Other Ways To Lower Cholesterol
If you have high cholesterol, its important to talk to your doctor. They can help you figure out the best way to lower your cholesterol and improve your overall health.
Treatment for high cholesterol varies, but can include:
- Changing your diet, such as eating more fiber and less saturated fat
- Doing more cardiovascular exercise, like running, walking, swimming, or biking
- Avoiding alcohol
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Does Vitamin E Affect Cholesterol Levels
Keeping your cholesterol levels in check is very important for your overall health. Doing so can help you lower your risk of heart-related conditions such as stroke or heart attack.
There are several ways you can lower high cholesterol, including medication and lifestyle changes. Increasing your vitamin E intake may also help.
Read on to learn how this works and discover ways to incorporate more vitamin E into your diet.
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Apples Citrus And Berries
Fruit is included as part of any heart-healthy eating pattern, and for good reason. Many fruits are rich in vitamins, minerals, dietary fiber, and antioxidants. Pectin, a specific type of soluble fiber found in many fruits, including apples, citrus fruits, and berries, helps lower cholesterol in part by decreasing the amount of cholesterol made by the liver.
One small clinical trial of 40 adults found that those who ate two apples per day for eight weeks had lower LDL and total cholesterol levels compared with the control apple beverage.
Antioxidant compounds called polyphenols found in these fruits also provide anti-inflammatory effects that may reduce your risk of heart disease by lowering LDL cholesterol and preventing it from being oxidized.
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Pantothenic Acid: The Lesser
Pantothenic acid, also known as Vitamin B5, is just as important as anemia-fighting B12, heart-healthy niacin or B2 , which supports adrenal health. Yet we dont hear as much about it.
In a 2011 study, researchers at the Princeton Longevity Center in New Jersey found that supplementing with pantethine, a derivative of Vitamin B5, reduced both total and LDL cholesterol in people with low to moderate risk of heart disease.
As far back as 1984, animal studies showed that pantethine supplements reduced plasma total cholesterol levels by 64.7% compared to animals not receiving pantethine.
Vitamin B5 is also necessary to:
- create red blood cells
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Enjoy Lots Of Fruits And Vegetables
Studies show that adults who consume at least four servings of fruits and vegetables each day have roughly 6% lower LDL cholesterol levels than people who eat fewer than two servings per day .
Fruits and vegetables also contain high numbers of antioxidants, which prevent LDL cholesterol from oxidizing and forming plaques in your arteries .
Together, these cholesterol-lowering and antioxidant effects can reduce your risk of heart disease.
Research has found that people who eat the most fruits and vegetables have a 17% lower risk of developing heart disease over 10 years compared to those who eat the fewest .
Summary Eating at least four servings of fruits and vegetables daily can lower LDL cholesterol levels and reduce LDL oxidation, which may reduce your risk of heart disease.
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Special Precautions & Warnings
Pregnancy and breast-feedingLIKELY SAFE
Allergies: Niacin might worsen allergies by causing histamine, the chemical responsible for allergic symptoms, to be released.
Heart disease/unstable angina: Large amounts of niacin can increase the risk of irregular heartbeat. Use with caution.
Crohns disease: People with Crohns disease might have low niacin levels and require supplementation during flare-ups.
Diabetes: Niacin might increase blood sugar. People with diabetes who take niacin should check their blood sugar carefully.
Gallbladder disease: Niacin might make gallbladder disease worse.
Gout: Large amounts of niacin might bring on gout.
Kidney disease: Niacin might accumulate in people with kidney disease. This might cause harm.
Liver disease: Niacin might increase liver damage. Dont use large amounts if you have liver disease.
Stomach or intestinal ulcers: Niacin might make ulcers worse. Dont use large amounts if you have ulcers.
Very low blood pressure: Niacin might lower blood pressure and worsen this condition.
Surgery: Niacin might interfere with blood sugar control during and after surgery. Stop taking niacin at least 2 weeks before a scheduled surgery.
Fatty deposits around tendons : Niacin might increase the risk of infections in xanthomas.
Thyroid disorders: Thyroxine is a hormone produced by the thyroid gland. Niacin might lower blood levels of thyroxine. This might worsen symptoms of certain thyroid disorders.
Which Niacin Medicine Is Right For You
There are different brands of niacin medicines. Most of these also come in a less expensive, generic form.
Niacin may be prescribed along with other medicines, such as a statin, to help lower cholesterol. Combination tablets that include nicotinic acid plus other medicines are also available.
Niacin is also sold over-the-counter as a supplement. You should not take OTC niacin to help lower cholesterol. Doing so could have serious side effects.
