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Competitive Market of Cholesterol Lowering Supplements
Heart health has become an increasingly important topic for health care providers and their patients. With obesity becoming more common and more people facing problems with heart disease as a result, finding ways to battle the consequences, such as high cholesterol, is critical. Cholesterol lowering supplements have become one of the top treatment methods but that has also increased the competition in the market. Below are some more examples.
Red Yeast Rice
The competition in the market for cholesterol reduction hit its peak with the battle over red yeast rice supplements and Mevacor, a prescription drug made by Merck. Red yeast rice has been a popular food and health supplement in China for centuries. When Western audiences heard about the purported benefits, they began taking it as well and seeing results. That’s because red yeast rice contains compounds thought to prevent the synthesis of cholesterol by the body. Unfortunately, the most common compound in these supplements was lovastatin which is also the primary ingredient in Mevacor. For this reason, the FDA got involved and decided to ban red yeast rice supplements from the United States because taking lovastatin in supplement form could be dangerous.
Critics of the FDA’s decision say it illustrates the bias the government organization has towards supplements, especially since all scientific studies thus far have shown red yeast rice to be a safe, effective, and more affordable alternative. The final verdict on whether these natural cholesterol lowering supplements will be readily available to consumers is still out.
Not So Effective
Although red yeast rice has been shown to be an effective way to lower cholesterol, not all supplements have been show to be as effective. Since so much money can be made in the market, however, many of these products are still available and being marketed as beneficial.
A few products on the market include chromium which is supposed to be a way to lower cholesterol naturally. Several studies have looked at the effects of chromium and chromium-containing supplements. The results have all shown no impact on overall cholesterol levels.
Another example are tocotrienols which are compounds similar to Vitamin E that were supposed to block the liver’s ability to make cholesterol so you only have to worry about what the extra cholesterol you ingest. Only one study has been published showing tocotrienols impact cholesterol levels and the doses used were four times what was recommended by the makers of the supplements containing them. Furthermore, the use of Vitamin E supplements which have been show to promote heart health can actually cause tocotrienols not to stop working.
In some ways, garlic is the same way. Although taking garlic pills has long been recommended for all types of health problems, cholesterol reduction is the hot ticket today. Unfortunately, the garlic pills that have been tested only seem to produce results at very high levels. Even then cholesterol levels only dropped by about 5 percent. As far as garlic goes, instead of using garlic pills that may not help at all and could cause negative side effects, eat a glove of garlic a day by adding the ingredient to your foods.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
|Cholesterol Supplements6 Jun 2009|