Medically Reviewed by Vincenta Faulkner, RD, CNSC, CCTD
LDL, or low-density lipoprotein, is bad cholesterol. If you have high LDL cholesterol levels, you are at a higher risk for heart attack or stroke. A common way to lower your LDL levels is to take statins.
However, there are also natural ways to target your high cholesterol, such as a heart-healthy diet and a physically active lifestyle. Alongside these strategies, supplements are a great natural option to lower your LDL cholesterol levels. This is especially true if you feel like you’re doing everything right, yet your numbers still won’t budge.
Supplements are a nice addition to your heart-healthy nutrition plan, and many supplements can target your LDL cholesterol levels specifically instead of just lowering your total cholesterol levels. However, each supplement is slightly different, and some work better than others.
Today, Zizi takes a look at seven of the most effective supplement options to lower LDL cholesterol levels.
What Is LDL Cholesterol?
LDL stands for Low-density Lipoprotein, which is a specific type of lipoprotein. Lipoproteins carry cholesterol and triglycerides throughout your body — LDL specifically carries “bad” cholesterol throughout your body. This type of cholesterol earns its ‘bad’ label because it can increase your risk of developing heart disease.
Why Should I Lower My LDL Levels?
After your liver makes cholesterol, lipoproteins carry the cholesterol throughout your body. Your LDL cholesterol tends to deposit on your artery walls, leading to build-up. Eventually, build-ups lead to plaque, which hardens on your artery walls in a process known as atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis is a leading cause of heart disease. As such, lowering your LDL levels also lowers your risk for heart health complications.
How Do I Know If I Should Start Supplements?
No threshold level for cholesterol defines when or if you should start taking supplements to lower your levels.
Supplements are a very effective natural way to lower your cholesterol levels at home without taking prescribed medication. In general, you should consider adding supplements to your heart-healthy diet; alongside regular physical activity, this is a great combination strategy to help lower your LDL levels.
However, some people choose not to start taking supplements until they’ve tried diet and exercise changes as their primary strategy. If you feel like you’re doing everything right when it comes to lowering your levels without medication — including a heart-healthy diet low in saturated and trans fats and a physically active lifestyle — but your numbers don’t budge, it may be a great idea to give supplements a try.
As always, before starting any dietary supplements, you should discuss this with your doctor during your consideration process.
What Are the Best LDL-Lowering Supplements?
Below, we discuss some of our favorite LDL-lowering supplements. We recommend giving one these supplements a try alongside your cholesterol-lowering nutrition plan.
Before starting any new dietary regimen, talk with your doctor to find out what supplements may be right for you.
Phytosterols, also known as plant sterol or stanol ester-based supplements, are naturally occurring compounds that plants normally have in their cell membranes. Phytosterols have the potential to lower your LDL cholesterol levels in particular because they have a very similar structure to cholesterol. As cholesterol look-alikes, they can outcompete cholesterol and block its absorption in your bloodstream.
Because plants naturally contain phytosterols, you can acquire trace amounts when you consume food products such as vegetable oil, nuts, legumes, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. However, the key word here is ‘trace’ — unfortunately, eating these types of food will not source enough phytosterol to lower your LDL levels.
Rather, consuming these plant-sourced foods will only allow you to reach the average daily intake amount — 500 mg — but not much more. That’s why you should take phytosterol supplements: to achieve an additional recommended 2-gram daily intake amount.
For the best results to see LDL level reductions, you should increase your frequency and spread out your daily doses — take phytosterol supplements two to three times a day to reach a 2-gram total dose. If you follow this recommended daily amount, you could see your levels drop by as much as 10% for your total levels and 12 to 14% for your LDL levels.
Phytosterols are especially efficacious in lowering LDL levels if your high cholesterol stems from genetic causes. Talk with your doctor to find out if this is the case for you. Fortunately, as part of our Heart Health Reset Program, we make it easy to get phytosterol supplements shipped to your front door!
2. Soluble Fiber
Soluble fiber, also known as dietary fiber or roughage, is a carbohydrate that your body cannot digest. This class of fiber dissolves in water and, upon consumption, becomes metabolized by beneficial gut bacteria.
