There are alternative treatments for lowering cholesterol naturally. But before you add any supplement or alternative therapy to your diet, talk to your doctor. Some supplements may interact with other medication you may be taking or have dangerous side effects.
Some of the herbal and nutritional supplements said to lower cholesterol include:
Garlic: According to some studies, garlic may decrease blood levels of total cholesterol by a few percentage points.
Other studies, however, suggest that it may not be as beneficial as once thought. It may also have significant side effects and/or interactions with certain medications. Garlic may prolong bleeding and blood clotting time, so garlic and garlic supplements should not be consumed prior to surgery and should not be taken with blood-thinning drugs such as Coumadin (warfarin).
Guggulipid: Guggulipid is the gum resin of the mukul myrrh tree. In clinical studies performed in India, guggulipid significantly reduced blood levels of total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. The enthusiasm for using guggulipid as a cholesterol-lowering herbal agent, however, diminished after the publication of negative results from a clinical trial in the U.S. Further research is necessary to determine the safety and efficacy of this herb.
Red Yeast Rice: Red yeast rice has been found to lower cholesterol in studies and was previously found in the over-the-counter supplement Cholestin.
However, in 2001, FDA took Cholestin off the shelf because it contained lovastatin, a compound found in the cholesterol prescription medication Mevacor. Reformulated "Cholestin" no longer contains red yeast rice. Other red yeast rice-containing supplements currently available in U.S. contain very small amounts of lovastatin. Their effectiveness is questionable. Read the entire article.
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