Cholesterol isn’t all bad, and our bodies need it to build the structure of cell membranes.
Problems occur with high blood cholesterol levels, including heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure.
Lifestyle risk factors for high cholesterol include poor diet, lack of exercise, smoking, excessive alcohol intake and obesity.
You may also be more vulnerable if you are diabetic, have high blood pressure, or suffer from kidney disease, liver disease or hypothyroidism.
So what can you do to help? Nutritionist for Water for Health, Rebecca Rychlik-Cunning recommends five supplements which can help reduce high cholesterol levels.
LDL, which stands for low-density lipoprotein, is labelled ‘bad’ cholesterol’. But taking garlic capsules may help to reduce both total and LDL cholesterol.
Rebecca said: “Garlic also has remarkable antioxidant power, which can help to calm overall inflammation and may protect cholesterol from oxidation. It helps to protect the heart and also has the potential to reduce blood pressure. For the best results, take 600-900 mg per day.”
Green tea extract
This also has powerful antioxidant properties with the potential to reduce blood pressure and reduce inflammation, according to Rebecca.
She added: “Green tea has been found to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol while potentially boosting HDL (good) cholesterol. In one small study, green tea was found to significantly reduce harmful LDL cholesterol in male smokers.”
Many of the nutrients found in green powders can help to naturally lower cholesterol. So Rebecca recommends taking Green Vibrance Powder.
She said: “This award-winning supplement is a great all-rounder when it comes to preserving your overall health and protecting you from developing high cholesterol.
“With over 1000mg of herbal antioxidants in every serving, reduces free radical damage and calms inflammation, a contributing factor to heart disease.
“This supplement also contains a number of nutrients to support liver function, which is essential for preventing high cholesterol as a healthy liver is vital for maintaining balanced blood cholesterol.
“Amongst its rich list of quality ingredients, Green Vibrance Powder contains a nutrient called Policosanol, which is proven to lower elevated cholesterol.”
Taking a daily probiotic supplement could be beneficial as multiple studies support the use of various Lactobacillus strains to reduce total cholesterol.
Rebecca explained: “One probiotic strain known as Lactobacillus reuteri has been shown to lower harmful LDL cholesterol. Another called Lactobacillus plantarum has also proved effective at lowering total and LDL cholesterol.”
Red rice yeast
This has been used in Chinese medicine for centuries and contains naturally occurring metabolites including monacolin K, says Rebecca, which can contribute to the maintenance of healthy cholesterol levels.
She advised: “It would also be extra beneficial to take a supplement with added COQ10.
“However, always ensure you purchase supplements from a reputable brand that uses a highly purified and certified source, free from a toxic substance called citrinin, a potential by-product from the fermentation process.
“This chemical compound can damage the kidneys and contribute to other forms of chronic illness, so you need to be careful.”
If you have any chronic health conditions that require medication, please speak to your doctor before changing your diet or taking supplements.
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