human clinical trials. J Hum Nutr Diet. 31, 67– 84 https://doi.org/10.1111/jhn.12493. EPA & DHA supplements were found to be lipid (fat) lowering, lowering blood pressure, anti-arrhythmic and anti-inflammatory in this analysis.
  • Aung T, Halsey J, Kromhout D, et al. (2018). Associations of Omega-3 Fatty Acid Supplement Use With Cardiovascular Disease Risks: Meta-analysis of 10 Trials Involving 77 917 Individuals. JAMA Cardiol. 2018;3(3):225–233. doi:10.1001/jamacardio.2017.5205. This analysis showed that there was no positive benefits for omega-3 supplements for coronary heart disease.
  • Batacan RB, Duncan MJ, Dalbo VJ, et al (2017). Effects of high-intensity interval training on cardiometabolic health: a systematic review and meta-analysis of intervention studies. British Journal of Sports Medicine 2017;51:494-503. This review found that high intensity interval training (HIIT) improves VO2 max (a measure of aerobic endurance) in healthy individuals and obese / overweight also improved other measures such as resting heart rate and blood pressure.
  • Becerra-Tomás N, Mejía SB, Viguiliouk E, Khan T, Kendall CWC, Kahleova H, Rahelić D, Sievenpiper JL & Salas-Salvadó S (2020). Mediterranean diet, cardiovascular disease and mortality in diabetes: A systematic review and meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies and randomized clinical trials, Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 60:7, 1207-1227, DOI: 10.1080/10408398.2019.1565281. The meditaraean diet appears to be preventative of cardiovascular disease for diabetes.
  • Becerra-Tomás N, Paz-Graniel I, Kendall CWC, Kahleova H, Rahelić D, Sievenpiper JL, Salas-Salvadó J (2019). Nut consumption and incidence of cardiovascular diseases and cardiovascular disease mortality: a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Nutrition Reviews, Volume 77, Issue 10, October 2019, Pages 691–709, https://doi.org/10.1093/nutrit/nuz042. This analysis showed a beneficial role of nut consumption for reducing incidence and death from cardiovascular disease.
  • Bullard T, Ji M, An R et al. (2019). A systematic review and meta-analysis of adherence to physical activity interventions among three chronic conditions: cancer, cardiovascular disease, and diabetes. BMC Public Health 19, 636 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12889-019-6877-z. The research shows that those with chronic conditions (cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes) are capable of maintaining exercise programs for an extended period of time (3+ months) and that home based programs may be a viable option.
  • Chao MT, et al. (3019). A Randomized Clinical Trial of Group Acupuncture for Painful Diabetic Neuropathy Among Diverse Safety Net Patients. Pain Med. 2019 May 25. pii: pnz117. doi: 10.1093/pm/pnz117.[Epub ahead of print]. 40 painful diabetic neuropathy patients received either standard medical care alone or in conjunction with acupuncture. Acupuncture was found to decrease pain intensity for the duration of acupuncture sessions but these changes were not sustained at a 6 week follow up after the study was completed. There was found to be no difference whether receiving once or twice weekly sessions of acupuncture for achieving these results.
  • Claes J, Buys R, Budts W, Smart N & Cornelissen VA (2017). Longer-term effects of home-based exercise interventions on exercise capacity and physical activity in coronary artery disease patients: A systematic review and meta-analysis. European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, 24(3), 244–256. https://doi.org/10.1177/2047487316675823. Home based exercise programs might be more effective than centre-based exercise programs for maintaining exercise capacity for patients with coronary heart disease. There’s only a few studies so more research needs to be done in this area.
  • Cornelissen VA, Fagard RH, Coeckelberghs E, Vanhees L. Impact of resistance training on blood pressure and other cardiovascular risk factors: a meta-analysis of randomized, controlled trials. Hypertension. 2011 Nov;58(5):950-8. Dynamic resistance training and isometric handgrip training appear to lower blood pressure. Limited amount of research has been done in the area so this isn’t fully support yet.
