Alternative Cholesterol-lowering Medicines

You see commercials daily for cholesterol-lowering prescription medications. In fact, if you have seen your doctor about high cholesterol, then he has probably discussed one of these drugs with you. There are alternatives, however, and many you can get over the counter. Most alternative cholesterol-lowering medicines are natural supplements you can find in any health food or vitamin store. If you are considering taking an over-the-counter supplement or drug, you should consult your decisions with your doctor as any medication you are currently on may interact with an over-the-counter drug.

One supplement that is known to reduce cholesterol levels is red rice yeast. Red rice yeast contains a statin drug, which are used in nearly all prescription cholesterol-lowering drugs out today. Another common supplement thought to help lower cholesterol is Vitamin B3 or Niacin. Niacin helps to lower LDL levels while raising HDL levels. There are side effects associated with Niacin, though, such as nausea or liver damage. If you choose to take Niacin, you should certainly consult with your physician. Pantethine, a form of Vitamin B5, is also proven to lower cholesterol. In comparison to other alternative medicines, it is said to be highly effective in lowering triglyceride levels. In addition, guggul is an extract from a tree native to India which has been proven to lower LDL levels while increasing HDL levels. Some even claim that guggul can lower your cholesterol as much as prescription drugs do.

Beyond these supplements, there are herbs and foods that can help lower cholesterol. Garlic has been shown to effectively reduce cholesterol levels. One clove a day or an equivalent amount is the recommended dosage. If you do not like garlic, you can take garlic supplements, available in health food stores or vitamin shops. Recently, grape skins and seeds have also been proven to lower cholesterol levels. Thus, grapeseed oil and even wine can help with your cholesterol problem. Soy is also thought to reduce cholesterol levels because of its high polyunsaturated fats and its ability to limit the amount of cholesterol in your bloodstream.

In researching alternative medicines for lowering cholesterol, you will find that many of these drugs are available in health food stores or vitamin shops. If you are considering adding one of these alternatives to your diet, please remember that the Food and Drug Administration does not oversee the purity of vitamins or supplements available over-the-counter. Many with high cholesterol swear by these natural remedies, but you should consult your physician when you begin taking any of these drugs to ensure that you do not accidentally mix drugs which may cause harmful side effects.

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