Best supplements for cholesterol: Two of the best according to studies

People often don’t think about cholesterol levels until there is cause to wonder, such as after a blood test check-up. Total cholesterol levels less than 200 mg/dL are considered desirable for adults. A reading between 200 and 239 mg/dL is considered borderline high and a reading of 240 mg/dL and above is considered high. LDL cholesterol levels should be less than 100 mg/dL. If a person has a high reading of cholesterol, making the appropriate changes to one’s diet is crucial. Eating a healthy diet, getting enough exercise and taking either one of these two supplements will help.

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Cholesterol is a waxy substance found in the blood. The body needs cholesterol to build healthy cells, but high levels of cholesterol can increase a person’s risk of heart disease, heart attacks or strokes.

This happens due to the high cholesterol levels which develop fatty deposits in the blood vessels.

Eventually, these deposits grow, making it difficult for enough blood to flow through the arteries.

Sometimes, these deposits can break suddenly and form a clot that causes a heart attack or stroke.

For a person wanting to lower their cholesterol the all-natural way – in addition to watching what they eat and exercise – there are plenty of dietary supplements on the market that claim to do the trick.

Each year seems to bring a new alternative remedy and choosing which is best can seem like a conundrum.

According to studies, however, these two supplements have been proven to work and are the natural ways to reduce a person’s cholesterol levels.

Niacin

Niacin is a B vitamin which is also known as nicotinic acid and occurs naturally in meat, fish and dairy.

Experts have known for decades that niacin helps lower cholesterol. In medical trials – most notably a six-year study back in the 1970s of more than 1,100 people – found that niacin can cause significant decreases in total cholesterol, LDL and triglycerides.

It’s most notable effect though was on HDL. The research showed that niacin can raise HDL levels by up to 35 percent.

Niacin supplements are available as an over-the-counter supplement in extended-release doses of 500 milligrams or more. Its strongly advised that consistently taking large amounts of niacin can result in side effects ranging from skin flushing to liver damage.

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Soluble fibre

Soluble fire is a type of dietary fibre found in oats, barley, brans, peas and citrus fruits, as well as in dietary supplements.

In 1999, a team of Harvard Medical School researchers conducted a meta-analysis of nearly 70 clinical trials that examined the effect of soluble fibre on cholesterol levels.

The study found that high soluble fibre intake was associated with reductions in both LDL and total cholesterol in 60 percent to 70 percent of the studies examined.

For each gram of soluble fibre that the participants of the various studies added to their daily diet, their LDL levels fell by about two points.

It was also noted that taking too much soluble fibre supplements could cause some gastrointestinal side effects.

Sometimes, despite making healthy lifestyle choices and taking supplements and using other cholesterol-lowering products, a person may still need help lowering their cholesterol levels.

If a GP prescribes medication to reduce cholesterol, take it as directed while continuing to focus on a healthy lifestyle. It’s important to speak with your GP before embarking on any new supplements to help with your cholesterol.

The supplement you choose might interact with other medications and is important to do your research.

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