Herbs and other natural products have been around alot longer than the standard prescription drugs used today to control high cholesterol. They are usually derived from plants, trees, and other sources. Unfortunately, herbal drugs are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, so you have to be careful about what other chemicals are in the pills you are taking besides the herb that you want to take. This is especially true of herbal drugs manufactured in foreign countries, which will actually put a prescription drug, like a statin drug, into the pill with the herb without listing it in the ingredients section. So, be careful, and consult your health care practitioner before you start any type of herbal drug, because it might interfere with other medications you are taking.
There are many natural products that can be used as an alternative to treating high cholesterol. This may be especially optimal to patients who are regulating their cholesterol levels with diet and exercise. Natural products reduce cholesterol levels by dissolving fat in the blood. Although much research has gone into evaluating which natural products are more helpful in reducing cholesterol levels, the exact mechanism by which it does this is not completely understood.
Types of Natural Products Effective in Lowering Cholesterol Levels
The following list includes natural products that have been noted to reduce cholesterol levels through research. Although natural products are regulated by the FDA, many of these drugs have not undergone extensive investigation required to list them as legitimate cholesterol-lowering agents. Therefore, as with any new regimen, consult with your health care practitioner before beginning any of these.
B Vitamins, besides niacin, decrease the rate at which LDL is damaged through oxidation.
Carnitine has been seen to increase HDL levels, therefore decreasing total cholesterol levels.
Chromium has been seen to reduce LDL levels and increase HDL levels.
Coenzyme Q10 has been noted to reduce total cholesterol serum levels.
Fiber can be obtained through fiber supplements or through foods such as whole grains and vegetables. It is thought that fiber binds to cholesterol in the small intestine and preventing cholesterol absorption into the bloodstream.
Garlic has been widely studies for its cholesterol-lowering properties.
Grape Seed Extract has been noted to reduce total cholesterol serum levels.
Pantothine has been seen to increase HDL levels, therefore decreasing total cholesterol levels.
Red yeast rice contains a natural form of lovastatin (Mevacor®). Although effective, this natural product is not regulated by the FDA, so the dosage may vary from pill to pill.
Royal Jelly has been seen to lower cholesterol levels by reducing some of the cholesterol-elevating effects of nicotine.
Soy has been shown to reduce total cholesterol levels
Vitamin C has been noted to slightly reduce cholesterol levels.