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Heart Attack And Stroke
We talked about these serious health emergencies earlier in the article, but because of their severity it’s important to get a full understanding of what they are and how they’re caused.
Long-term cholesterol build-up may eventually progress to form a blood clot, which if able to travel to the heart may severely restrict blood flow to your body’s most important muscle. It is this lack of blood that can trigger a heart attack. A stroke is similarly caused if this blood clot travels to the brain and prevents sufficient blood flow to the organ.
Red Yeast Rice Supplements Lower Cholesterol
Red yeast rice is produced when a yeast, Monascus purpureus, ferments wet rice. The yeast turns the rice dark red on the outside and a bright red in the centre. The red yeast rice can be eaten as a delicacy, or dried and ground to a powder or paste to colour Asian dishes such as Peking duck.
Red yeast rice contains a substance, monacolin K, which is identical to one of the statin drugs, lovastatin. Red yeast monacolin K works on the liver in exactly the same way as statin drugs to inhibit the enzyme, HMG-CoA, and block cholesterol production.
The results of 21 clinical trials containing 4558 people, show that, not surprisingly, red yeast rice significantly lowers total cholesterol and LDL-cholesterol. There were no significant effects on blood pressure, triglycerides or HDL-cholesterol compared with placebo, however.
Ten trials, involving 905 people, which compared red yeast rice extracts against statins found no significant differences in any of the outcomes measured.
In the EU, there is an authorised health claim that red yeast rice, which supplies a daily intake of 10mg monacolin K contributes to the maintenance of normal blood cholesterol levels. However, some countries consider red yeast rice is a medicine at doses of at least 5mg per day , or more than 10mg per day . In the UK, whether or not a red yeast rice supplement is a medicine is considered on a case by case basis.
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Key Takeaways: Which Vitamins Reduce Cholesterol
Knowing which vitamins are good for cholesterol and introducing them to your routine can be a useful way to boost results of a balanced diet and exercise routine but no single vitamin offers all the answers, and theyre not a substitute for making healthy lifestyle choices when tackling your blood cholesterol levels.
Similarly, sometimes overhauling the routine isnt enough. If you suffer from high cholesterol, its important you take it seriously and you should discuss any medications with your doctor. If youre on cholesterol medication, be careful how you mix it with supplements, and dont go substituting supplements for your prescribed meds.
Serum Lipid Concentration Changes
The mean net changes between the treatment and placebo groups for LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides entered into the meta-analysis are presented in . In the LDL cholesterol category, 9 of the 11 trials had an intervention-related trend toward a reduction in LDL cholesterol but only 4 of these trials showed a statistically significant reduction when compared with the control group . For the HDL cholesterol category, a trend toward an intervention-related increase was observed for 6 of the 12 trials however, only 1 of these trials showed a statistically significant increase when compared with the control group . For the triglyceride category, a trend toward intervention-related reduction was also observed for 5 of the 10 trials but only 2 of these trials showed a statistically significant reduction when compared with the control group .
Net change in triglyceride concentration associated with vitamin C supplementation. The overall effect size is weighted by the inverse of the total variance of each trial.
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Getting Vitamin D From Food
Most foods dont contain much vitamin D so its hard to get enough vitamin D from food alone.
Foods which contain vitamin D include:
- oily fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel, trout
- liver and fish liver oil
- foods with vitamin D added such as most fat spreads, some breakfast cereals and some plant-based alternatives to milk. Check the labels.
- infant formula which has vitamin D added to make sure babies get enough.
As most of these foods are animal products, its harder to get vitamin D from food if you are vegan or vegetarian. Plant-based sources of vitamin D include sun-exposed mushrooms and fortified foods such as vegetable spreads, breakfast cereals and plant based dairy alternatives.
In the UK, cows milk is generally not a good source of vitamin D because it isnt fortified, as it is in some other countries. There are some yoghurts which have been fortified, but check the label as they can also be high in saturated fat and so should be avoided.
What To Do If You Cant Lower Your Cholesterol The Natural Way
If youve spent about six months trying to adopt healthier lifestyle habits but still arent seeing a change in those cholesterol numbers, its time to talk to your doctor. They can provide specialized guidance specific to your health, and they may be able to prescribe you a medication to help, as well.
The great news is that heart disease is preventable and even if you cant do it with diet and exercise, there are some amazing medications out there, Dr. Cho says. Were so lucky to live in an era where we have something that can treat our diseases and help us live longer.
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Know The Dangers Of Trans Fats
Trans fats are dangerous for your heart, because they raise low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglyceride levels. The chief culprit youll see on product labels is partially hydrogenated oil. Trans fats are the result of adding hydrogen to liquid vegetable oils to increase shelf life. This may make some baked and fried foods taste better, but trans fats are very unhealthy, particularly for people with high triglycerides. In fact, trans fats should make up less than 1 percent of your total calories, according to the World Health Organization. Check your food labels: If a food contains trans fats or hydrogenated oils, leave it on the shelf.
