Supplements for High Cholesterol

Supplements for High Cholesterol

High cholesterol is one of the leading causes of cardiovascular disease, if you have high cholesterol, and you don’t want to put drugs into your body, why not try supplements to lower cholesterol. Supplements are natural way to lower cholesterol without a lot of side effects that you find with statin drugs. So what are the best natural supplements for high cholesterol?

High cholesterol levels

High cholesterol levels in your blood can have a major impact on your chances of having a heart attack and stroke, so it makes perfect sense to keep your cholesterol levels down at a healthy level. A healthy cholesterol level is total cholesterol ( HDL + LDL + Triglycerides) less than 200 mgs per deciliter, your LDL (Bad Cholesterol) should be less than 100 mg/ dl and your HDL (good cholesterol) should be less than 50 mg/dl.


High cholesterol diagnosis

If you have been to see your doctor and had a blood test, your cholesterol is above the normal limits so you may be prescribed statin drugs to bring it down to the 200 mg/dl levelor in this part of the world below 5. Your doctor might also give you a booklet on the best diet to use, he may also recommend that if you don’t already do so that you engage in a regular exercise program (minimum 5 days per week)


kinds of cholesterol imageHow many kinds of cholesterol are there?

There are two principal types of cholesterol both are transported by differing types of lipoproteins,LDL means low density lipoprotein at times this is referred to as “bad cholesterol” LDL can build up to a high level in the blood causing atherosclerosis or heart disease.

There are two main types of cholesterol carried by different types of lipoproteins. Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) are sometimes called “bad” cholesterol. High levels of LDL cholesterol can build up in your arteries, causing heart disease.

High density lipoproteins or “good cholesterol” transports cholesterol from all over the body all the way back to the liver. The liver works to process the cholesterol and have it removed from the body, healthy levels of cholesterol are desirable for a healthy heart.


What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is naturally produced in the body, it is a type of fatty material in our blood that flows around our bodies, you can also find cholesterol in certain foods. Cholesterol is carried in the blood by Lipoproteins and there are two types one is LDL-C or low-density lipoprotein and the other is HDL-C which is high density lipoprotein.

The “good” lipoprotein is the high density one because it assists the body to keep cholesterol from building up in your artery whereas the “bad” lipoprotein is the low density one because it is the primary source for the build-up of bad cholesterol in your artery. Statin drugs are usually recommended to reduce the bad cholesterol.


Cholesterol levels

The normal way to find out your total cholesterol levels is to have a blood test done, the results will be a reading of the good and bad cholesterol. There are other elements that raise the “bad” cholesterol one of which is triglyceride’s, it is a type of fat in your blood that increases the risk of a heart attack or stroke. Triglycerides are connected to the levels of LDL-C.

Blood lipid test

A simple blood lipid test will determine what your cholesterol levels are. A fasting blood test will measure cholesterol and triglyceride levels in your blood, the test is sometimes called a lipoprotein profile or lipoprotein analysis. The test results will give a total cholesterol reading, It will you’re your HDL, Good cholesterol, LDL Bad cholesterol and your triglyceride levels.


What are the causes of high cholesterol?

Several things can cause high cholesterol these include

  • Family history
  • Your diet
  • Age & sex
  • Smoking
  • Inactivity
  • Underlying medical condition
  • Weight issues
  • Diabetes

Statin drug
Statin drugs

Statin drugs

Statin drugs have been prescribed for many years to lower cholesterol, they do work but studies have shown several potential side effects when taken over a long period of time

What are the potential side effects of statin drugs

  • A rash
  • Constipation
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhoea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Nausea/Vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Flushing skin
  • Drowsiness
  • Muscle aches

cholesterol studies
studies

Cholesterol studies

According to studies, taking a daily dosage of a dietary supplement decreases Cholesterol LDL and Total cholesterol, making supplements for lowering cholesterol an interesting and convenient way to manage high levels of cholesterol.

Some studies were short term and had a small number of participants, some had a much larger group of people and were done over a longer period of time.

 


cholesterolWhat should you look for in a cholesterol lowering supplement?