  • Dimitrova A, Murchison C, Oken B. Acupuncture for the treatment of peripheral neuropathy: a systematic review and meta-analysis. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. 2017 Mar 1;23(3):164-79. Peripheral neuropathies (nerve conditions in the limbs) like diabetic neuropathy and Bell’s palsy, have favourable evidence for acupuncture’s effectiveness, however this isn’t enough research to definitively prove this.
  • Hayashino Y, Jackson JL, Fukumori N, Nakamura F, Fukuhara S. Effects of supervised exercise on lipid profiles and blood pressure control in people with type 2 diabetes mellitus: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Diabetes research and clinical practice. 2012 Dec 1;98(3):349-60. Supervised exercise programs are effective at improving blood pressure control, lowering “bad” LDL cholesterol and raising “good” HDL cholesterol in people with diabetes.
  • Janssen V, Gucht VD, Dusseldorp E & Maes S (2013). Lifestyle modification programmes for patients with coronary heart disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, 20(4), 620–640. https://doi.org/10.1177/2047487312462824. Lifestyle modification programs including exercise and nutrition reduced all-cause death rates, cardiovascular related death-rates and heart-related hospital admissions. Some of these changes were also noticed years later (33 months). Better improvements were noted with self-regulation techniques (goal setting, self-monitoring, planning & feedback techniques).
  • Kyu HH, Bachman VF, Alexander LT, Mumford JE, Afshin A, Estep K et al. (2013). Physical activity and risk of breast cancer, colon cancer, diabetes, ischemic heart disease, and ischemic stroke events: systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis for the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013 BMJ 2016; 354 :i3857. Those who exercise more than the current minimum exercise recommendations are at lower risk for breast cancer, colon cancer, diabetes, some heart disease and some types of stroke.
  • Li DZ, Zhou Y, Yang YN, et al. (2014). Acupuncture for essential hypertension: a meta-analysis of randomized sham-controlled clinical trials. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2014;2014:279478. doi:10.1155/2014/279478. Acupuncture with medication significantly reduces blood pressure better than medication alone. Acupuncture without medication did not show the same benefits. This is high quality research.
  • Loh, R., Stamatakis, E., Folkerts, D. et al. (2020). Effects of Interrupting Prolonged Sitting with Physical Activity Breaks on Blood Glucose, Insulin and Triacylglycerol Measures: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Sports Med 50, 295–330 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-019-01183-w. Physical activity breaks during sitting moderately reduced the rise of blood sugar levels after a meal, insulin (hormone associated with diabetes) and triglycerides levels. The greatest effect was found on those with a higher BMI (body mass index).
  • Mulchandani, R., Chandrasekaran, A.M., Shivashankar, R. et al. Effect of workplace physical activity interventions on the cardio-metabolic health of working adults: systematic review and meta-analysis. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act 16, 134 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12966-019-0896-0. Urban adults spend 77% of their wake time in their sedentary work jobs so this study looked at workplace changes and the effects on health. They found that there were improvements to waist circumference, BMI and weight.
  • Nocon M, Hiemann T, Müller-Riemenschneider F, Thalau F, Roll S & Willich SN (2008). Association of physical activity with all-cause and cardiovascular mortality: a systematic review and meta-analysis. European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention & Rehabilitation, 15(3), 239–246. https://doi.org/10.1097/HJR.0b013e3282f55e09. Physical exercise is associated with a marked decrease in cardiovascular and all-cause death rates, in both men and women, even after adjusting for risk factors.
  • Schwingshackl L, Boeing H, Stelmach-Mardas M, Gottschald M, Dietrich S, Hoffmann G, Chaimani A (2017). Dietary Supplements and Risk of Cause-Specific Death, Cardiovascular Disease, and Cancer: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Primary Prevention Trials, Advances in Nutrition, Volume 8, Issue 1, January 2017, Pages 27–39, https://doi.org/10.3945/an.116.013516. Analysis of the scientific literature showed that supplements containing vitamin E significantly reduced cardiovascular death rates and folic acid supplements reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. Vitamins D, C and K, selenium, zinc, magnesium and EPA showed no significant reduction on tested outcomes. Vitamin A supplementation showed an increased risk of cancer.
