Keeping cholesterol levels low is important for many health reasons, the main one being to reduce the risk of heart disease. It is possible to get your cholesterol levels down through diet, exercise and weight management, but there are also herbal supplements that can help. Some herbal supplements are effective in lowering bad (LDL) cholesterol and some are good at raising good (HDL) cholesterol, which combine for a lower total cholesterol level. If you have been diagnosed with high cholesterol, it is likely that you have also been prescribed medication from your doctor, but taking herbal supplements is becoming ever more popular so take a look at our list and find one that works for you. Remember however that you should always consult your doctor before taking any herbal supplements in conjunction with, or in place of, any currently prescribed statins or other prescriptions medications.
Green tea has been found to be effective in lowering cholesterol and you can get green tea in supplements if you do not like the taste of the tea. Green tea contains antioxidants that lower bad cholesterol and raise good cholesterol. Research published in the Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry (2007) found that men who drank green tea had lower total cholesterol levels than men who didn’t. If you take the supplements the recommended dose is 2 capsules per day.
Artichoke Leaf Extract
A research study conducted by Dr. Rafe Bundy at the University of Reading showed evidence that individuals with moderately high levels of cholesterol benefited from taking artichoke leaf extract. Used in Europe for gastrointestinal disorders, artichoke leaf extract is seen as a viable herbal remedy for lowering cholesterol by some health practitioners.
COQ10 is used in producing energy and helps to increase the strength of the heart muscle. It is a chemical which is soluble in oil, found in cells and is also an antioxidant used to promote a healthy heart. Therefore COQ10 is recommended if you are currently being prescribed statins as it is thought to replace the strength lost by taking statin-producing substances.
Garlic helps to lower bad cholesterol while raising good cholesterol in the bloodstream. It works by flushing bad cholesterol out of the bloodstream so plaque does not build up on artery walls. Therefore take garlic supplements to lower cholesterol and reduce plaque in arteries. The recommended dose is 800 mg per day.
Research has shown that cinnamon powder and supplements actually lower cholesterol levels. A study published in Diabetes Care: Journal of the American Diabetes Association (2003) found that people with high cholesterol who took 1 to 6 g of cinnamon powder for 40 days lowered their total cholesterol level 26 percent. It works by lowering bad cholesterol and triglycerides, fat in the blood, which results in a lower total cholesterol. The recommended dose in capsule form is 250 mg twice a day. *People with diabetes should consult their doctor before using cinnamon because it affects blood glucose levels.