  • Always check with your doctor before you take a supplement
  • Does the supplement contain Niacin it is known to lower cholesterol?
  • Does it contain plant sterols and stanols both lower cholesterol?
  • Does it have a soluble fibre to excrete cholesterol?
  • Coenzyme Q10 is vital for lower blood pressure and heart disease
  • Some contain fish oils you may not like the aftertaste.
  • Check for any side effects

High cholesterol risks

The risks of high cholesterol are varied, ranging from being overweight, eating unhealthy foods, family history, smoking and a lack of exercise. The liver produces cholesterol, but cholesterol is also found in certain foods especially foods that contain trans fats or saturated fats, eating foods like this causes your liver to produce more cholesterol than you need.


dietary guidelines
Healthy cholesterol diet
Photo by Brooke Lark on Unsplash

Dietary guidelines to help lower cholesterol

The Heart Association has come up with a list of dietary guidelines to help people lower their cholesterol levels, one good idea is when you are buying food always check the sugar and fat content, so here is the list of dietary guidelines to help lower cholesterol:

Make sure your daily cholesterol intake is less than 300 mg per day

Reduce your total intake of fat to less 25%-30% of the total calorie intake per day.

Limit the saturated fat intake to not more than 7% of your total daily calories.

don’t eat more than 1% of fat or less of your total daily calories.

Your remaining daily fat intake must come from polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats these are available in seeds, unsalted nuts, fish (like salmon, trout, herring) as well as vegetable oils.

Certain types of foods can help to lower cholesterol especially foods that contain plant sterols added, high fibre food such as oatmeal, bran, fruits are good so eat apples and pears.


cholesterol supplements
Dietary supplements

What type of supplements should you consider to lower cholesterol?

There a lot of cholesterol lowering supplements on the market that contain many different components like fibre, fenugreek, artichoke leaf extract, ginseng, garlic, guggul, niacin, soy protein, fish oil and others. The question is which supplement works to lower cholesterol and which supplement is right for you?

Let’s look at the scientific evidence around supplements for high cholesterol even though many studies have been done on supplements and cholesterol it doesn’t always mean that a supplement will work for you.



Here is my take on supplements for cholesterol

Fiber

Fiber has soluble characteristics you find it in food like barley, oats, peas, citrus foods, bran it is also found in dietary supplements, soluble fiber is good for your heart.

Evidence: The Harvard Medical School conducted some research; they did a meta-analysis of almost seventy previous clinical trials on the effect soluble fiber had on lowering cholesterol levels. The analysis showed that there were definite reductions in both low density lipoprotein LDL and total cholesterol in 60 – 70% of the studies that were looked at. The interesting point was for every gram of soluble fiber that was added to the trial participants diet LDL levels reduced by approximately two points over an average period of 7 weeks.

It would be difficult to get enough fiber in your diet to lower your cholesterol significantly, according to researchers at Harvard if you were to eat 3 bowls of oatmeal each day you would only be getting about three grams of soluble fiber so it would make sense to take a fiber supplement in this case.

Summary: A high soluble fiber diet can help to lower your cholesterol but the reduction will be relatively small, a fiber supplement will increase your chances of a higher reduction in cholesterol.

Fish oil

Fish oil is a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, two types EPA & DPA, both are good for your heart, these fatty acids are found in a concentrated form in fish oil supplements produced as gel capsules.

Evidence: A lot of studies have been done on fish oil in relation to lowering cholesterol, in the majority of studies 3 grams of fish oil or more were identified in reducing triglyceride levels by 10-30%, high triglyceride levels are a  risk factor for heart disease, the same studies confirmed that fish oil didn’t lower LDL or bad cholesterol.

Summary: The studies prove that fish oil does lower your triglycerides especially people with high triglyceride levels, for people in this category doctors recommend that they should consume 2-4 grams of fish oil per day, fatty fish like salmon or mackerel contain EPA & DPA are recommended at one gram per day for people with heart disease.

Garlic

Garlic comes from the onion family, garlic can be used as an herb, extract, oil, or in supplement form.

Evidence: I a report in 2,000 the Federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality pointed out that garlic did lower cholesterol albeit in a small way, over a 3-month period LDL and total cholesterol were reduced. Further studies haven’t been encouraging the rate of cholesterol reduction has been underwhelming.

Summary: Garlic may have a small impact on cholesterol levels in the short term.

Ginseng

Ginseng is a widely used herb in Asian countries, ginseng has been in use as a traditional medicine for a very long time and is now available in capsule form.

