Cholesterol is a fat-like material that is found in the liver, nerves, bile, blood and brain. Although it usually receives a lot of negative press, it actually an important thing when it comes to production of steroid hormones and nerve function as well as other body functions. Cholesterol becomes dangerous when it’s excessively pumped in the blood in its oxidized form. This is one of the major contributors to the development of hardening the arteries (arteriosclerosis) commonly known as heart disease.
Most medical practitioners advocate for cholesterol levels to remain under 200mg/dl. If your cholesterol levels are lower than 200, you are at risk since many people with levels below 200 have heart attacks. Generally, cholesterol can be divided into two groups; LDL cholesterol and HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol). A person with high HDL is likely not to suffer heart disease even though their cholesterol level is above 200.
Supplements for Cholesterol-Lowering
Even though there are links between serum cholesterol levels and saturated fat intake, not every person responds appropriately to dietary changes. However, many people have been able to greatly lower LDL cholesterol levels and raise HDL levels with supplements, exercise and diet. Here are some common supplements and drugs for lowering cholesterol that doctors prescribe to patients.
Niacin is a form of Vitamin B3 which had tremendously been used to lower LDH and increase HDL cholesterol levels. It’s an effective cholesterol lowering drug supplement and less expensive. Some of the side effects of using Niacin especially when taken in high doses for high cholesterol levels include stomachache, flushing, headaches and chronic liver, gastric, gout and diabetes damage.
Niacin should not be self-medicated but a physician should monitor your intake. The key to taking niacin successfully to lower cholesterol is to start with a small amount, 50mg twice daily and gradually increase to 400mg three times a day over a period of 2-3 months.
Quercetin is a bioflavonoid that protects LDL cholesterol from damage. Consuming foods that are high in quercetin help in lowering the risk of heart disease. Quercetin is found in apples, onions, black tea and as a supplement.
Fish oil supplements
Fish oil is excellent for reducing your overall cholesterol levels as well as increasing you HDL (good cholesterol). Taking fish oil supplement daily is believed to give you the same benefits as eating fish. According to research including fish as part of your diet have better results compared to fish oil supplements. So, try to include fish in your diet at least twice a week.
Vitamins and Minerals
If your cholesterol is above 300, you will want to add the following vitamins and minerals. Most of these nutrients have antioxidant properties that help lower your HDL cholesterol levels.
– Vitamin C (Vitamin C protects LDL cholesterol from damage)
– Magnesium (Magnesium is needed by the heart to function properly)
– Calcium (Calcium has cholesterol-lowering properties)
– Copper (Higher copper intakes lowers serum total cholesterol)
– Vitamin E (Vitamin E has properties that protect LDL cholesterol from damage)
– Chromium (Chromium supplementation reduce LDL Cholesterol and increase HDL cholesterol)