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5 Natural Supplements for High Cholesterol
High cholesterol is frequently treated with prescriptions but if you prefer a more natural approach there is good news available. A number of natural supplements for high cholesterol have been studied and found effective in lowering those numbers. The best part is that side effects for these natural options are usually lower and less intense than those associated with prescription medications. Below are five of the best ones to try out.
1. Soluble Fiber
One of the most natural and beneficial parts of a cholesterol lowering diet is the addition of more soluble fiber. With this type of fiber, the excessive cholesterol actually becomes bound to the fiber which cannot be digested by the body. As the fiber leaves your body as a waste product so does the cholesterol.
You can choose to take soluble fiber supplements in a pill or powder form. Or you can opt for increasing your intake of high fiber foods, including barley, rye, legumes, and produce. You want to make sure that your diet includes 5 to 10 grams of soluble fiber. If so, you’ll see a decrease in your LDL numbers of about 5%.
2. Red Yeast Rice
Despite a recent ban on red yeast rice by the FDA, red yeast rice continues to be one of the most effective natural cholesterol supplements. Because the supplements shared some ingredients with a cholesterol fighting prescription drug, the FDA believed it should be pulled off the market. A court changed the decision so it looks as if the supplement may be available yet again.
One of the high points of red yeast rice is that it has few side effects, has a long history of being used for its health benefits in China, and costs much less than the prescription drug which shares its active ingredients.
3. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
If you’ve been diagnosed with high cholesterol, chances are your physician has recommended eating more fish. That’s because fish are the leading source of Omega-3 fatty acids which are some of the best supplements available for overall heart health. They work by raising your levels of HDL cholesterol (the good kind). You can take fish oil supplements but most physicians recommend eating at least two servings of fatty fish (albacore tune, salmon, sardines, etc.) per week so you can get all of the important nutrients the food contains. However, if you’re a vegetarian or if you just hate eating fish, you can also get Omega-3 fatty acids from flax seed which can be blended into cereal or yogurt as part of your breakfast.
4. Artichoke Leaf Extract
Known as Cynana scolymnus, artichoke leaf extract may have some cholesterol lowering benefits, as well. The extract is thought to stop cholesterol from being synthesized by the body and by increasing bile production to expedite its evacuation from the product with other waste products. Studies have focused on doses of 1800 milligrams per day and have showed positive results across the board: total cholesterol lowered by 18%, LDL cholesterol lowered by 23%, and decreased ration between LDL and HDL cholesterol after just six weeks.
5. Plant Sterols and Stanols
These are definitely going to continue increasing in popularity among people who want natural ways to lower their cholesterol, especially those people who aren’t too keen on popping supplement pills daily. That’s because these chemicals found naturally in many plants are being added to a wide-range of consumer products, including salad dressings and orange juice, so you can easily enjoy their benefits. And those benefits are plentiful: lower LDL, lower total cholesterol, and boosts to effectiveness of cholesterol reducing medications.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
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