Evidence: Research into ginseng has had mixed results, Harvard Medical School did a comprehensive review of previous studies back in 2005, according to the researchers ginseng had a beneficial effect on LDL and HDL levels in one case a drop of 45% in low density lipoprotein levels and a drop of 44% in high density lipoprotein levels, however the study was small and involved only eight people.

Summary: The trial results only involved a relatively small number of people; however, the results were encouraging but we need more studies.

Niacin

Niacin is produced naturally in fish, meat and dairy, it is a B vitamin and is produced in capsule form.

Evidence: On the scientific side some very large Niacin trials have been conducted, one 6 year study of 1,100 people or more found that Niacin had a significant effect on cholesterol levels including HDL, LDL and triglycerides, the most noteworthy effect was the increase in HDL (good cholesterol) levels by as much as 35%. The participants were given 2-3 grams per day of Niacin, this is a strong enough dose and may lead to side effects.

Summary: You should always consult your doctor before taking any cholesterol supplement

Soy protein

Soy foods contain soy protein, foods like tofu, soymilk and edamame, soy protein can also be purchased as a powder.

Evidence: Again the research will show that soy protein will have a minimal effect on cholesterol, in fact you would need to consume at least 50 gms of soy protein per day to achieve a modest drop of 3% in your cholesterol, this is twice the amount recommended by the FDA necessary to lower the risk of heart disease.

Summary: Hold onto your money, soy protein is unproven in lowering cholesterol

Guggul

Guggul is available in capsule form and is a tree resin extract, it has been used as an Ayurvedic medicine and contains plant sterols.

Evidence: Muck like ginseng, guggul doesn’t show a lot of promise in lowering cholesterol in a meaningful way, a study in 2003 at the University of Pennsylvania showed that guggul had no appreciable effect on total cholesterol either HDL or triglycerides, it did cause a rise in LDL levels of around 5%.

Summary: Guggul didn’t come out of the studies in a very good light, not recommended for lowering cholesterol.

Red yeast rice

Red yeast rice contains tiny amounts of lovastatin, it is a fungus that is found on rice, lovastatin is a popular statin drug.

Evidence: When you compare red yeast extract studies to other cholesterol supplements the evidence is quite strong that red yeast rice is an efficient natural way to lower cholesterol, did you know that red yeast rice is a low dose statin? Studies have demonstrated over the years that red yeast rice can lower cholesterol by an average of 20-30 % which compares very favourably to a statin drug.

Summary: Red yeast rice has great potential in lowering cholesterol, it seems to be very potent which worries some people, be careful when purchasing red yeast extract supplements check the amount of lovastatin in it before buying because too much of any statin can cause side effects.

Fenugreek

Fenugreek is often ground into powder from a seed, it is an old medicine used in Egypt, it is now available in capsule form.

Evidence: Going back to the nineties studies on fenugreek showed that when fenugreek seeds are taken in a high dose, they lower total cholesterol and LDL, in some cases dramatically so, for example one such case showed a reduction of 38% however the studies were limited and small. Fenugreek does have a lot of fiber (20-50%) it is thought that the large amount of fiber contributes in a large way to the cholesterol reduction.

Summary: The studies were small; we need more proof however fenugreek would seem to be as good natural alternative to lower cholesterol.

Artichoke leaf extract

Artichoke leaf extract is a dried extract of the leaf, it is also known as Cynara scolymus.

Evidence: A study in Germany back in 2002 of 150 people who had a total level reading of more than 280 points, considered by the American Heart Association to be high risk category were given the artichoke supplement for a six-week period. Results were determined and showed a reduction in LDL levels by an average of 23%, these results were encouraging however they haven’t been matched in any study since then.

Summary: We need more studies on artichoke to be done, however and even though results were mixed on previous studies artichoke would seem to be a solution to lowering cholesterol, however quickly it happens is anybody’s guess.

 


Best supplements to lower cholesterol

Best supplements to lower cholesterol

Best supplements to lower cholesterol

Let’s take a look at the best supplements to lower cholesterol, you have high cholesterol  but you don’t want to put drugs into your body.

Supplements work to lower cholesterol, they contain natural ingredients without a lot of harmful side effects that can happen when you take statin medications for a long period of time.

If you have high cholesterol or a history of heart disease in the family, now may be a good time to consider taking all-natural supplements that will reduce low density lipoprotein or “bad cholesterol”  before it becomes a bigger problem.

