Supplements Are Here To Stay
The worldwide supplement market will grow to over $270 billion by 2024. Companies create supplements for energy, focus, and even sleep. But can supplements even help manage cholesterol?
The liver has many functions. Creating cholesterol is a key role of the organ. Cholesterol is a fatty substance present in the cells of the body. From producing hormones to digestion, cholesterol is an essential part of health. Yet, excess cholesterol can have a negative impact.
The good, the bad and the ugly of cholesterol
Cholesterol consists of HDL and LDL. High-density lipoproteins (HDL) is good cholesterol. Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) is considered bad cholesterol. If left unchecked, LDL clogs the arteries. Having high LDL and low HDL can cause ailments like strokes, angina, cardiovascular disease, and peripheral artery disese (PAD). To keep cholesterol in check, stock up on the following supplements:
Niacin negates cholesterol
Vitamin B3, or niacin, is a popular supplement for cholesterol. Niacin helps turn food into energy. Moreover, the versatile vitamin may improve HDL, reduce LDL, and reduce triglycerides. Niacin is often prescribed in higher doses. B3 can have side effects like flushing skin, upset stomach, and liver issues in some people. Speak with a doctor before trying the supplement.
Stock up on fiber
Psyllium is a soluble fiber and has been around for many years. The supplement comes from the outer husk of plantago ovata seeds and boasts several benefits. More importantly, the supplement has a positive impact on cholesterol. In some studies, psyllium supplements reduced cholesterol between 5-10%. Although gentle on the stomach, expect side effects like diarrhea and constipation.
Plant sterols and stanols?
A sterol or stanol supplement can greatly impact overall cholesterol health. Sterols and stanols are compounds found in plants resembling cholesterol. When consumed, sterols mimic cholesterol, allowing actual LDL to pass out of the body. The compounds are in nuts, seeds, and oils. Stanols are even added to some foods like margarine. However, stanol-rich food alone is not enough to positively impact cholesterol. Consider adding a supplement.
Fish oil fights for the heart
The healthy omega-3 fats found in fish oil impact cholesterol and triglycerides. Fish oil increases good cholesterol, lowers blood pressure, and lessens strokes. Fish oil supplements aren’t all created equal. Check with a doctor to recommend a supplement with the highest concentration of omega-3s containing EPA and DHA.
CoQ10 conquers cholesterol
Coenzyme Q10 is an antioxidant created naturally in the body, used for energy creation. CoQ10 has a host of health benefits, from providing energy to improving cognitive function. Can CoQ10 impact cardiovascular health? CoQ10 supplements power the mitochondria in the heart, helping reduce LDL and increase HDL.
Bet on bergamot
Italian citrus fruit bergamot is new on the cholesterol-fighting block. Recent studies reveal the flavonoids in bergamot can reduce bad cholesterol. When combined with cholesterol medicine, a bergamot supplement also reduced the side effects of statins.
Supplements can help but not heal
Cardiovascular disease continues to be the number one cause of death in the US. Therefore, the race to manage cholesterol is stronger than ever. Supplements like niacin, psyllium, and bergamot can help. But people shouldn’t rely on supplementation alone. A healthy diet, exercise, and lifestyle work with supplements to transform cholesterol health. Talk with a pharmacist about what supplements may be most beneficial to improve heart health and cholesterol.