It is possible that you have a problem with your cholesterol that your doctor has already informed you of. Your primary concern may be ensuring the health of your cardiovascular system. Some people wonder whether there are alternatives to prescription cholesterol-lowering drugs. Researchers have shown some natural alternatives to be effective.
There are a few cholesterol-lowering supplements available on the market at present, but they are accompanied by a lot of marketing hype. Truth is sometimes hard to come by. In our guide, we tell readers how to pick the best cholesterol-lowering supplement.
What Is Cholesterol?
High cholesterol has a reputation for being unhealthy, so some people assume that cholesterol is foreign to the body or that it is harmful. Every cell in your body contains cholesterol, which is very important for healthy living. Cell membranes are made up of this waxy, yellowish fat. The liver also plays a role in the production of vitamin D and bile, which has the ability to help digest fat.
There is also a misconception that cholesterol is mainly due to your diet. The liver and the intestines produce about 80 percent of the body’s cholesterol. The remaining 80% can only be obtained through your diet. Animal sources of cholesterol, including meat, eggs, and dairy products, are referred to as dietary cholesterol.
Good Cholesterol Vs. Bad Cholesterol
Your doctor uses a lipid panel to check your cholesterol, but the results are not just one number. There are four values that determine the total cholesterol level in your blood: LDL, HDL, triglycerides, and total cholesterol.
Low-density lipoprotein, or bad cholesterol, is commonly referred to as low-density lipoprotein. Cholesterol is carried to your cells via LDL in your bloodstream. High levels of LDL tend to build up fat deposits in your arteries, which is the “bad” thing about it. Atherosclerosis is the cause of this problem. Among the complications of atherosclerosis are heart attack, stroke, peripheral artery disease, kidney disease, and blood clots. The LDL level of an adult should not exceed 100 mg/dl.
Good cholesterol is often referred to as HDL, or high-density lipoprotein. LDL is broken down by your liver and transported back to your bloodstream for excretion. In this way, HDL protects your heart from disease and reduces your stroke risk. The recommended HDL level for adults is above 60mg/dl.
Triglycerides are a way of storing excess energy from calories you consume. Stroke and heart disease risk are increased by high levels of triglycerides. If the triglyceride level exceeds 150 mg/dL, it is considered too high.
Total blood cholesterol
This measure provides an overview of your blood lipid levels by combining your HDL, LDL, triglycerides, and other fatty acids into one number. A healthy adult’s blood cholesterol level should be less than 200 mg/dL.
Exercise and a healthy diet are the two best ways to raise HDL and lower LDL. Among the unhealthy cholesterol foods, you should avoid are red meat, dairy products, and processed foods, which contain saturated fat and trans fats. The unsaturated fat in nuts, seeds, fish, and vegetable oils can cause the same problem as too little fat.
If you have highly elevated levels of LDL or are at high risk for heart disease for any reason, you may need medication for lowering your cholesterol. The most commonly prescribed medication for this condition is statins. If you don’t want to take statins or can’t tolerate them, you can eat a variety of foods and foods derived from foods that show to reduce cholesterol.
Cholesterol-lowering supplements are available on the market today in a broad array of formulas; some are multi-ingredient while others are single-ingredient. These natural supplements have been shown to lower cholesterol, so we have included a few below.
Niacin may lower LDL and increase HDL when taken in high doses. If purchased over the counter, low-dose supplements are also potentially effective. High doses of Niacin could cause a flushing of the face or harm the liver. If you are interested in taking high doses of niacin supplements, check with your doctor.
Omega-3 fish oil
Research has shown that omega-3 fish oil reduces triglyceride levels, raises HDL, and lowers cardiovascular disease risk. A high concentration of omega-3 fatty acids can be found in fish such as salmon, sardines, and herring. Despite this, most people prefer taking them as supplements.
