Raised cholesterol level has been a concern for many people, simply as it is believed as one of the symptoms of your susceptibility of developing heart ailments. During years, there are various medications and remedies used for lowering cholesterol level. Thus, these medications are believed to have significant effects on the entire heart health. In addition to manufactured medications doctors commonly prescribe, traditional remedies are also used by people in various regions of the world. While these medicines, supplements, and remedies are said to effectively lower cholesterol level, some of those are in fact do not provide significant improvements and may instead, trigger unexpected side effects.
What works for lowering cholesterol
Niacin or also known as nicotinic acid is B vitamin that naturally occurs in meat, fish, and dairy. This vitamin is also packed in capsules, making a supplement believed to be able to lower cholesterol level. A vast number of studies have been conducted to clarify this fact and niacin does decrease total cholesterol level, LDL, and triglycerides. It also raises HDL level by up to 35%. Despite this function, niacin that occurs as over the counter supplements should not be taken without doctor prescription, as consistent consumption of niacin may result in liver damage and other potential side effects.
2. Red yeast rice
Chinese medications are filled with traditional ingredients with certain health-related functions. This includes red yeast rice, which has long been known as one of the most effective Chinese ancient supplement for lowering cholesterol. Various studies show that red yeast rice effectively lowers the LDL by approximately 20 to 30 %. This is a comparable amount to a prescription statin. This supplement is widely used as a replacement to statin medications that triggers muscle pain in patients with high cholesterol.
3. Soy protein
Soy protein is contained by soy foods, such as tofu and soy milk. It is also processed into powdered milk and capsules that are considered as cholesterol lowering supplement. Soy protein is low in saturated fat and is believed to reduce the risk of heart disease by lowering LDL level. Studies related to this have been conducted and as a result, it shows that soy protein does slightly lower LDL, but does not cause HDL level to rise significantly.
Other cholesterol lowering supplements
Another ingredient related to Chinese ancient supplements for cholesterol lowering is ginseng. This quite pricey ingredient is believed to be able to decrease LDL level and increase HDL level respectfully. However, since the conducted studies related to this are very limited in number, the result becomes unconvincing. Despite this, ginseng is one of the most beneficial ingredient for general health. In Chinese culinary, it is added into soup, making beneficial food for those who are nauseous.
2. Fish oil
Fish oil extracted from fish that is rich in omega-3 fatty acids is widely consumed. This ingredient is also packed as food supplement capsules, which can be easily found in the market. Fish oil, based on some researches lower the level of triglycerides, but has no significant effect in lowering LDL. In fact, the supplement tends to trigger slight rise in LDL level, although this additional LDL is believed to be less harmful to the arteries. This supplement can be used as cholesterol lowering supplement under medical prescription.
People with high cholesterol level is often advised to take garlic to improve this condition. Related to this role, researches have been conducted and found that garlic does cause a small drop in both LDL and total cholesterol, but only in short term. This change only lasts for three months at the longest. Further studies, however, have found no measureable effects of garlic on total cholesterol, LDL, HDL, and triglyceride levels.
What to take to help lowering cholesterol
In addition to supplements, there are some food sources that are helpful for cholesterol lowering. You can easily find some of these ingredients and consume some regularly to improve the condition.
1. Green tea
This is a very beneficial food source for various health issues, including high cholesterol level. Green tea extract lowers total cholesterol and LDL, although does not raise both HDL and triglycerides. Regular green tea consumption can improve your high cholesterol issue and thus, decrease your susceptibility of heart diseases.
Eating barley is beneficial for those with high cholesterol level. Whole-grain barleys and its milled products helps lower LDL and total cholesterol. Barley grass juice powder is also a beneficial supplement with significant roles in lowering cholesterol.