7 herbal supplements that can lower cholesterol naturally
Fiber supplements can take many forms: psyllium, methylcellulose, wheat dextrin and calcium polycarbophil, for example.
Psyllium, for example, is derived from the plantago ovata plant. It’s usually available as a capsule or a powder to stir into drinks or food.
Taking psyllium regularly has been shown to reduce cholesterol levels. The supplement can also relieve constipation and lower blood sugar in people with diabetes.
Perhaps better known as vitamin B3, niacin is sometimes recommended as a treatment for patients with high cholesterol or heart concerns.
The supplement increases the level of “good” HDL cholesterol and reduces triglycerides, a fat that can also clog arteries.
Doctors often warn their patients that niacin in high doses can cause itching and flushing — these side effects are more common at the higher doses usually needed to have an effect on cholesterol.
Flaxseed is derived from a flowering plant, Linum usitatissimum, which grows in temperate regions worldwide.
Flaxseed is high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. One tablespoon of ground flaxseed contains 2 grams of polyunsaturated fatty acids (including the omega 3s), plus 2 grams of dietary fiber, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Experts advise that flaxseed is best used in its oil or ground form — not whole —because our bodies can’t break down the outer shell of the whole seed.
Consult your health care provider
Experts recommend that people with high cholesterol not rely on any single product — whether prescription medications or herbal supplements — to manage their cholesterol.
“Statin prescriptions are effective in reducing LDL cholesterol levels and are commonly recommended by health care professionals for individuals with high cholesterol to lower the risk of heart attacks and strokes,” Young told The Post.
“However, statin prescriptions alone are not sufficient: Lifestyle changes, including adopting a healthy diet low in saturated and trans fats, and high in soluble fiber, are essential,” she added.