Psyllium husks and soluble fibres aid digestion by filtering LDL from your bloodstream. In addition, you can consume psyllium by mixing it with water and eating oatmeal for breakfast.
Sterols found naturally in fruits, vegetables, nuts, and grains can be helpful in controlling the disease. By reducing LDL cholesterol levels in your blood, these cholesterol-blocking vegetables act like plant cholesterol.
Sugarcane, wheat, and beeswax are used to make a policosanol. Although there are mixed studies that support this claim, there does appear to be a reduction in LDL and the production of cholesterol in the liver.
Red yeast rice extract
Lovastatin, a prescription medicine for lowering cholesterol, is contained in red yeast rice extract. If you purchase red yeast rice extract, be sure that the product contains enough extract, as some manufacturers claim to have added more than what is actually in the package.
In addition to using garlic when cooking, you should use it to stay healthy as well. Studies have demonstrated garlic’s cholesterol-lowering effects. Moreover, your liver may produce less cholesterol as a result.
Guggul extract is made from myrrh tree resin. India has been using this herb for thousands of years, including for reducing cholesterol. It has been suggested that it may reduce total cholesterol in some studies, but results have been mixed.
There is no evidence to suggest that soy protein reduces total or LDL cholesterol significantly, but it does decrease them slightly. Soy protein provides health benefits when one or two meat dishes are substituted each week for soy protein.
Pricing For Cholesterol-lowering Supplement
Capsules to reduce cholesterol generally range from $10 to $40 per bottle. It will cost you around $10 for simple formulas that tout one or two benefits. If you decide to invest in a complex formula that addresses more than one issue, the price might end up exceeding $40 per bottle. In addition, certain supplements claiming to lower cholesterol also claim to improve focus and physical endurance. Typically, complex formulas are more expensive.
It’s important to keep track of how much each pill costs and how many pills you take per day. To calculate the price per pill, divide the per pill cost by the number of pills in the bottle. There are normally 60 to 120 capsules in a bottle, so depending on how many are taken each day, the bottle will last about a month.
Frequently Asked Questions About Cholesterol-lowering Supplements
Does cholesterol-lowering supplementation work?
In rigorous studies, a number of popular supplements, including green tea, significantly lower cholesterol levels, raise HDL levels and lower LDL levels. The benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, soluble fibres such as psyllium, plant sterols, and niacin in lowering blood cholesterol levels have been found to be significant, but other components have had mixed results.
To lower my cholesterol, should I take a single ingredient or a combination of ingredients?
While both products have their benefits, you are less likely to experience side effects if you select a product with only one ingredient. Moreover, if you take a supplement containing only one ingredient and your blood test reveals a decrease in cholesterol, you’ll be able to determine which ingredient had the intended effect.
Does a higher price always indicate higher quality when it comes to cholesterol-lowering supplements?
It isn’t always true. Supplements are available at a variety of prices because cholesterol-lowering ingredients contain different ingredients. As a general rule, the best brand to pick is a well-known brand that uses proven ingredients, and you should steer clear of lesser-known companies that offer bargain prices.
What are the side effects of cholesterol-lowering supplements?
Although some individuals may be sensitive to certain ingredients, the ingredients used in these products generally have no side effects. Policosanol and guggul are hard for some people to stomach, meanwhile, psyllium and other high-fibre products may cause gas or bloat. Taking high doses of niacin may cause the skin to flush and can cause liver damage.
Take a look at these popular supplement brands for full-body wellness and weight loss:
- Resurge: According to the official website, Resurge’s formula is designed to help users recover from shallow sleep syndrome and improve the process of metabolic regeneration that occurs during sleep.
- BioFit: This supplement contains probiotics selected for their ability to support digestion and bowel movement.
- Okinawa Flat Belly Tonic: This supplement supports a flat stomach and weight loss by optimizing metabolism and digestion.
- Java Burn: A single-serve pack of Java Burn, according to its creator John Barban, can improve your energy levels and help you burn fat.