Otc Supplements For The Management Of High Cholesterol
Emily M. Ambizas, PharmD, MPH, CGPAssociate Clinical ProfessorCollege of Pharmacy & Health SciencesQueens, New YorkClinical Specialist, Rite Aid PharmacyWhitestone, New York
US Pharm. 2017 42:8-11.
Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of mortality and morbidity in the United States, with coronary artery disease being the number-one cause of death.1 Dyslipidemia is a major contributor to the development of CAD and other forms of atherosclerosis individuals with high total cholesterol levels have about twice the risk for heart disease. Approximately 100 million adults in the U.S. have total cholesterol levels > 200 mg/dL , and almost 74 million have high levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol .2,3 Adults aged > 20 years should have their cholesterol measured at least once every 5 years.2
What Does The Research Say
Vitamin E is a fat-soluble compound that includes two groups of chemicals: tocopherols and tocotrienols. Some research suggests that tocotrienols may affect cholesterol.
A small2011 study done on people with high cholesterol found that those who took tocotrienols experienced lower levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol after 5 months. LDL cholesterol is the type thats often referred to as bad cholesterol because it contributes to plaque buildup in your arteries.
Additionally,some research suggests that tocotrienols may improve arterial health, lower blood pressure, and reduce risk of other heart-related conditions. However, much of this research has been done on animals. More human studies are needed in order to confirm these effects.
What Causes High Cholesterol
The most common cause of high cholesterol is an unhealthy lifestyle. This can include
- Unhealthy eating habits, such as eating lots of bad fats. One type, saturated fat, is found in some meats, dairy products, chocolate, baked goods, and deep-fried and processed foods. Another type, trans fat, is in some fried and processed foods. Eating these fats can raise your LDL cholesterol.
- Lack of physical activity, with lots of sitting and little exercise. This lowers your HDL cholesterol.
- Smoking, which lowers HDL cholesterol, especially in women. It also raises your LDL cholesterol.
Genetics may also cause people to have high cholesterol. For example, familial hypercholesterolemia is an inherited form of high cholesterol. Other medical conditions and certain medicines may also cause high cholesterol.
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Vitamin B3 For Lowering Cholesterol Safely
The finding that niacin lowered cholesterol was soon confirmed by Parsons, Achor, Berge, McKenzie and Barker and Parsons at the Mayo Clinic, which launched niacin on its way as a hypocholesterolemic substance. Since then it has been found to be a normalizing agent, meaning it elevates high density lipoprotein cholesterol, decreases low density and very low density lipoprotein cholesterol and lowers triglycerides. Grundy, Mok, Zechs and Berman found it lowered cholesterol by 22 percent and triglycerides by 52 percent and wrote, “To our knowledge, no other single agent has such potential for lowering both cholesterol and triglycerides.”
Elevated cholesterol levels are associated with increased risk of developing coronary disease. In addition to niacin, a typical diet generally recommended by orthomolecular physicians will tend to keep cholesterol levels down in most people. This diet can be described as a high fiber, sugar-free diet which is rich in complex polysaccharides such as vegetables and whole grains.
Niacin Combined With Other Drugs Which Lower Cholesterol
Fortunately, niacin does not decrease cholesterol to dangerously low levels. Cheraskin and Ringsdorf reviewed some of the evidence which links very low cholesterol levels to an increased incidence of cancer and greater mortality in general.
Continuous use of niacin can be expected to reliably decrease mortality and prolong life.
Lower Cholesterol Naturally With Vitamin B5
Pantethine, the activated form of vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid, has been shown by a Princeton clinical research team to lower both total cholesterol levels and LDL cholesterol. Pantethine has the advantage of being an effective treatment for high cholesterol while avoiding the undesirable side effects of synthetic lipid-lowering drugs .
Pantethine can lower the incidence of heart attack and stroke by reducing platelet stickiness and clumping. Furthermore, it offers protection against the damaging effects of environmental pathogens such as cigarette smoke.
