High cholesterol is when cholesterol levels in blood become very high. LDL (“bad” cholesterol) is considered a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. LDL cholesterol is thought to irritate the lining of blood vessels, causing the arteries to harden.
Natural Remedies To Lower High Cholesterol
Also called niacin, this vitamin helps to lower cholesterol, specifically lowering lower LDL cholesterol and increasing HDL cholesterol. Studies have found that niacin lowers LDL cholesterol by 10–20%, lowers triglycerides by 20–50%, and raises “good” HDL cholesterol by 15–35%. Niacin appears to significantly lower the levels for arteriosclerosis too.1
Some researches suggest that artichoke leaf extract (cynara scolymnus) may help to lower cholesterol. Artichoke leaf extract may work by limiting the synthesis of cholesterol in the body. Artichokes also contain a compound called cynarin, used to increase bile production in the liver and speed the flow of bile from the gallbladder, both of which may increase cholesterol excretion.2
Soluble fiber appears to reduce LDL cholesterol by reducing cholesterol absorption in the intestines.3 It binds with cholesterol so that it is excreted. It can be found as a dietary supplement, such as psyllium powder or also in foods such as the following:
- Legumes like peas and beans
- Fruits like apples, prunes, and berries
- Vegetables like carrots, brussel sprouts, broccoli, and yams
Plant Sterols and Stanols
Plant stanols and sterols (such as beta-sitosterol and sitostanol) are naturally occurring substances found in certain plants. Stanols are added to margarine, orange juice, and dressings. Research has found that plant stanols and sterols might help to lower cholesterol. They are similar in structure to cholesterol and may help block the absorption of cholesterol
Studies have found that stanols significantly reduced total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol but had no significant effect on HDL cholesterol or triglycerides. But they appear to enhance the effects of other methods, such as intake of statin drugs, to lower cholesterol.
Other Helpful Supplements
Who Needs To Lower Cholesterol Levels?
High cholesterol is usually treated based on the total cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels. The people who need to lower their cholesterol levels and make sure their cholesterol is at a healthy level are the following:
- People with diabetes
- People who smoke9
- People with high blood pressure
- People with low HDL cholesterol
- People who have a family history of early heart disease
- Men of 45 years and older
- Women of 55 years and older
- A person with a 10-year risk of heart attack greater than 20%
|↑1||Jonny Bowden PHD, C. N. S., and Adam Swenson. “NIACIN & CHOLESTEROL.” Alternative Medicine 12 (2013): 38.|
|↑2||Petrowicz, O., R. Gebhardt, M. Donner, P. Schwandt, and K. Kraft.
|↑3||Brown, Lisa, Bernard Rosner, Walter W. Willett, and Frank M. Sacks. “Cholesterol-lowering effects of dietary fiber: a meta-analysis.” The American journal of clinical nutrition 69, no. 1 (1999): 30-42.|
|↑4||Plat, Jogchum, and Ronald P. Mensink. “Plant stanol and sterol esters in the control of blood cholesterol levels: mechanism and safety aspects.” The American journal of cardiology 96, no. 1 (2005): 15-22.|
|↑5||Gouni-Berthold, Ioanna, and Heiner K. Berthold. “Policosanol: clinical pharmacology and therapeutic significance of a new lipid-lowering agent.” American Heart Journal 143, no. 2 (2002): 356-365.|
|↑6||Li, Changling, Yan Zhu, Yinye Wang, Jia-Shi Zhu, Joseph Chang, and David Kritchevsky. “Monascus purpureus-fermented rice (red yeast rice): a natural food product that lowers blood cholesterol in animal models of hypercholesterolemia.” Nutrition Research 18, no. 1 (1998): 71-81.|
|↑7||Yeh, Yu-Yan, and Lijuan Liu. “Cholesterol-lowering effect of garlic extracts and organosulfur compounds: human and animal studies.” The journal of nutrition 131, no. 3 (2001): 989S-993S.|
|↑8||Binaghi, P., G. Cellina, Cicero G. Lo, F. Bruschi, E. Porcaro, and M. Penotti. “[Evaluation
|↑9||Garrison, R. J., W. B. Kannel, Manning Feinleib, W. P. Castelli, P. M. McNamara, and S. J. Padgett. “Cigarette smoking and HDL cholesterol the Framingham offspring study.” Atherosclerosis 30, no. 1 (1978): 17-25.|