If you have high cholesterol levels, you may be looking into natural options for treatment. Aside from making dietary and exercise changes in your life, the are a variety of supplements that lower cholesterol and, in turn, reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease events and other associated dangers.
Before delving into some of the top supplements for lowering cholesterol, it is important to have a foundational understanding of the different types.
There are two types of lipoproteins, which carry cholesterol to the cells: low-density lipoprotein (LDL) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL).
For maximum health, a person should have higher levels of HDL and low levels of LDL. There are also triglycerides, the most common type of fat, which store excess energy. High triglyceride levels paired with high LDL or low HDL levels can increase the risk of heart disease and strokes.
The following are some of the best options for you to consider when looking for supplements to lower cholesterol.
Be sure to consult with your doctor before implementing a supplement for high cholesterol into your routine, particularly if you are taking any medications.
A diet that includes a high soluble fiber intake has been connected to the reduction of LDL and total cholesterol levels. It is typically recommended to have a daily intake of between 21 to 38 grams of fiber per day, depending on your age and gender. Soluble fiber is naturally found in foods like oatmeal, kidney beans, and many fruit and vegetables, but it can be difficult to get the recommended daily intake from food alone—oatmeal, for instance, only has a bit less than 3 grams in 1.5 cups. Taking Psyllium supplements, which comes from the husks of the seeds of a plantago ovata plant, can help you increase your intake of soluble fiber and in turn help lower cholesterol.
Fish oil contains two omega-3 fatty acids that are good for your heart: EPA and DPA. Consumption of about 250 milligrams per day can help to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of coronary heart disease and cardiac arrest. Fish oil has been found to have the potential to drop triglyceride levels by approximately 25%. It is particularly effective for those who already have high triglyceride levels. However, it does not lower the LDL levels.
Artichoke Leaf Extract
The extract of an artichoke leaf can be dried and taken as a supplement to lower cholesterol levels. In a 2000 study, researchers tracked adults with a total cholesterol level over 280, and had them take the supplement for six weeks. They found that their LDL levels fell by an average of 23%. While the results of this study were impressive, it is important to note that more evidence is needed in order to confirm the effect of artichoke leaf extract on cholesterol levels.
With the growing popularity of CBD, the oil is starting to be studied in relation to cholesterol, and initial findings are promising. Some studies show that CBD oil can modulate the levels of cholesterol in microglial cells. Research is still in the beginning stages, but using CBD oil as a natural treatment for lowering cholesterol may become more of the norm over time.