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How K Health Can Help
Ready to tackle the concerns you have over cholesterol? You can see a primary care physician through K Health right at home without the waiting room.
to check your symptoms, explore conditions and treatments, and if needed text with a doctor in minutes. K Healths AI-powered app is HIPAA compliant and based on 20 years of clinical data.
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Add These Foods To Lower Ldl Cholesterol
Different foods lower cholesterol in various ways. Some deliver soluble fiber, which binds cholesterol and its precursors in the digestive system and drags them out of the body before they get into circulation. Some give you polyunsaturated fats, which directly lower LDL. And some contain plant sterols and stanols, which block the body from absorbing cholesterol.
1. Oats. An easy first step to lowering your cholesterol is having a bowl of oatmeal or cold oat-based cereal like Cheerios for breakfast. It gives you 1 to 2 grams of soluble fiber. Add a banana or some strawberries for another half-gram. Current nutrition guidelines recommend getting 20 to 35 grams of fiber a day, with at least 5 to 10 grams coming from soluble fiber.
2. Barley and other whole grains. Like oats and oat bran, barley and other whole grains can help lower the risk of heart disease, mainly via the soluble fiber they deliver.
3. Beans. Beans are especially rich in soluble fiber. They also take a while for the body to digest, meaning you feel full for longer after a meal. That’s one reason beans are a useful food for folks trying to lose weight. With so many choices from navy and kidney beans to lentils, garbanzos, black-eyed peas, and beyond and so many ways to prepare them, beans are a very versatile food.
4. Eggplant and okra. These two low-calorie vegetables are good sources of soluble fiber.
Best Cholesterol Supplements Of 2022
You can depend on our experts to share their product searching experiences with you.
To assist you select the cholesterol supplements brand, we examined all the features and came up with a list of ten possible purchases.
We looked at durability, materials, designs, expert reviews, and customer ratings to find the best-performing cholesterol supplements.
The review includes detailed performance information and recommendations for your goals and budget. Find out which is best for you.
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Foods To Lower Triglycerides
Medication May Be Needed
For some people, diet and lifestyle changes are not enough. High blood cholesterol levels often have a genetic component. Some people inherit altered genes that cause high cholesterol and this cannot usually be changed sufficiently by lifestyle or diet.
If you are at risk of coronary heart disease and your LDL cholesterol level doesnt drop after scrupulous attention to diet, your doctor may recommend medications to force your blood LDL levels down. Cell cholesterol levels, however, remain normal, so lowering blood cholesterol has no effect on most cell metabolic processes.
Some people get muscle aches from statins, which are the most commonly used medication to lower blood cholesterol. However, diet and exercise will still be important, even if you are taking medication. Your doctor may also refer you to a specialist who treats cardiovascular disease.
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Can Vitamin D Help Lower Cholesterol
Though there have been many studies done on vitamin D and cholesterol, theres not enough evidence to say for certain if vitamin D helps lower cholesterol.
A 2012 study published inArteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology found that supplementing with vitamin D did nothing to lower participants cholesterol. In fact, participants experienced an increase in LDL.
However, a study published in2014 found that among a group of postmenopausal women who supplemented with D3 and calcium increased their HDL and lowered their LDL over the course of the study. And a 2016 study of professional rowers found that vitamin D supplements helped reduce the blood cholesterol.
All told, theres not enough evidence to say one way or another if vitamin D helps lower cholesterol. But since its an essential vitamin that your body needs to remain healthy, it cant hurt to make sure you get all the vitamin D you need each day.
What You Can Do: Eat More Omega
I advise my patients to eat real fish instead of taking a supplement, says Dr. Martin. The quality of OTC fish-oil supplements can vary, he says, and some may contain unwanted ingredients or contaminants. Meanwhile, fish is a good source of lean protein. Dr. Martins recommendation: Aim to eat about four ounces of oily fish such as tuna, salmon, or anchovies twice a week. Handy fact: A four-ounce fish filet will be around the size of your palm.
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Supplement Myth #: Fish Oil Does Wonders For Heart Health
While some physicians recommend the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil capsules for patients, several recent clinical trials have put the supplements star status into question, says Seth Martin, M.D., a cardiologist and associate professor at John Hopkins Medicine in Baltimore. Results showed that fish oil failed to reduce cardiovascular risk and actually increased the risk of atrial fibrillation, an irregular heartbeat that can lead to stroke over time, says Martin.
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