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How Much Vitamin D Is Enough
Adults and children over the age of one need 10mcg of vitamin D per day. This is the same for everyone, including people at risk of vitamin D deficiency and women who are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Babies up to one year old need 8.5-10mcg of vitamin D per day. Find out more about how you can reach this from the NHS.
Vitamin B3 Niacin For Lowering Cholesterol
Niacin works in the liver by affecting the production of blood fats, and it has been well-researched. Several well-designed double-blind, placebo controlled studies have found that niacin can reduce LDL cholesterol by approximately 10 percent and triglycerides by 25 percent while raising HDL cholesterol by 20 percent to 30 percent.
High LDLs lead to atherosclerosis and then cardiovascular disease, warns Nadia Chariff, Health Advisor & Registered Dietitian at Coffeeble. Make no mistake, dietary & lifestyle factors such as high saturated fat intake & lack of exercise definitely play a part! Besides recommending alternative diets & increased activity, I recommend niacin to my patients.
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What Are Hdl Ldl And Vldl
HDL, LDL, and VLDL are lipoproteins. They are a combination of fat and protein. The lipids need to be attached to the proteins so they can move through the blood. Different types of lipoproteins have different purposes:
- HDL stands for high-density lipoprotein. It is sometimes called “good” cholesterol because it carries cholesterol from other parts of your body back to your liver. Your liver then removes the cholesterol from your body.
- LDL stands for low-density lipoprotein. It is sometimes called “bad” cholesterol because a high LDL level leads to the buildup of plaque in your arteries.
- VLDL stands for very low-density lipoprotein. Some people also call VLDL a “bad” cholesterol because it too contributes to the buildup of plaque in your arteries. But VLDL and LDL are different VLDL mainly carries triglycerides and LDL mainly carries cholesterol.
Does Vitamin D Lower Cholesterol
Theres conflicting information when it comes to the link between cholesterol and vitamin D.
Population studies show that people with lower vitamin D levels are more likely to have high cholesterol, although this doesnt prove a cause and effect relationship.
One 2012 study found that vitamin D supplements have no cholesterol-lowering effects, at least in the short term. In fact, the researchers found that the supplements were actually associated with an increase in LDL.
However, found that taking calcium and vitamin D supplements together improved cholesterol levels in postmenopausal, overweight, or obese women.
The verdict, according to the National Institutes of Health , is that theres insufficient evidence to determine any relationship between your vitamin D intake and your cholesterol levels.
But with the host of benefits that vitamin D provides to those that use it, theres still no deterrent in using vitamin D as part of your healthy lifestyle.
According to the Mayo Clinic, daily vitamin D use is safe in doses up to 4,000 IU .
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Buying Guide For Best Cholesterol
Maybe your doctor has warned you that your cholesterol is too high. Maybe youre simply concerned about keeping your heart and circulatory system as healthy as possible. In either case, you may have wondered if there are alternatives to cholesterol-lowering prescription drugs. In fact, there are several natural alternatives that have proven effective in some studies.
Youll find a lot of cholesterol-lowering supplements on sale today, and with these products comes a lot of marketing hype. Its hard to know what to believe. Thats why we created this guide: to help our readers choose the right cholesterol-lowering supplements.
Read on for more information!
Risk Factors For High Cholesterol
1. Poor Diet:
One of the greatest factors when it comes to your cholesterol levels is your diet. According to the Mayo Clinic, eating foods that are high in saturated fat, such as fatty cuts of beef, pork, and lamb, dark chicken meat, high-fat dairy foods, such as whole milk, butter, cheese, sour cream, and ice cream, and various tropical oils, such as coconut oil, palm oil, and cocoa butter can severely increase the amount of LDL in your bloodstream. Other foods to avoid or at least eat in moderation are those high in trans fat, such as various backed goods, fast food, snack foods , and coffee creamer.
Obesity is another large factor when it comes to your cholesterol levels and heart health. Those with a body mass index of 30 or greater are at risk of high cholesterol.
3. Lack of Exercise
The widespread benefits of regular exercise are well known. Regular physical activity is known to reduce your risk of heart attack, help you manage your weight, lower blood pressure, lower the risk of type-2 diabetes and some cancers, and increase the strength of your bones and muscles. On top of all of that, exercise also improves your cholesterol levels in a twofold manner.
