Cholesterol lowering supplements can help you improve lipid profiles by lowering high cholesterol thereby decreasing your risk of heart disease.
While plant sterols, fiber, good fats such as those coming from fish oil and nuts as well as some herbs such as garlic and cayenne pepper are able to lower cholesterol, we are going to talk here about those equally or even more effective but less well known herbs and supplements.
Although these supplements can help you lower cholesterol, you can consider taking them, only when you have established healthy eating habits and exercise regime. These two alone can have immense positive impact on cholesterol levels without taking any supplements.
LIST OF CHOLESTEROL LOWERING SUPPLEMENTS
Artichoke leaf is one of the best herbs for the liver which is usually combined with milk thistle, in detox formulas. It may decrease the synthesis of cholesterol in the body and increase bile production in the liver while speeding up the flow of the bile from the gallblader.
Since artichoke leaf decreases cholesterol production and increases its secretion, it is shown to be very effective. Several studies have confirmed this claims but only when participants were taking high potency artichoke leaf extract.
Policosanol is a chemical isolated from cuban sugarcane which is supposed to be effective as well as statin drugs in lowering cholesterol levels, without the side effects. It seems to work by inhibiting cholesterol production in the liver.
On the other hand, new studies question the cuban research and effectiveness of policosanol, even at high doses.
Red Yeast Rice which is also known as choleast, is a rice that has been fermented with red yeast. It is the one of the most effective cholesterol lowering supplements whose strength is comparable to those of statin drugs.
Scientists discovered that the chemicals from lovastatin, a powerful cholesterol lowering medication were identical to those found in red yeast rice. Because of this, the supplements as well as the statins, can cause kidney failure, muscle and liver damage.
However, since it is no longer legal in US to sell red yeast rice supplements containing more than trace amounts of cholesterol lowering chemicals, it is unlikely that they will be as effective or cause this kind of side effects. Also, buy RYR supplements only from reliable sources since certain products can contain high levels of toxic substance known as citrinic acid.
Ginseng is an amazing herb by itself which may also help lower cholesterol levels but its mode of action is still unknown. However, since it is an adaptogen, the herb can establish chemical balance in the body, most notably hormonal balance.
Similar principles should apply for cholesterol. So, not only that ginseng may lower high cholesterol but also increase low cholesterol, especially good HDL cholesterol. More research is needed to confirm these assumptions and compare ginseng effectiveness with other cholesterol lowering supplements.
Rice bran is well known for its immune system modulating and cancer fighting properties. Rice bran is actually the most nutritious part of the rice, rich in healthy fats, phytosterols, fiber and other nutrients which can all help lower cholesterol levels.
It seems to be effective as well as oats although it doesn't contain that much beta glucans but it does contain other types of fiber. However, tocopherols, tocotrienols and healthy fatty acids found in rice bran are the most effective in lowering cholesterol levels.
Green Tea Extract has shown to lower total and LDL cholesterol while at the same time, it increases good HDL cholesterol. Scientists attribute this effect to polyphenols in green tea which may block the absorption of cholesterol from the intestines thereby clearing it out from the body.
Although, there are more effective cholesterol lowering supplements out there, in my opinion.
Tocotrienols are found in rice bran, barley, wheat germ, cocoa butter as well as in palm and coconut oil. Although most other foods contain them, they are a poor source of this great nutrient. Tocotrienols are able to lower cholesterol production in the liver by suppressing hepatic HMG-CoA reductase activity.
Although there are a couple types of tocotrienols, alpha-tocotrienol seems to be the most effective in lowering cholesterol levels. However, other tocotrienols are more effective in lowering the risk of heart disease through other mechanisms.
Fenugreek is a stable kitchen spice which can be very helpful in improving your cholesterol values. It is very rich in dietary fiber which is known to lower cholesterol levels. On the other hand, polysaccharides and diosgenin, a compound similar to steroid hormones may also cause these effects.
Guggul is a herb with conflicting results when it comes to cholesterol levels. While it reduces cholesterol in some people, i others it actually increases it. However, guggul is considered an adaptogen although as famous as ginseng, which could explain confusing results.
Since adaptogens work by establishing balance, inside the body, people with low cholesterol can expect rise in their values while those with high cholesterol should see their values plummeting down.
Niacin(Vitamin B3) is one of the first and oldest cholesterol lowering supplements. However, rather high doses are required in order for supplement to be effective which can cause side effects. Because of this, a person taking high doses of niacin should be under doctors supervision.
Numerous studies have confirmed that high doses of vitamin B3 can lower LDL cholesterol by approximately 10 percent and increase good HDL cholesterol by approximately 20 percent.
Psyllium is one of the herbs with the highest amount of soluble fiber due to which is able to lower cholesterol levels. Even small amounts are effective because of herb's rich fiber content. However, due to its rich fiber content you should take it with adequate amount of fluids.
Cholesterol lowering supplements can help a lot. Not just to lower total and LDL cholesterol but they can also lower triglycerides and the risk of heart disease, in general.
Some of them can even raise good HDL cholesterol which is able to remove cholesterol from the arteries thereby decreasing the risk of atherosclerosis and heart attack. Although these supplements can help, you shouldn't mix them with medications.
Also, combining a couple of them can give you better results but the risk of side effects increases. However, before taking cholesterol lowering supplements, consult with your doctor and do the cholesterol test before and after taking them.
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