High Cholesterol increases the risk of both heart attacks and strokes.

Maintaining a healthy diet will in most non-genetic related cases prevent your cholesterol level from escalating to health damaging levels.

For some, like myself, have a genetic predisposition to high cholesterol - or rather high LDL levels.

  1. Low-density lipoprotein [LDL]; the BAD cholesterol. LDL clings to artery walls, increasing plaque build-up. High levels of LDL increase your risk of heart disease and heat attack.
  2. High-density lipoprotein [HDL]; the GOOD cholesterol. HDL carries excess cholesterol to the liver where it is removed from the body. If you have a low level of HDL, you have a higher risk of heart attack. This condition can be controlled with weight management, proper diet, regular exercise and, in some cases, medication.

More On High Cholesterol

Cholesterol Tests

In most cases cholesterol can be controlled through a combination of low fat diet and exercise.

  • Diet - lowers LDL
  • Exercise - raises HDL, helping to remove excess cholesterol

There are also certain nutritional supplements that have proven very effective in lowering cholesterol levels.


Cholesterol Lowering Supplements

The cholesterol lowering chemicals and compounds in the above cholesterol lowering foods are available in nutritional supplements especially formulated to assist those with high cholesterol.

The most commonly used ingredients in cholesterol lowering supplements include:


Phytosterols [Plant sterols]

Phytosterols interfere with absorption of lower LDL (“bad”) cholesterol, but little or no effect on HDL (“good”) cholesterol or triglycerides.

Used in FDA-approved margarines (Benecol and Take Control), which lower cholesterol by an average of 10% when eaten as directed, have proven more effective than supplements. Potential side effects include gastrointestinal problems such as cramping and diarrhea. May possibly reduce absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (A, D, K, and E) as well as carotenoids such as beta carotene.

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Psyllium (Sold as Metamucil)

Psyllium is a seed grain fibre supplement and laxative (powder or pill). Lowers total and LDL cholesterol by 4 to 7%. Start with a low dose, then increase to minimise gas and bloating. May interact with some drugs. In rare cases, allergic reactions.

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Niacin [B vitamin, nicotinic acid]

Niacin, in massive doses lowers LDL, boosts HDL, and reduce triglycerides substantially. May have other beneficial effects as well. Other cholesterol-lowering drugs have less effect on HDL and triglycerides.

Niacin is not recommended for people with liver disease, it can cause hot fushes and itching, nausea, blurred vision, dizziness, headache, rise in blood sugar, and liver damage. Extended-release versions, such as Niaspan, reduce flushing. Best taken under medical supervision.

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Red Yeast Rice Extracts

These rice extracts have been used for centuries in China as a heart remedy. Made by fermenting red yeast on rice; contains lovastatin, the same ingredient found in one of the statin drugs (Mevacor). Can cause bloating, gas and in rare cases, muscle pain or liver problems. May interact with grapefruit juice.

Do not take with other cholesterol-lowering drugs or levothyroxine (for thyroid problems). Take under medical supervision with periodic blood tests.

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Policosanol is derived from sugar cane, yams, or beeswax. Some studies suggest it can lower LDL cholesterol as much as 25%; others have found little or no effect. Don’t take with anti-clotting drugs.

Potential side effects include: gastrointestinal upset, rashes, headaches, insomnia, and weight loss. May inhibit blood clotting.

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The nutritional supplements mentioned on this page are available on our Antiaging Online Shop

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More Cholesterol Lowering Nutrients

Guides To Lowering & Controlling Cholesterol

Cholesterol Lowering Supplements

Although the extent of the following supplements has yet to be sufficiently proven, they have had a range of effects from impressive to modest, with very rarely side effect. .In severe cases, medications are advised - see your Doctor for details.

It is recommended to tell your doctor and have periodic blood tests to see if they are having the desired effect.


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