Smoking cigarettes damages the walls of your blood vessels, making them more prone to the accumulation of fatty deposits. Additionally, some research suggests that smoking might actually lower your levels of HDL cholesterol.
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Is Your Ldl Too High
Having high levels of low-density lipoprotein cholesterol significantly increases the risk of cardiovascular disease. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the US. In fact, over 73.5 million Americans have levels of LDL that are too high and are not being treated. While the best heart disease prevention is a healthy lifestyle, some supplements can help lower cholesterol and improve cardiovascular health.
Natural Ways To Lower Cholesterol
1. Chicory.Often thought of as a weed, the extensive root systems of chicory can be made into a beverage that closely resembles coffee. When consumed in this way or as a supplement, it works to fight off high levels of cholesterol by ramping up the bodys natural metabolism to regulate cholesterol levels.
2. Ginger.One of the key qualities of ginger is that it helps to control nausea in people very effectively, reducing the symptoms of motion sickness and other nausea-causing issues. It also helps to reduce overall cholesterol levels while making your food taste awesome too. When brewed as a tea, you can get a double dose of healing action because it will help fight off a sore throat. Whether you add it to your diet as a supplement or just throw in some ginger powder to your meals, youll get the cholesterol busting qualities that you want.
3. Green Tea Extract.What youre looking for in the green tea that you consume is a substance that has a long name: epigallocatechingallate. It is found in all teas, but it is in its highest concentrations in green tea of the extract that you can take as a supplement. It is an antioxidant that has been shown to reduce high levels of bad cholesterol without really affecting your good cholesterol, and as an added bonus, green tea also helps to boost your metabolism up so that you can burn more calories throughout the day.
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How Cholesterol Moves Around The Body
Cholesterol is a white, insoluble and waxy substance. It is carried around the body by two key transport systems in the blood, which include:
- Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol carries most of the cholesterol that is delivered to cells. It is called the bad cholesterol because when its level in the bloodstream is high, it can clog up your arteries.
- High-density lipoprotein cholesterol is called the good cholesterol, because it helps remove excess cholesterol out of the cells, including cells in the arteries.
Supplements To Lower Cholesterol
Two of the most effective ways of boosting HDL and lowering LDL are exercising and eating a healthy diet. Consuming too much saturated fat and trans fat found in red meat, dairy products, and processed foods can increase your level of unhealthy cholesterol. Consuming too little unsaturated fat found in nuts, seeds, fish, and vegetable oils can do the same.
If your LDL levels are very high or youre at higher risk for heart disease for another reason, your doctor may prescribe a medication to lower your cholesterol. Usually, this medication is a statin drug. If youd like to try a more natural approach or cannot tolerate statins, however, you may wish to consider the many foods and food-derived substances that have been shown to lower cholesterol.
Youll find a dizzying array of cholesterol-lowering supplements for sale some combine several active ingredients and others contain just one. The following are some of the most promising natural supplements that are thought to help lower cholesterol.
Niacin, also known as vitamin B3, is so effective at lowering LDL while boosting HDL that its often prescribed by doctors in high doses. Over the counter, youll find low-dose supplements that may also be effective. Niacin can cause facial flushing, and in high doses, it may harm your liver. Check with your doctor before taking a high-dose niacin supplement.
Omega-3 fish oil
Red yeast rice extract
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Hpf Cholestene Red Yeast Rice
The biggest USP of this powerful cholesterol lowering supplement is apparent from its namesake. Composed of red yeast rice like a one man army, this is the primary and the only ingredient compiled in the product. Red yeast rice has been scientifically proven to effectively lower the levels of the LDL cholesterol within just a matter of a month. In addition, it also serves other useful purposes such as improving metabolic syndromes, reducing inflammations, promote good heart health and also help in combating obesity.
You would be glad to note that HPF is a premier brand in manufacturing several healthcare supplements and products in general, and has always been widely acclaimed for their high quality products. In fact, cholestoff vs red yeast rice is a very popular debate, and that shows how top grade the supplements in this list are. As such, you can bet on the quality and efficiency of their cholesterol lowering supplement.
