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  • Dr. Kate Henry

3 Natural Ways to Lower Cholesterol

Did you know that you can lower cholesterol naturally?

If you and your doctor have decided that you need to lower your cholesterol based on your ASCVD risk factors, then you should know that there are many tools at your disposal for doing so!

We reviewed them over at this article we wrote which was just published in RUPA Health's magazine.

In this article we cover

  1. What is cholesterol?

  2. Why is cholesterol important?

  3. What types of cholesterol are good and bad?

  4. What are the natural ways foods, herbs and lifestyle approaches can be used to lower cholesterol?

Some excerpts from the article

Foods that Lower Cholesterol

  • Increasing dietary fiber by 5-10 grams per day, increasing the consumption of plant foods, and adopting dietary patterns like the DASH diet, Portfolio diet, and Mediterranean diet have been found to reduce cholesterol over time.

  • In my practice, increasing fiber to above 30 grams a day for several months is generally enough to lower total cholesterol by at least 10 points over six months.

  • The best evidence from decades of research suggests swapping foods high in saturated and trans fats (fatty meats, dairy products, processed pastries, and palm oils) for plant foods.

Supplements that Lower Cholesterol

  • Red yeast rice, fiber, coQ10, berberine, and plant sterols are some of the best-researched interventions for lowering cholesterol. Red yeast rice contains monacolin K, which is almost identical to pharmaceutical statins in chemical structure and, as a result, can directly lower cholesterol levels. Studies show that taking 10mg of red yeast rice daily for 6-8 weeks can reduce LDL cholesterol by 15-25%.

  • Supplements that contain 5-10grams of fiber per day have similarly been shown to reduce LDL cholesterol by 5-10%. Plant stanols taken for as little as 1-2 weeks in 2-gram amounts per day can reduce LDL by 10%.

  • Supplements that contain red yeast rice, policosanol, berberine, folic acid, astaxanthin, and COQ10, taken for 6-48 weeks, can reduce cholesterol by up to 31%.

Lifestyle Adjustments that Lower Cholesterol

The best recommendations (Level A evidence) that we have for lowering cholesterol with lifestyle changes include:

  • Smoking cessation: People who smoke should stop smoking to improve their cholesterol. Smoking increases cardiovascular risk via several methods, including increased “bad” cholesterol levels.

  • Exercise: Getting 150 minutes per week (just 30 minutes, five days a week) of moderate-intensity activity can lower cholesterol levels significantly.

  • Reduce alcohol intake: Less is better when it comes to alcohol. Limit wine, beer, and spirits to less than five servings per week.

  • Lose excess body fat: Every 1kg of fat loss reduces total cholesterol by 0.4 mg/dL.

An excellent article to read if you’re looking to understand the level of evidence behind lifestyle recommendations for lowering cholesterol is the 2019 ESC/EAS Guidelines for the Management of Dyslipidaemias: Lipid Modification to Reduce Cardiovascular Risk, written by The Task Force for the management of dyslipidaemias of the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) and European Atherosclerosis Society (EAS).

Check out the whole article to learn more.

If you want a team that can help you reduce your cholesterol naturally, schedule your initial visit with us today!


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