amla (Phyllanthus emblica) (Indian gooseberry), better than drugs
apples, including dried apples
but apple juice will have the opposite effect due to the lack of fiber
avocados help a little, especially vs small, dense, LDL cholesterol
Berberine, found in barberry.
blueberries: equivalent to a statin drug
red cabbage, especially the sprouts
works via favorably increasing the size of plasma lipoproteins
A low-carb diet was effective in 66 obese subjects with high cholesterol.
cinnamon, more (liver caution)
+ almonds (chocolate (not cocoa) may lead to weight gain)
drink filtered coffee only
cooking cruciferous veggies and peppers lowers cholesterol via bile acid binding
curcumin and capsaicin inhibit LDL oxidation, curcumin may also controls cholesterol
Vitamin E can be helpful for cholesterol control, but steer clear of vitamin E supplements. See the Quacks and Snake Oil post.
Exercise is proven by six studies of more than 1500 participants.
Exercise is proven by 160 randomized controlled trials with 7487 participants.
The most effective exercise is vigorous.
Exercise beats statin drug treatment for those struggling with cholesterol.
Fast food is so bad that some physicians propose providing statin drugs as a form of condiment!
fasting to control cholesterol in pre-diabetics and others
fenugreek, more (Trigonella foenum-graecum)
fiber, more, more, more Soluble fiber has been shown to lower cholesterol by binding to bile (composed of cholesterol) and taking it out of the body. This may help reduce the risk of heart disease.
Fish oil can increase levels of “good” HDL cholesterol. However, it does not appear to
reduce levels of “bad” LDL cholesterol.
flavonoids vs. cholesterol oxidation – abundant in a plant-based diet
but flax lignans do lower testosterone – see the Sex post
Ω-3 fats from algal oil
Exercise may work better.
Glucomannan is likely to impact blood cholesterol levels due to its viscosity, which is associated with a reduction in bile acid re-absorption, increased bile acid synthesis from cholesterol and a reduction in circulating LDL-cholesterol concentrations.
green tea, more, more, more, more, more
prevents cholesterol oxidation
avoid added fructose – including high fructose corn syrup (sucrose is half fructose)
depleted by antibiotics
Mild carbohydrate restriction may be beneficial. But don’t do full meat-based keto.
Replacing starches with even saturated fat improved cholesterol as part of a ketogenic diet.
but saturated fat seems ill-tolerated in the absence of ketosis
lactic acid bacteria
lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus)
heavy metal caution
white meat is just as bad as red meat
moringa oleifera leaf
Niacin is a supplement that really does work, lowering LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and triglycerides and raising HDL (“good”) cholesterol. In fact, niacin was the first cholesterol-lowering substance shown to reduce the risk of heart disease. Trouble is, to achieve these gains you need extremely high doses of niacin, generally more than 25 (and sometimes over 150) times the RDA of 18 mg. In these doses, niacin has side effects that range from flushing, headaches, and itching to liver inflammation, erectile dysfunction, and gout. And since most men who need help with cholesterol take a statin drug, they should know that the important AIM-HIGH trial was discontinued in 2011 because niacin failed to add benefit to statin therapy. If you take niacin, use it under a doctor’s supervision as a medication, not on your own as a supplement; although niacin is available over the counter, a prescription preparation is your best bet. “The largest niacin trial to date found that, in patients with a history of cardiovascular disease whose cholesterol levels are well controlled, niacin really doesn’t reduce cardiovascular risk and it may cause harmful side effects,
nuts are the best source of phytosterols (control cholesterol)
four brazil nuts per month!
oats, more, more – better than wheat
pOats may work via beta glucan.
oleuropein prevents cholesterol oxidation
Olive oil polyphenols promote the main HDL antiatherogenic function, its cholesterol efflux capacity. These polyphenols increased HDL size, promoted a greater HDL stability reflected as a triglyceride-poor core, and enhanced the HDL oxidative status, through an increase in the olive oil polyphenol metabolites content in the lipoprotein.
pasta containing eggs should be stored in the dark:
pectin found in fruits like apples, guavas, mangoes and pears is soluble fiber
peppers vs. cholesterol oxidation
phytates found in beans, nuts, and whole grains
phytosterols, more, more, more (found in sesame seeds, flax seeds, and avocados)
A plant-based diet lowered LDL cholesterol by 30% and by 29%.
Cholesterol can drop 11% in 12 days.
Switching from beef to chicken and fish will not help.
Choose carefully, preferably with no added oil.
Multiple phytochemicals provide powerful protection.
A plant-based diet also works via sterols.
The Portfolio Diet is similar, but the CHIP intervention is awesome.
probiotics, more, more, or not
psyllium (Plantage psyllium)
prevents cholesterol oxidation
red meat is bad news
Red yeast rice is another supplement that really does improve cholesterol levels. That’s no surprise, since it contains lovastatin, the statin drug that has been available by prescription as Mevacor since 1987. An independent 2010 analysis of 12 red yeast rice products found that although all claimed to have 600 mg of the active ingredient in each capsule, the actual content varied between 0.10 and 10.9 mg. In addition, one-third of the products were contaminated with a potentially toxic compound. It’s a cautionary tale that illustrates the potential pitfalls of all supplements. Bottom line for red yeast rice: if you need a statin for your cholesterol, use one of the six well-regulated prescription statins under medical supervision. Statin drugs are not a cognitive hazard.
includes coconut oil
butter may be especially bad
avoid eggs, dairy, meat, and especially brains
per the evidence-based guideline by the German Nutrition Society
Shown by a study of 118 men and women
Shown by a meta-analysis of 27 studies
Shown by a meta-analysis of 60 controlled trials
Shown by a meta-analysis of 395 dietary experiments.
seed oils for lowering LDL cholesterol
sesame seeds (lignans such as sesamin from un-hulled brown sesame seeds)
soy, more – whole soy is best – not the oil
Statin drug use is associated with diabetes progression, including greater likelihood of insulin treatment initiation, significant hyperglycemia, acute glycemic complications, and an increased number of prescriptions for glucose-lowering medication classes.
A sugary diet can raise your so-called “bad” (LDL) cholesterol and lower the “good” (HDL) kind.
Tocotrienols have been shown effective in chickens and in humans.
pre-meal raw tomatoes
avoid trans fats! (partially hydrogenated oils) – also in meat and dairy
trans fats in meat and dairy is just as bad
a vegetarian, or better-yet vegan (plant-based) diet
limit wheat, but make it whole grain
Here is an excellent blog post by a retired physician.
after 65, cholesterol drugs may have more side effects
more on cholesterol, more, more, more, only part of the heart health picture
The FDA mandated new side-effect warning labels on all statin drugs specifiying brain-related risks including memory loss confusion. Also a blood sugar in diabetics warning.
the Mayo clinic and others on possible statin side effects. All of the side effects of statins can be explained as a result of the slow-down of organ functions (brain, muscles, gut, adrenal glands, etc.) as cholesterol synthesis is reduced. Many statin side effects are nocebo in nature. Taking statin drugs lowers heart attack risk by 1%.
Despite the above, statin drugs are low risk.
The consensus is that statin drugs reduce the chance of major heart problems. If the doctor says “take a statin drug”: do not stop without consulting with a doctor.
Dietary intervention is better. Try the Mediterranean diet. Better yet, a whole-food, unprocessed vegan (plant-based) diet is 20X more effective than statin drugs for avoiding heart problems.
One researcher maintains that cholesterol is not bad, it is oxidized cholesterol that causes problems. So avoid eggs, consume plant-based antioxidants with every meal, and consume extra virgin olive oil (or just olives).
Control cholesterol to avoid low back pain.
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