High cholesterol is one of the risk factors for heart disease. While your body does produce a certain amount of this fat that is present in the bloodstream naturally, diet is also a factor. Choosing foods containing high levels of fat can increase the cholesterol in your body.
If your goal is to lower cholesterol levels, you will want to cut back on the amount of saturated fat in your diet. Meat and dairy products are a source of this type of fat, and while you do need to eat protein and some dairy to stay healthy, you should opt for lean cuts of meat and low-fat milk, cheese and yogurt when you can.
Your doctor may recommend a medication for high cholesterol, and you should follow his or her advice. While you are discussing your treatment plan for lowering cholesterol, you may want to ask whether any of the following supplements should be part of the strategy:
Essential Fatty Acids
Essential fatty acids are an important part of the fight against cholesterol, since they help to make it less sticky and likely to attach to the lining of the arteries. The recommended dose is 2,000 milligrams per day, taken with food. Look for a product containing a combination of Omega-3, 6 and 9 fatty acids in a capsule.
Policosinols are sugar cane extracts, and the results of some studies have indicated that they can lower low-density (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol by 19-31 percent and total cholesterol by 13-24 percent. The recommended dose of this supplement is 5-10 mg twice a day. It should be taken on an empty stomach.
Soy isoflavones are extracted from soy and they are structurally similar to hormones in the human body. When this supplement is ingested, it boosts the production of HDL, or “good” cholesterol and lowers the level of LDL cholesterol. To get the benefit from this supplement, you would have to eat 20-25 grams per day. Tofu burgers, soy pudding and miso soup.
Guggul lipids are an ancient remedy for lowering cholesterol and reducing the redness swelling associated with acne. Derived from the sap of the Commiphora mukul tree, it has been used in India to treat atherosclerosis for hundreds of years. This resin helps the liver to process cholesterol and increases the level of cholesterol that is excreted from the body as solid waste.