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Best Supplements to Lower Cholesterol
Having elevated cholesterol levels puts you at a higher risk of experiencing heart attacks and strokes. Early diagnosis and treatment can save you from facing such complications. If you want your cholesterol levels to come back to normalcy you might require cholesterol-lowering supplements. Consuming certain supplements can speed up your process of lowering cholesterol in combination with medications or individually. Before taking any supplement, you should consult your doctor about whether the supplement suits your condition or not. Managing your cholesterol levels will help you to prevent cardiovascular disorders.
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Cholesterol supplements can work effectively in lowering cholesterol levels when combined with other medications and lifestyle changes. Some supplements can also be taken solely if the doctor advises doing so. It is advised that you must not take supplements without consulting your doctor as it might affect your condition adversely and cause severe side effects. Knowing the right quantity and type of supplements to take is essential while managing your cholesterol levels. Before starting to take any supplement, you must be aware of its associated risk factors and benefits.
Best Supplements to Lower Cholesterol
Here are certain supplements that you should consider taking to maintain ideal cholesterol levels.
1. Red yeast rice
This supplement consists of the same ingredient that is found in cholesterol-lowering statin drugs. The compound produced from fermenting cooked rice kernels helps to synthesize cholesterol. However, due to some side effects caused such as kidney damage, the FDA has banned the drug to be sold if an excess number of harmful compounds are present in it. Red yeast rice can interact with other medications and can cause complications. However, taking the supplement in the right amount if prescribed by the doctor can help to lower cholesterol levels drastically.
Consumption of this supplement lowers the total cholesterol levels and LDL (bad cholesterol levels). The fiber of plants such as oats, mushrooms, and barley have beta-glucans. When you take beta-glucans it restricts the enzyme that secretes cholesterol which helps to lower cholesterol levels much more effectively as compared to statins. However, the complete study of this supplement to lower cholesterol is still ongoing.
As per studies, intake of flaxseeds can lower cholesterol levels by 15% in just a month. When taken in combination with medicines such as statins, the result is much quicker. Flaxseeds can be taken in various forms such as capsules, oil, ground seeds, etc. It is best to drink adequate water as flaxseeds can cause constipation and diarrhea. However, the consumption of flaxseeds has hormonal effects therefore, it is not recommended for pregnant women.
4. Green tea
The presence of a compound called catechins in green tea helps to lower total cholesterol and LDL level which eventually helps to prevent cardiovascular diseases. Green tea is impactful in reducing weight which is good for maintaining cholesterol levels. You can consume green tea in tablet form or as a drink. Make sure you aren’t caffeine sensitive as green contains caffeine.
5. Omega-3 Fatty acids
The high triglyceride levels (fats) in the body that contribute to the spike in total cholesterol can lead to heart attack, strokes, etc. Consumption of omega-3 fatty acids enables the body to reduce triglyceride levels and inflammation. One can consume this supplement by intaking oily fish, or other food sources or by consuming it in tablet form. To prevent complications that can be caused by taking it in combination with other medications, make sure you consult your healthcare provider.
Natural Supplements for Lower Cholesterol
This is a plant-based supplement available in tablet form to reduce cholesterol levels. As per studies, consuming phytosterols for 2-3 times a day 1-3 months can help to reduce LDL cholesterol levels by 12 mg/dl. Taking phytosterols is safe however some people may experience diarrhea as a side effect.
One of the best natural supplements to lower cholesterol, Niacin is good for increasing the good cholesterol (HDL) levels and lower LDL and triglyceride levels (Bad cholesterol) levels in the body. You can derive niacin from food sources such as chicken or in other forms. As consumption of Niacin has side effects such as Nausea, indigestion, gas, skin flushing, diarrhea, etc. you should not take it with a doctor’s prescription.
3. Soluble fiber
It is an effective supplement to reduce the absorption of cholesterol in the blood vessels which helps to prevent plaque buildup. Ideally, 5-15 grams of soluble fiber daily can help to lower cholesterol levels by 5-10%. Psyllium and Nopal cactus are great dietary sources of soluble fiber. You can derive it from food sources as well. Some food sources rich in soluble fiber are oats, legumes, apples, berries, etc. A common side effect of taking soluble fiber is bloating and gas.
4. Artichoke leaf
This supplement can restrict cholesterol production in the body. Added to that, artichokes consist of a compound called cynarin which helps the body to get rid of bad cholesterol. The typical adult dosage of Artichoke leaf varies from 250-2700 mg per day.
Benefits of Cholesterol supplements
Different cholesterol-lowering supplements have different benefits. The results produced on the consumption of cholesterol-lowering supplements may also vary depending on the person’s condition. Supplements such as Niacin are beneficial not only in lowering bad cholesterol levels but also effective in improving the good cholesterol levels in the body. On the other hand, other supplements like garlic, and green tea are only effective in lowering the LDL and triglyceride levels in the body. Certain supplements might help in maintaining cholesterol levels but studies are still ongoing to understand all the benefits they can provide in managing cholesterol levels.
Risks and side effects of Cholesterol supplements
Every supplement has its associated risk and side effects. Therefore, it is always advised to not consume any supplement without consulting your healthcare provider. If you are already taking medications, taking supplements can interact with the medicines and cause side effects. Added to that, there are supplements available in the market that are not approved by the FDA.
If you are already taking medicines for other health issues or undergoing some other health condition, you should speak to your doctor before taking any supplement. Some supplements are unsuitable for pregnancy and breastfeeding as well, that’s why it is essential to consider your current condition before introducing anything new in your life.
For many cases, other methods of treatment such as being physically active and consuming a balanced diet can help to lower cholesterol levels and prevent associated complications and risks.
People resort to various supplements to reduce their bad cholesterol levels and increase their good cholesterol levels. While some are approved by the FDA for consumption, some supplements are still undergoing research to make it to the approved category. It is best to get advice from your doctor on whether you should take a particular supplement individually or combine it with other cholesterol-lowering medications.
In addition to taking supplements, you can resort to methods such as exercising daily, consuming a balanced diet, quitting smoking, limiting alcohol consumption, etc. to be able to maintain ideal cholesterol levels.
1. What is the best supplement for lowering cholesterol?
Various supplements impact differently on people trying to lower their cholesterol levels. Some supplements with proven benefits include Niacin, phytosterols, and soluble fibers. Other supplements like red yeast rice, garlic, and green tea may provide results but complete research on its benefits is still ongoing.
2. What vitamins reduce cholesterol quickly?
Vitamin B3 which is Niacin is best to reduce cholesterol levels. It improves the good cholesterol in the body (HDL) and lowers the bad cholesterol level in the body. The supplementation of Niacin is approved by the regulatory authorities and you can consult your doctor for the dosage required to improve your condition.
3. Is there a natural pill to lower cholesterol?
Several natural supplements help to lower cholesterol levels. Some of these include Niacin, Phytosterols, Soluble fibers, etc. These can be taken in the form of a pill or tablet or can be derived from food sources that contain them.
4. What is the best natural remedy for lowering cholesterol?
Taking natural cholesterol-lowering supplements in the right dosage can help to reduce cholesterol levels. Some effective supplements include niacin, soluble fiber, etc. Other natural remedies like consuming a nutritious diet and restricting consumption of processed and trans fats also help to improve the condition.
This website's content is provided only for educational reasons and is not meant to be a replacement for professional medical advice. Due to individual differences, the reader should contact their physician to decide whether the material is applicable to their case.