10 Natural Herbs and Supplements for Lowering Cholesterol

CDC research states roughly 86 million adults aged 20 or older in the United States have total cholesterol levels exceeding 200 mg/dL. Less than 100 mg/dL is considered healthy. Some Vitamins and herbal supplements can help with cholesterol.

High cholesterol has no symptoms, so many people don’t know that their cholesterol is too high. A simple blood test can check cholesterol levels. Obviously the best way to reduce cholesterol is with exercise.

What causes high cholesterol?

Cholesterol, resembling a waxy, fat-like substance, plays pivotal roles in constructing cell membranes, facilitating bile production, and aiding in vitamin D synthesis.

Given its lipid nature, cholesterol requires specialized transport proteins for bloodstream transit, notably low-density lipoprotein (LDL cholesterol) and high-density lipoprotein (HDL cholesterol).

The misconception that total cholesterol levels alone predict heart disease risk has been debunked. Instead, the impact on cardiovascular health hinges on the type of lipoprotein cholesterol associates with.

Certain LDL cholesterol variants may accumulate within arterial walls, heightening the risk of constricted blood vessels and atherosclerosis, both critical factors in cardiovascular health.

Conversely, HDL cholesterol, often dubbed the “good cholesterol,” is renowned for its capacity to clear LDL cholesterol from blood vessels, thereby reducing the likelihood of arterial plaque formation.

10 Best Supplements and Herbs For Lowering Cholesterol

Here are the best 10 supplements and herbal remedies to regulate their cholesterol levels.

  1. Omega 3 Fatty acids: Omega-3s have been shown to reduce triglycerides and increase HDL cholesterol levels. Omega-3 fatty acids offer cardioprotective benefits and are associated with decreased risks of heart disease, hypertension, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol levels. Research published in Frontiers in Nutrition indicates that supplementing with omega-3 fatty acids like eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) can enhance the liver’s production of HDL cholesterol. HDL cholesterol plays a crucial role in removing harmful LDL cholesterol from the bloodstream, thereby reducing the likelihood of arterial plaque buildup and atherosclerosis.
  2. Turmeric: Turmeric boasts remarkable health advantages and serves as an exceptionally abundant reservoir of curcumin. This powerful polyphenol aids in reducing LDL levels by inhibiting the activity of enzymes crucial for cholesterol synthesis. Research featured in Phytotherapy Research reveals that a 12-week regimen of turmeric supplementation led to a notable enhancement in the HDL-to-LDL ratio and substantially improved the lipid profile of the participants.
  3. Probiotics: Probiotics play a crucial role in fostering diversity among gut bacteria, which in turn is associated with maintaining healthy cholesterol levels. The presence of beneficial gut bacteria aids in regulating intestinal cholesterol absorption and facilitates the recycling of bile salts, which are instrumental in eliminating surplus cholesterol from the body. A comprehensive review featured in Cureus underscores the positive impact of probiotic supplementation, affirming that they contribute significantly to managing cholesterol levels. The review concludes, “Probiotics exhibit notable effects on cholesterol levels, resulting in reduced triglycerides and lower-density lipoprotein (LDL).”
  4. Vitamin B3: Vitamin B3, commonly referred to as niacin, plays a pivotal role in regulating lipid and cholesterol metabolism within liver cells. Niacin aids in diminishing the synthesis of LDL cholesterol and supports a balanced cholesterol profile by augmenting the population of larger lipoproteins responsible for removing LDL from the bloodstream.
  5. Green Tea: Catechins in green tea have been shown to inhibit the absorption of cholesterol from the intestine into the bloodstream. By interfering with the absorption process, green tea can help reduce the amount of cholesterol entering circulation. Regular consumption of green tea has been associated with improvements in lipid profiles, including reductions in total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels, as well as increases in HDL cholesterol levels. These beneficial changes in lipid profiles contribute to overall cardiovascular health and may help lower the risk of heart disease.
  6. Fruits and Vegetables: High in fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants, fruits and vegetables like apples, berries, citrus fruits, broccoli, and spinach contribute to cholesterol management.
  7. Avocados: Rich in monounsaturated fats, avocados can reduce LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels while increasing HDL cholesterol.
  8. Garlic: Contains allicin, a compound known for its cholesterol-lowering effects. Garlic can help lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol levels.
  9. Olive Oil: Rich in monounsaturated fats and antioxidants, olive oil can improve cholesterol levels by lowering LDL cholesterol while increasing HDL cholesterol.
  10. Dark Chocolate: Dark chocolate with a high cocoa content contains flavonoids, which have been shown to improve cholesterol levels by increasing HDL cholesterol and reducing LDL oxidation.

Sources

  1. https://www.cdc.gov/cholesterol/facts.htm
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