The PF Cholestene has red yeast rice as the sole ingredient in a generous 1200mg dosage to achieve its functionality. This single ingredient is more than enough to serve all the purposes expected from this product.
How does the HPF Cholestene Red Yeast Rice work?
But thats not all.
Red yeast rice lowers leptin levels translating to an even further decrease in the levels of cholesterol. This helps in managing obesity.
Who would have thought of so many benefits from a single ingredient!
Directions for usage
Getting Your B Vitamins Through Food Or Through Supplements
So if the bottom-line message here is that these B vitamins for cholesterol can help regulate healthy cholesterol levels, how can you be sure youre getting enough? Check your diet first food is always the best way to get your nutrients.
Foods rich in Vitamin B include whole grains, red meat, dairy products, sunflower seeds, almonds, broccoli, spinach, citrus fruits, bananas, and avocados, says Dr. Liana Casusi, MD, Medical Consultant at Oh So Spotless. If certain food cannot be included in the diet, then Vitamin B supplementation is suggested.
If youre trying to lower cholesterol naturally and achieve therapeutic levels of these nutrients, you may need to add B vitamin supplements to your daily routine.
Nutrition Research. 2011 Aug 31:608-15. Illingworth DR, et al. Comparative effects of lovastatin and niacin in primary hypercholesterolemia. A prospective trial. Arch Intern Med. 1994 154:1586-1595. Seminars in Thrombosis and Hemostasis. 2000 26:341-8.
Originally published in 2012, this post is regularly updated.
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What Happens If I Incorporated Dietary Changes And My Cholesterol Is Still Not Within Recommended Ranges
If youve made some dietary changes and you still havent seen results, try incorporating phytosterol into your diet. Phytosterol is similar to the bodys cholesterol and can block cholesterol from being absorbed into your body.
Phytosterol can lower your cholesterol by 10% and your LDL by 14%, she says. Aim to get about 2 grams of phytosterol a day. Some common food and dietary supplements include high sterol or stanol esters be sure to read the labels.
Beware Of One Whose Ingredient Varies Wildly
LDL cholesterol is known as the bad cholesterol because having high levels can lead to plaque buildup in your arteries and result in heart disease and stroke, two leading causes of death in the United States. It makes up the majority of the bodys cholesterol.
There are no signs or symptoms of high LDL cholesterol, so its important to get your cholesterol checked. If your LDL is high, your doctor may recommend changes in diet and activity habits to control it.
Your doctor may also prescribe medication, such as a statin. Stains slow down the livers production of cholesterol and increase the livers ability to remove LDL cholesterol that is already in the blood.
Several supplements can also help, though theyre not as effective as prescription drugs and shouldnt be substituted for the drugs without consulting your physician.
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High Cholesterol Triglycerides Can Keep Vitamin E From Reaching Body Tissues
CORVALLIS, Ore. – In the continuing debate over how much vitamin E is enough, a new study has found that high levels of blood lipids such as cholesterol and triglycerides can keep this essential micronutrient tied up in the blood stream, and prevent vitamin E from reaching the tissues that need it.
The research, just published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, also suggested that measuring only blood levels may offer a distorted picture of whether or not a person has adequate amounts of this vitamin, and that past methods of estimating tissue levels are flawed.
The findings are significant, the scientists say, because more than 90 percent of the people in the United States who don’t take supplements lack the recommended amount of vitamin E in their diet.
Vitamin E is especially important in some places such as artery walls, the brain, liver, eyes and skin, but is essential in just about every tissue in the body. A powerful, fat-soluble antioxidant, it plays important roles in scavenging free radicals and neurologic function. In the diet, it’s most commonly obtained from cooking oils and some vegetables.
Some experts have suggested that recommended levels of vitamin E should be lowered. But because of these absorption issues, the recommended level of 15 milligrams per day is about right, said Maret Traber, the lead author of this study. Inadequate vitamin E intake remains a significant societal problem, she said.