Soluble fiber appears to reduce LDL cholesterol by reducing cholesterol absorption in the intestines. Soluble fiber binds with cholesterol so that it is excreted.
Soluble fiber can be found as a dietary supplement, such as psyllium powder, or in foods such as:
- Oats, barley, rye
- Legumes (peas, beans)
- Some fruits such as apples, prunes, and berries
- Some vegetables, such as carrots, brussel sprouts, broccoli, yams
Five to 10 grams a day of soluble fiber has been found to decrease LDL cholesterol by approximately 5%.
The FDA allows soluble fiber products to indicate on the label that they are “heart-healthy”.
Plant Sterols and Stanols
Plant stanols and sterols (such as beta-sitosterol and sitostanol) are naturally occurring substances found in certain plants. Stanols are also found as dietary supplements or are added to margarine, orange juice, and dressings.
Research suggests that plant stanols and sterols may help to lower cholesterol. They are similar in structure to cholesterol and may help block the absorption of cholesterol absorption from the intestines.
Studies have found that stanols significantly reduced total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol, but had no significant effect on HDL cholesterol or triglycerides.
Stanols and sterols appear to enhance the effects of other methods to lower cholesterol. In studies, people taking the statin drugs to lower cholesterol had an additional improvement in their cholesterol levels with stanols/sterols.
Other Supplements that helps to lower cholesterol:
- Red Yeast Rice
- Coenzyme Q10