When you consume soluble fiber, your intestines absorb it and therefore absorb less cholesterol. Thanks to reduced cholesterol absorption, soluble fiber can potentially lower your LDL levels directly. It is even clinically proven as an LDL-lowering agent — the FDA approves the heart-healthy label for any soluble fiber product.
If you consume just 5 to 15 grams daily, you may see your LDL levels drop by about 5 to 10%. A specific type of soluble fiber–psyllium husk fiber — can be especially effective in lowering your LDL levels.
3. Psyllium Husk Fiber
Psyllium husk fiber is a particular type of soluble fiber that is so effective at reducing cholesterol levels that as long as a product has 1.7 or more grams of psyllium husk fiber, it can legally claim to reduce your riskfor heart disease. We recommend consuming about 7 grams daily for the best results; if you maintain this daily dosage for two or more months, you could see your LDL levels drop by up to 11%.
Just as we make phytosterols easy to access through our Heart Health Reset Program, we also make psyllium husk fiber supplements easy to access. We will provide you with a 30-day supply of both phytosterols and psyllium husk fiber-based supplements, separated into morning and evening packets that together comprise the right dosage to help naturally target your high cholesterol levels.
Niacin, also known as nicotinic acid, is a form of vitamin B3. When you consume niacin, this B vitamin has the potential to lower your LDL cholesterol levels and, at the same time, raise your HDL levels.
In general, the higher your niacin dosage, the more effective this supplement will be when it comes to decreasing your LDL levels. Unfortunately, most high Niacin doses are not available over the counter and require that you turn to a prescription for an adequate amount to lower your cholesterol levels.
However, if your levels are not that high, then niacin is a great option for you. There are still over-the-counter supplements that can positively affect your high LDL levels.
5. Ground Flaxseed
Flax comes from the flax flower, whose seeds comprise a great source of alpha linoleic acid. This acid is a type of omega-3 fatty acid, which may support a healthy heart. Flaxseed also contains lignan and dietary fiber, two other ingredients that have cholesterol-lowering properties.
Not only does flaxseed have the potential to lower your LDL levels, but it may even raise your HDL levels at the same time. While manufacturers also make flax into oil, consuming flax in seed form may be best to see your LDL levels drop; just make sure you choose ground seeds so you don’t consume the indigestible outer shell.
Different studies suggest different percentage ranges when it comes to how effective flaxseed is as an LDL-lowering agent, but in general, flax has the potential to lower your LDL levels by 7-12%.
Berberine is a chemical compound from many different plant types in the Berberis genus. The chemical comes from plant bark, roots, rhizomes, or stems.
This compound can effectively lower your LDL cholesterol levels because it increases the number of LDL receptors on your liver so that your body clears more LDL cholesterol.
We recommend that you start with a 500mg dosage once a day and tryBerberine in combination with other supplementsfor even better results. If you take Berberine and other LDL-lowering supplements daily, you could see your LDL levels lower by up to 30%.
7. Green Tea Extract
Green tea comprises many beneficial antioxidants that have the potential to lower your LDL cholesterol levels.
Manufacturers do not process green tea as much as other types of tea, which saves many more of its antioxidants when compared to black or white tea. One antioxidant in particular — catechins — has many different health benefits, including that it might help reduce your LDL levels.
The exact mechanism behind these cholesterol-lowering capabilities remains unknown. However, one theory is that they increase LDL receptor activity in your liver, which helps your body process and get rid of more cholesterol. Another theory is that they block cholesterol absorption in your intestines, just as phytosterols and psyllium fiber supplements do.
Lower Your LDL At Home With Zizi
Supplements are a natural, medication-free way to lower your cholesterol levels at home, and Zizi makes it easy to take supplements! Phytosterols and psyllium husk fiber supplements are the most effective choices, and our heart health program includes a 30-day supply of each. Other supplements include Niacin, green tea extract, Berberine, and ground flaxseed.
Make sure you are very deliberate in which supplements you purchase over the counter– read the labels to verify quality ingredients and clinically verified products.
Pair your natural supplement intake with ongoing testing, a little exercise, and a heart-healthy diet, and you can effectively lower your LDL cholesterol levels from the comfort of your own home! Detect, treat, and prevent high cholesterol easily with Zizi.
Learn more about lowering your cholesterol in 30 days with Zizi’s Heart Health Reset program here, or your money back.
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