Cholesterol is a fatty substance which is found in blood. It’s produced naturally in the liver and some cholesterol can be found in the foods we eat or supplements we take. When a person has too much ‘bad’ cholesterol it can cause major problems to their health. Cholesterol is carried in the blood by proteins and when cholesterol and protein combine they are called lipoproteins.
Here are four supplements that could help lower high cholesterol levels.
Artichoke leaf extract supplement
Derived from artichokes this supplement has been traditionally used to treat ailments such as jaundice, acid reflux and liver disorders.
It is thought that artichokes may indirectly interact with the same protein that statins interact with to lower cholesterol.
Artichoke leaf extract supplements also contain antioxidants and these chemicals play a role in lowering oxidation of LDL which contribute to atherosclerosis.
Fenugreek is a dietary supplement and is commonly grown in regions such as South America and Asia. Studies have shown that taking the supplement lowers blood sugar levels and reducing heartburn.
In various studies conducted fenugreek lowered total cholesterol levels in patients and it is thought the supplement has the ability to increase the number of LDL receptors in the liver which increases the amount of LDL taken up by cells and removed from the bloodstream.
Fibre is an important part of any healthy diet. It improves digestive health and studies have shown that certain types of fibre can also help lower cholesterol levels.
The American Heart Association recommends consuming at least 25 grams of finer daily and if you are unable to get this amount then a fibre supplement will help with this.
Known for its distinctive odour, garlic has many health benefits including alleviating digestive problems and and lowering the clotting properties for blood.
Garlic is one of the most widely purchased herbal supplements used to lower cholesterol levels.
Research involving both animals and humans suggest that garlic can lower cholesterol levels and triglyceride levels.
Certain foods can also help lower cholesterol
- Fatty fish
- Whole grains
- Fruits and berries
- Dark chocolate
Following a healthy diet and getting regular exercise will help greatly in reducing cholesterol levels.
Watching your alcohol intake and avoiding saturated fatty foods are also major ways you can lower cholesterol.
The NHS explains the damaging effects of high cholesterol and states: “High cholesterol is mainly caused by eating fatty food, not exercising enough, being overweight, smoking and drinking alcohol.
“Too much cholesterol can block your blood vessels and makes you more likely to have heart problems or a stroke. High cholesterol does not cause symptoms and you can only find out if you have it from a blood test.”
If you suspect you might have high cholesterol you should speak with your GP and ask to have a blood test.
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