So, what are the best supplements to lower cholesterol, what is cholesterol, what should your cholesterol levels be, what causes high cholesterol, what foods are bad for cholesterol, what can you do to lower cholesterol.

Let’s dive in and find the answers for you.

What is cholesterol?

Cholesterol is naturally produced in the body, it is a type of fatty material in our blood that flows around our bodies, you can also find cholesterol in certain foods.

Cholesterol is carried in the blood by Lipoproteins and there are two types one is LDL-C or low-density lipoprotein and the other is HDL-C which is high density lipoprotein.

The “good” lipoprotein is the high density one because it assists the body to keep cholesterol from building up in your artery whereas the “bad” lipoprotein is the low density one because it is the primary source for the build-up of bad cholesterol in your artery.

Statin drugs are usually recommended to reduce the bad cholesterol, however many people don’t like taking them because of side effects, so they look for the best supplements to lower cholesterol.

Cholesterol levels

The normal way to find out your total cholesterol levels is to have a blood test done, the results will be a reading of the good and bad cholesterol.

There are other elements that raise the “bad” cholesterol one of which is triglyceride’s, it is a type of fat in your blood that increases the risk of a heart attack or stroke.

Triglycerides are connected to the levels of LDL-C.

When LDL-C levels are elevated in the blood plaque build-up begins to form on the walls of the arteries, this is progressive and over several years the plaque will harden making it difficult for the blood to flow normally around the body.

A symptom of hardening of the arteries would be chest pain, shortness of breath, extreme tiredness or high blood pressure.

Foods high in cholesterol

Foods high in cholesterol best supplements to lower cholesterol

Causes of high cholesterol

There are several reasons why you have high cholesterol, some are genetic, and some are lifestyle factors:

  • Family history
  • Your diet
  • Age & sex
  • Smoking
  • Inactivity
  • Underlying medical condition
  • Weight issues
  • High fat content foods

1.Family history

You may have high cholesterol because of an inherited gene that handles cholesterol differently, your liver especially regulates the LDL “bad” blood levels.

Because you inherited a particular gene your liver cells don’t remove the “bad” cholesterol as efficiently as other people so you will always have a high LDL blood reading (over 6.5mm/l).

This condition is called a lipid disorder even if you watch the foods that you eat your body will won’t remove the bad cholesterol as efficiently.

2.Your Diet

The food that you eat has a bearing on your blood cholesterol levels, a diet that is high in for example saturated fat can drive up blood cholesterol levels, saturated fat plays a role in the regulation of cholesterol and how the liver accomplishes this job.

Two types of fats

There are two types of fats, saturated and or unsaturated based on their chemical structure. Saturated fats are found in dairy products and in animal meat, saturated fats are considered “bad” because they can elevate blood cholesterol levels.

The opposite is true of using vegetable oils to cook with because it contains unsaturated fats which don’t raise blood cholesterol levels and may lower them.

NB Not all vegetable fats are good because of the hydrogenation process during manufacturing can turn unsaturated fats into trans fats, trans fats are almost as bad as saturated fats in the sense that they can raise the LDL in your blood.

LDL is the dangerous type of cholesterol that becomes part of what is called plaque build-up inside the walls of your arteries, calcium is another part that affects blood flow otherwise called calcification of the arteries.

A quality supplement can help to reduce both lipoprotein and calcium levels, one of the best supplements to lower cholesterol and calcium levels is Cholesto now called Cholesterol Optimizer by Dr Sam Robbins to find out more click here.

3.Age & Gender

As you age high cholesterol can become more of a problem, in fact most men and women over the age of 55 will have symptoms of elevated cholesterol levels.

Because of oestrogen levels women will tend to have more of the “good” HDL cholesterol compared to men although this will decline after the menopause.

Some research showed that high triglycerides are more of a risk to heart disease in women.

4. Smoking

Smoking can lead to atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) which causes heart attacks and stroke, some research shows that smoking can decrease the “good ” cholesterol and may cause inflammation in the bloodstream by oxidising the “bad” cholesterol.

The good news is levels of HDL “good” cholesterol have been reported to increase in those who have quit smoking, if you smoke try to cut down or cut them out altogether.

5. Physical activity

Over the year’s studies have shown that physical activity can increase the “good” HDL cholesterol, by getting a minimum of 30 minutes exercise daily will make a difference not only to how it can affect your “good” cholesterol but you know that it is good for your heart and mental health.

