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Study Shows Certain Supplements to Lower Cholesterol May Be Effective

Cholesterol plaque in artery

Plaque in artery: cholesterol lowering supplements may help

It is not good news to be told by your doctor that your blood cholesterol level is high. You may otherwise be perfectly healthy except for that “little” problem. Your doctor is likely to write a script for cholesterol lowering drugs, also known as statins, which you have to take for the rest of your life. Not an option many welcome with open arms. Is there another way?

Dietary and lifestyle change is one option, but unfortunately it doesn’t always work, at least not in and of itself. Why?

You see, most of your cholesterol does not come from your diet. It is made by your body, most of it in the liver. This includes both HDL cholesterol, the good kind, and LDL cholesterol which is the bad cholesterol. It is the bad cholesterol that you need to lower if it is high.

Your body often needs a little extra help to lower bad cholesterol. Many people prefer methods that can lower cholesterol naturally to taking statins for the rest of their life. One study recently showed that certain natural supplements can actually work at lowering cholesterol and triglycerides.

In a double-blind, randomized, parallel controlled study led by French sicnetists Nicolas Ogier and colleagues , 39 subjects aged 21 to 55 years who had moderate hypercholesterolemia, but did not receive drug treatment were assigned to receive either a new dietary supplement consisting of red yeast rice, sugar-cancer derived policosanols and artichoke leaf extracts or a placebo for 16 weeks.

At baseline, 4, 8, 12 and 15 weeks of treatment, serum concentrations of lipids [LDL-cholesterol, total cholesterol (TC), high-density-lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-cholesterol), triacylglycerols (TG)] and serum levels of vitamins C and E, total polyphenols and malondialdehyde were measured.

It was found that LDL-cholesterol and triacylglycerols were decreased by 21.4%. 14.1% respectively at week 16, compared to those measured at baseline. serum LDL cholesterol was also found lower at 4, 8 and 12 weeks.

The reduction in triacylglycerols at 16 weeks was 12.2% in the study group. A difference in the vitamin E/triacylglycerols ratio was observed at week 16 between the study group and the placebo group. See original post

The above quoted study may be new, at least the supplements combo, but not the tested supplements. Red yeast rice for one has been shown to have cholesterol lowering benefits for a while now.

Now, statins are big business. That they are prescribed to people most of whom are otherwise healthy has led to a sort of conspiracy theory. However, some cholesterol lowering supplements have been found as effective as, even more effective than, statins. Supplements often do not cause as many side effects as drugs, and they are in almost all cases cheaper.

Working with a knowledgeable health care professional is not just recommended, it is greatly emphasized.

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