  • Tan X, et al. (2019). Acupuncture therapy for essential hypertension: a network meta-analysis. Ann Transl Med. 2019 Jun;7(12):266. doi: 10.21037/atm.2019.05.59. This analysis included 2 649 patients showed that acupuncture may have similar effects to medication for high blood pressure, however this was a low quality study. Another form of Chinese Medicine, moxibustion may be more beneficial than acupuncture.
  • van Dixhoorn J & White A (2005). Relaxation therapy for rehabilitation and prevention in ischaemic heart disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis. European Journal of Cardiovascular Prevention & Rehabilitation, 12(3), 193–202. https://doi.org/10.1097/01.hjr.0000166451.38593.de. Intensive supervised relaxation practice enhances recovery from heart attack (and similar conditions). This review found reduced heart rate, increased heart rate variability, improved exercise tolerance, better “good” cholesterol, reduced anxiety state, reduced depression, reduced angina (less serious heart attack) and other cardiac (heart) conditions. Relaxation therapies should be used with other therapies, such as exercise and education.
  • Yamaoka K & Tango T (2012). Effects of lifestyle modification on metabolic syndrome: a systematic review and meta-analysis. BMC Med 10, 138 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1186/1741-7015-10-138. Lifestyle modification is effective at reducing fasting blood sugar levels, waist circumference (weight loss), blood pressure and triglyceride levels in those with metabolic syndrome (such as diabetes).
  • Yang, M., Li, X., Liu, S. et al. (2013). Meta-analysis of acupuncture for relieving non-organic dyspeptic symptoms suggestive of diabetic gastroparesis. BMC Complement Altern Med 13, 311 (2013). https://doi.org/10.1186/1472-6882-13-311. Acupuncture may be helpful for indigestion of diabetic gastroparesis patients however more research is required as the current research is low in quality.
  • Yuan S, Li X, Jin Y, Lu J (2017). Chocolate Consumption and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease, Stroke, and Diabetes: A Meta-Analysis of Prospective Studies. Nutrients 2017, 9, 688. Consuming chocolate in moderation (less than 6 servings a week) may help prevent coronary heart disease, stroke & diabetes.
  • Zhan J, Liu L-Y, Cai LB, Xu FR, Xie T & He QQ (2017). Fruit and vegetable consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease: A meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies, Critical Reviews in Food Science and Nutrition, 57:8, 1650-1663, DOI: 10.1080/10408398.2015.1008980. This analysis showed strong support for the current recommendations to consume fruit and vegetables to reduce cardiovascular disease. The biggest reduction of risk was associated with over 800g of fruit and veg intake a day.
  • Zhang R, Li B, Gao X, Tian R, Pan Y, Jiang Y, Gu H, Wang Y, Wang Y & Liu G (2017). Serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D and the risk of cardiovascular disease: dose-response meta-analysis of prospective studies, The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, Volume 105, Issue 4, April 2017, Pages 810–819, https://doi.org/10.3945/ajcn.116.140392. This analysis included 180 667 participants which showed that the higher the vitamin D levels, the lower the cardiovascular disease risk and death-rates.
  • Zhang X, Devlin HM, Smith B, et al. Effect of lifestyle interventions on cardiovascular risk factors among adults without impaired glucose tolerance or diabetes: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS One. 2017;12(5):e0176436. Published 2017 May 11. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0176436. This study reviewed ‘healthy’ individuals (those without diabetes or blood sugar control issues) and found that that lifestyle advice (exercise & nutrition) was helpful for blood pressure, cholesterol and triglyceride levels.
  • Zheng H, Orsini N, Amin J et al. (2009). Quantifying the dose-response of walking in reducing coronary heart disease risk: meta-analysis. Eur J Epidemiol 24, 181–192 (2009). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10654-009-9328-9. Exercise should be prescribed as a preventive tool against coronary heart disease for the general population.
  • Zhao XF, Hu HT, Li JS, et al.(2015). Is Acupuncture Effective for Hypertension? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. PLoS One. 2015;10(7):e0127019. Published 2015 Jul 24. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0127019. This review found that acupuncture plus medication superior to medication alone, but acupuncture alone is not superior to medication. This research has a risk of bias as it’s unclear. This research also points to the fact that the safety of acupuncture isn’t confirmed.