Infrared Sauna and Cholesterol
According to an article published in The Healthy Planet written by TJ Williams, DC, PHD and republished by The Institute of Natural Health, an infrared sauna has a beneficial effect on cholesterol buildup. In the article the writer states,” Regular infrared sauna use has been shown to improve lipid profiles. Research has shown that total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol decreased after three weeks of sauna use in men and blood plasma volume increased. In women, research has shown a decrease in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol and an increase in HDL cholesterol after two weeks of sauna therapy.” Research looking at the effects of infrared sauna on cholesterol is ongoing. Preliminary conclusions by the medical community and researchers points to the fact that infrared sauna sessions mimic intensive exercise. Intensive exercise has been shown to lower “bad” cholesterol and raise the levels of “good” cholesterol.
What is Cholesterol?
The American Heart Association offers a simple definition of cholesterol free from medical jargon. In their section entitled Cholesterol 101: An Introduction, the opening summary states,” Cholesterol is a waxy substance. It’s not inherently “bad.” Your body needs it to build cells and make vitamins and other hormones. But too much cholesterol can pose a problem.” Left to its devices the body will make the needed cholesterol. Excess cholesterol comes from the foods that are consumed. This is why dieticians; heart specialists and nutritionists often cite certain food habits as the cause of “bad” cholesterol in the arteries and veins. As the western diet changed over the latter part of the 20th century, more focus was placed on the food consumed and the damage done. Studies pointed to trans fats and saturated fats in processed foods as the culprit in the epidemic of patients with high and damaging cholesterol. Excess unused cholesterol clings to the walls of veins and arteries. Its build up narrows the passageways and restricts blood flow. Restricted blood passageways are believed and confirmed responsible for high blood pressure, diabetes, blocked arteries and has led to a steady increase of coronary bypass surgery in the USA. The latest numbers indicate that there are approximately 340,000 coronary bypass surgeries performed per year in the USA alone, with the rest of developed western nations showing similar numbers corresponding to population size.
A simple blood test is used to determine the amount of cholesterol. It also breaks down the “good” (needed) and “bad” (damaging) cholesterol. The pharmaceutical industry has attacked the problem with medicine. According to the CDC from 2003 through 2012,” Nearly 63% of adults with diagnosed diabetes and nearly 54% of adults with diagnosed hypercholesterolemia reported using a prescription cholesterol-lowering medication.” 21st Century protocols indicate that cholesterol levels can be controlled by exercise and dietary changes. Exercise which produces sweat, raises the heart rate and opens blood vessels has proven to be instrumental in lowering cholesterol. Studies have shown that infrared sauna sessions can have the same cholesterol lowering effect by producing voluminous perspiration, raising the heart rate and opening blood vessels. The FIT Bodywrap Infrared Sauna is an innovative system with four zone heat control. Regular FIT Bodywrap Infrared Sauna Sessions can produce the beneficial impact of exercise and lower cholesterol.
FAQ about Infrared Sauna and Cholesterol
What effect does infrared sauna have on cholesterol?Regular infrared sauna use can improve lipid profiles, reducing total and LDL cholesterol levels in men and women, and increasing HDL cholesterol in women after consistent use.
How does infrared sauna compare to exercise in terms of affecting cholesterol?Infrared sauna sessions can mimic the beneficial impacts of intensive exercise on cholesterol levels, helping to lower “bad” cholesterol and raise “good” cholesterol.
Can infrared sauna therapy help in lowering cholesterol without medication?Yes, alongside exercise and dietary changes, infrared sauna therapy can be a non-pharmacological option to help lower cholesterol levels by promoting sweat, raising heart rate, and opening blood vessels.
How often should one use an infrared sauna for cholesterol benefits?Consistent use, such as multiple sessions per week over several weeks, is recommended for noticeable cholesterol management benefits.
Are there any side effects of using infrared saunas for those with high cholesterol?Infrared saunas are generally safe, but individuals with cardiovascular conditions or high cholesterol should consult with a healthcare provider before starting sauna therapy.
Can infrared sauna use replace cholesterol-lowering medications?While beneficial, infrared sauna sessions should complement, not replace, medications prescribed for cholesterol management. Always consult with a healthcare provider for personalized advice.