If you are worried about your cholesterol levels, the best place to start is by changing your lifestyle. The basics of a healthy lifestyle (and hence, a healthy body and cholesterol levels) boil down to two things: proper diet and regular exercise. If you stick to a nutrient-dense diet and commit to exercising regularly, it should help you fix and manage your cholesterol levels well.
Sleep and stress management are also very important facts. A lack of sleep can damage your health, even if you are working out and eating properly. On the other hand, unmanaged stress is simply harmful to your overall physical and mental health.
But is lifestyle change enough to regulate your cholesterol levels? It all depends on the person. For some, it is, but for others, they need more leverage. It is for this very reason that supplements are made, to fill the gap, including those for cholesterol-lowering purposes. So what exactly are the best supplements to lower cholesterol? Let’s take a look in this guide!
What Are Cholesterol-Lowering Supplements?
Carrying high levels of LDL cholesterol in your blood increases your chance of experiencing a heart attack or a stroke, so you want to do as much as you can to keep your cholesterol levels healthy.
Before we dive right into cholesterol-lowering supplements, it is important that you first understand what we are really trying to do with our cholesterol levels.
First off, cholesterol is not necessarily bad. In fact, cholesterol is vital to some of our body’s performances and functions, such as building the structure of our cell membranes, helping make metabolism more efficient, and building key hormones such as testosterone, estrogen, and adrenal hormones.
But there are two kinds of cholesterol: the LDL or “bad” cholesterol and HDL or “good” cholesterol. Clearly, you would want to increase your “good” cholesterol levels and decrease the levels of your “bad” cholesterol. While the specific cholesterol levels vary depending on person, here are the recommended levels:
- Total cholesterol: less than 200 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL)
- LDL cholesterol: less than 100 mg/dL
- HDL cholesterol: 50 mg/dL or higher
So, what are cholesterol-lowering supplements? As their name suggests, cholesterol-lowering supplements are supplements aimed to help you lower and manage your cholesterol levels.
Of course, cholesterol-lowering supplements are not the only thing you can do to get your cholesterol levels to healthy and manageable numbers. Proper diet and regular exercise are key to getting your cholesterol in check, so they should be implemented alongside a cholesterol-lowering supplement.
Cholesterol-lowering supplements can come in natural forms, which we will provide examples below, or come in their supplement form. Here are some examples of foods and supplements that can help lower your cholesterol:
- Fish oil
- Oat bran
- Flaxseed (ground)
- Artichoke (extract)
- Green tea or green tea extract
These foods and supplements can either lower your LDL or “bad” cholesterol levels, lower both LDL and total cholesterol levels or lower your triglycerides levels.
Benefits Of Supplements That Help Lower Cholesterol
The obvious benefit of cholesterol-lowering supplements is that it lowers and regulates your total cholesterol levels in your body. This, in turn, will provide numerous advantages for your overall health.
One of the main advantages of well-maintained cholesterol levels is reduced risk to heart problems such as heart disease and stroke. Unwanted cholesterol aids in plaque formation in the arteries, resulting in heart-related problems.
Lowered and well-maintained cholesterol levels can also benefit those who have type 2 diabetes or are at risk of developing it.
But again, it is not merely about lowering your cholesterol levels in one moment and keeping them low. It’s a little more complicated and about keeping it at a healthy level to avoid associated health problems with high or unmaintained levels.
How To Take Cholesterol-Lowering Supplements
Cholesterol-lowering supplements can be consumed either in their raw form or supplement form.
Of course, if you will take it via food, you simply have to eat or drink it. On the other hand, if you are going to take it via its supplement form, simply take it in capsule or pill form the way you take your regular capsule or pill medicines.
Do Supplements That Lower Cholesterol Really Work?
The short answer is: yes. Cholesterol-lowering supplements really do work, but, there are several things to remember.
First, the supplements industry is currently less regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) compared to its counterpart, the medicine industry. Because of this, fraudulent and deceitful manufacturers come and take advantage of this by selling supplements that either do not work or, worse, can have negative side-effects on your part. If they do work, usually it is just a placebo effect.
Still, real and truthful supplements exist in the market; you just need to do the digging for yourself to find the right supplement for you.
One way to do this is by reading the label and knowing exactly what you are digesting. Another thing you can do to review your supplement is by doing some research and asking for reviews. First, see if you can find reviews from people you already trust. If you know someone and trust that person, who uses a particular cholesterol-lowering supplement, then that’s one good source of a healthy recommendation. You can also look for trusted blogs and websites for their reviews too.
In short, cholesterol-lowering supplements do work. You just need to do some digging to find the one that works for you.
Are Cholesterol-Lowering Supplements Right For You?
Unlike other supplements, which can be taken by an average person without any recommendation or consultation from their doctor, it is best if you ask to wait for your doctor’s OK if you are planning to take a cholesterol-lowering supplement. This is because it can interfere with your overall body’s system, especially if you are having problems with your cholesterol already.
Also, never take cholesterol-lowering supplements as a substitute for medication for your cholesterol levels. If you need to take medications as prescribed by your doctor, then please take it. Do not self-medicate, as it can only worsen your problem if you are having problems with your cholesterol already.
Best Supplements To Lower Cholesterol
Liquid Cholesterol Health by Herb Pharm ($15)
This liquid supplement is perfect for anyone that does not like taking supplements in pill form. It’s easily dispensed and just as effective as a pill. It’s also quite affordable, making it a great all-around option.
Advanced Lipid Control ($22)
Made with black tea theaflavins and Indian gooseberry, this cholesterol support is perfect for lowering your cholesterol. These two powerful ingredients help support a few different key factors that play roles in cardiovascular function.
Choleast by Thorne ($37)
This supplement is a little bit more expensive than the others, but it is worth the price. Made with Red yeast rice and CoQ10, this supplement helps maintain good cholesterol levels, healthy lipid size, and helps with antioxidant support.
These capsules are easy to take, moderately priced, and effective. Made with policosanol, Tocotrienols, Guggul, and Garlic, these capsules promise to help support healthy cholesterol levels and support an overall healthy cardiovascular system.
Cholesterol-Lowering Supplement Alternatives
One of the best ways to lower your cholesterol, as opposed to taking supplements, is by eating specific stabilizing foods. Some of these foods include oats, eggplant, walnuts, dark chocolate, almonds, salmon, and tea. Essentially foods that are high in omega-3’s tend to be most beneficial when it comes to naturally lowering your cholesterol levels.
You can also get doctor prescribed cholesterol medicine. If you are planning to take anything for cholesterol issues, make sure to check with your doctor first.
If you are thinking about adding a cholesterol-lowering supplement to your diet, now is a great time to try it out. Cholesterol-lowering supplements are easy and safe supplements to test that carry a variety of benefits with it. If you start taking a cholesterol-lowering supplement and experience any negative symptoms, contact a medical professional for help.