6. Underlying physical condition

Cholesterol levels are affected by certain underlying medical conditions such as thyroid, diabetes, and ovarian syndrome.

By controlling these conditions with medication can contribute to normal cholesterol levels and reduce the associated risks for heart disease.

7. Weight Issues

Obesity or overweight is known to increase “bad” cholesterol (LDL) it also lowers “good” cholesterol (HDL) 25-29 kg/m2 is overweight and above that is obese.

By trying to lose weight you increase your “good” cholesterol and you decrease your “bad” cholesterol, you can achieve much by losing weight in addition to taking the best supplements to lower cholesterol.

Cholesterol levels chart best supplements to lower cholesterol

Recommended cholesterol levels for adults

Desirable total cholesterol levels for adults are less than 200 mmgs per decilitre

Between 200-239 is borderline Above 240 mg/dl is high

HDL 40 Male 50 Female satisfactory 60 desirable

LDL Normal 100 Borderline 130 High 160 Excessive 190

Triglycerides Normal 150 Borderline high 200 High 500 Excessive 500+

Which Foods Help Lower Cholesterol Levels?

Watching the foods that you eat may help to lower cholesterol by different processes, for example foods high in fibre can stick the cholesterol together and make absorption difficult.

Plant sterols and stanols also make cholesterol absorption into the bloodstream more difficult some examples of these would be:

  • Barley, whole grains and oats
  • Nuts
  • Strawberries, grapes and apples
  • Citrus fruits
  • Beans
  • Fatty fish
  • Soy

Foods to avoid

Some foods are known to increase “bad” cholesterol blood levels and should not be eaten if possible, these are:

  • Bacon or other processed meats
  • French fries, hamburgers and fried chicken
  • Red meat
  • Dairy butter and cheese
  • Snack foods or high salt foods
  • Lard or baked foods from animal fats.
  • Egg yolks

 Recommended Best supplements to lower Cholesterol

L-Carnitine Plus CoQ10

The benefits of CoQ10 plus carnitine are three-fold, it helps the body to stop fat build up especially to the heart and liver.

It does this by oxidising the long chain fatty acids to the heart. CoQ10 plus Carnitine also supports cell growth and fights against free radical damage, to learn more about the best l-carnitine plus CoQ10 supplement go to this page.

UB8Q10

UB8Q10 is a Coenzyme Q10 that is up to 8 times better absorbed compared to ordinary CoQ10.

This all-natural product contains Coenzyme Q10 a powerful ingredient to fuel each cell and every process in the body.

As we age our bodies become depleted of CoQ10 co we need to supplement our bodies with UB8Q10.

The heart uses a constant supply of ATP, this is a source of energy for our bodies, the production of ATP is dependent on a good supply of CQ10, to purchase one of the best supplements to lower cholesterol UB8Q10 go here.

Krill oil best supplements to lower cholesterol

Krill oil has been favourably thought of as all-natural way or alternative to cholesterol supplements, Krill oil doesn’t produce side effects that are normally associated with long term use prescription cholesterol medications.

Studies have shown that krill oil is one of the best supplements to lower cholesterol especially the bad cholesterol LDL, not only is it good for your heart but also helps with arthritis pain and PMS.

To learn more about Krill oil and how it can help to lower cholesterol go here.

Cholesterol Optimizer by HFL Solutions

Cholesterol Optimizer by HFL Solutions is a best-selling cholesterol supplement for the past 22 years, the main reasons why Dr Sam Robbins cholestrol supplement is so good are:

  • The product maintains healthy cholesterol inside normal range
  • Cholesterol Optimizer supports serum lipid metabolism
  • The all-natural product supports a natural cholesterol balance
  • Cholesterol Optimizer promotes detoxification and a healthy liver
  • Cholesterol Optimizer (used to be called Cholelso) promotes healthy triglycerides and homocysteine in the normal range.

Why not give Cholesterol Optimizer by Dr Sam Robbins a try, go to his website here.

Conclusion

I sincerely hope I have given you enough information on the best supplements to lower cholesterol, in conclusion I believe that by using a combination of a healthy diet, regular exercise, cease smoking, take the best supplements to lower cholesterol you will be healthier and happier.

Best of all you will reduce your chances of having a major heart attack, many have passed away too soon, now is the time to act.