Supplement Smarts for Cholesterol and Triglycerides

When you’re trying to lower cholesterol or triglycerides, you may end up in a vitamin shop, facing dozens of supplements. Which ones are worth a try?

Looks Good

Fish oil- These supplements may help lower triglyceride levels, thanks to omega-3s they have in them. Just know that getting the amount of omega-3s you need from supplements will add calories to your diet, so watch for weight gain. You’ll need 2-4 grams of fish oil per day. Fish oils are fat. Some people are concerned about high levels of mercury or other pollutants when picking out fish oil supplements.

Psyllium- Fibre is a great cholesterol-buster and part of a healthy diet. Fibre also helps lower triglycerides, especially for people with type 2 diabetes. If you don’t, or can't, get enough fibre from foods -- like vegetables, fruits, and whole grains -- psyllium can fill in the gaps. It’ll whisk away cholesterol, and is great for those with constipation.

Soy protein supplements- Soy can lower overall cholesterol levels and improve your levels of “good” cholesterol-HDL. Eating soy protein instead of animal protein (like meat and full-fat dairy) can also help lower "bad" cholesterol-LDL and total cholesterol levels.

Mixed Picture

Coenzyme Q10- This powerful antioxidant can lower bad LDL cholesterol's ability to stick to the blood vessels (as tested in mice). Research is needed in humans.

Garlic- Garlic supplements slightly lowered cholesterol levels in a few studies. But overall, the evidence doesn’t seem to support garlic as an effective way to lower cholesterol.

Niacin- This B vitamin can boost HDL and lower LDL and triglycerides. For niacin to work you have to take a lot of it, and that can cause serious side effects.

Vitamin D- Touted as a health powerhouse. It may not do much for your heart and has doubtful effect on improvement of cholesterol or triglyceride levels. Vitamin D however has other benefits.

Don’t Forget!

Check with your doctor before you take any supplement or non-prescription treatment.

Supplements are just one part of your total care plan. They’re called “supplements” for a reason. If you take them, it should only be as part of a larger effort to lower cholesterol and triglycerides. A healthy diet, regular exercise, and meds, if prescribed by your doctor, should be the other parts of your plan. more  

View all 6 comments Below 6 comments
what is best time to take calciferol granules. morning or night. empty stomach or after a meal more  
The discussions on diabetes seems good, and I would like to join your group as well. I am diabetic for the last 15 years, and am keeping good health through meditation, and morning walk. I would like to share if we can improve our thoughts, lots of health problems can be resolved. more  
Agreed absolutely more  
I agree. That is why the holistic approach to prevent/mitigate the complications is recommended. more  
Thanks for your favorable comment Dr Manav. As a diabetologist, I disagree a little with the latter comment. The syndrome of Diabetes is now not just restricted to sugars and complications of diabetes. Lipids are one example of such conditions that are being realized more and more to be related to Diabetes. more  
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