Five Supplements To Lower LDL
Published by Dr. Venn-Watson
Dr. Eric Venn-Watson’s Highlights
LDL cholesterol is also known as “bad cholesterol.”
Higher LDL cholesterol levels increase your risk of developing certain illnesses like cardiovascular disease, heart attack, and stroke.
Supporting cholesterol homeostasis and maintaining your health can start with just one fatty15 capsule per day.*
Your cholesterol levels show higher than they should be on your most recent blood test, and your doctor wants you to take steps to lower your cholesterol, with or without the inclusion of a statin medication.
It can feel overwhelming but don’t worry. Maintaining healthy cholesterol requires lifestyle changes, dietary switch-outs, and reconsidering the current supplement you might be taking to support your health and wellness goals.
We’ll recommend some supplements, talk about cholesterol, and help you learn the basics of lowering your LDL cholesterol.
What Are the Cholesterol Basics?
High cholesterol, also called hypercholesterolemia, is a multifaceted problem because there are two different types of cholesterol your healthcare provider is measuring.
High-density lipoprotein cholesterol is also known as your “good cholesterol.” These cholesterol molecules help move LDL cholesterol molecules from your blood, which is why your doctor wants this number to be higher.
Low-density lipoprotein cholesterol is known as your “bad cholesterol.” These cholesterol molecules can build up in your arteries and increase your risk of atherosclerosis, a condition in which the blood vessels become harder and smaller.
LDL cholesterol should generally be under 100 mg/dL, or milligrams per deciliter, while your HDL cholesterol should be at least 45 mg/dL. A total cholesterol reading under 170 mg/dL is considered healthy.
Your doctor also measures your triglycerides as a part of your lipid panel. Triglycerides are fats found in your blood and usually come from excess calories; if you eat more calories than you burn, your body stores the extra calories as triglycerides.
Triglycerides are important because they contribute to the development of arterial diseases, which increase your risk of developing heart disease. Your triglycerides levels should be less than 150 mg/dL.
How Can I Lower My LDL Cholesterol?
Reducing your LDL cholesterol also involves boosting your HDL and lowering your triglycerides. There are a few ways you can do this by implementing healthy lifestyle changes.
Eat a Healthy Diet
One of the many benefits of a healthy diet can be lower cholesterol. Avoiding red meat, trans fats, excess sodium, and simple carbohydrates (like sugar and white flour) can help you support heart health, including lower cholesterol.
Replacing these foods with healthful choices like whole grains, fiber, low-glycemic index fruits, and vegetables can not only help support healthy cholesterol levels and improve your total health and wellness.
Get Enough Exercise
A sedentary lifestyle can lead to high cholesterol, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, and excess weight. These conditions can rob you of your health, but they can be kept at bay by ensuring you get enough movement.
Experts recommend at least 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week (or 30 minutes, five days a week). This heart-healthy lifestyle can include activities like:
- Brisk walking
- Housework or gardening
Find something you enjoy doing, and do it. If you love it, you have a better chance of continuing to get the exercise you need.
Consider Dietary Supplements
If your doctor approves, a dietary supplement could be the sidekick you need to help support your goal of lowering your LDL cholesterol. Supplements can help fill in dietary gaps, give your cells a boost, and give your body higher levels of vitamins and nutrients you need to lead a healthier lifestyle.
Five Supplements To Lower LDL Cholesterol
Maybe there isn’t a magic pill to lower cholesterol, but there’s some strong science behind supplements that can help you support your lower LDL cholesterol goals. Here are five popular supplements to help lower your LDL cholesterol.
Niacin is a form of vitamin B3. This vitamin helps your body with energy conversion. Specifically, it helps your body convert the calories you eat into energy. It may help lower LDL cholesterol and raise healthy HDL cholesterol levels.
While you can take a prescription version of niacin from your doctor, over-the-counter niacin may help make up for a dietary deficiency if you have one. A simple blood test can help a healthcare provider determine if niacin is a good fit for you.
This plant-based soluble fiber is often prescribed as a laxative to help alleviate constipation. However, a fortunate side effect of psyllium (which also takes place in the intestines) is its ability to lower LDL cholesterol levels, especially among people dealing with high blood cholesterol.
Psyllium helps remove LDL cholesterol molecules from the intestines, effectively removing them from your body.
3. Plant Sterols
If your high cholesterol levels are hereditary, taking plant stanols and sterols may be effective in helping you lower your bad cholesterol. These plant-based molecules are similar in structure to cholesterol molecules. When you take them, your body may not absorb as much cholesterol from your food because the plant sterols compete with them for absorption.
Ground flaxseed may help support lower cholesterol because it contains high levels of alpha-lipoic acid (ALA). This is one of the omega-3 fatty acids and the only one that is actually “essential.” It’s essential because our body needs it to function but cannot readily make it independently.
5. Green Tea
Replacing your morning coffee with green tea or taking green tea extract may help improve your total cholesterol level and lower your LDL cholesterol. Drinking green tea is a natural way to healthfully support cholesterol levels, but if you take certain blood-thinning medications, you should consult your doctor before using it.
Can Fish Oil Supplements Lower LDL?
Possibly the most heavily marketed heart-healthy supplement is fish oil. These yellow-gold capsules contain oil extracted from the livers and skins of certain fatty fish.
Fish oil contains many fatty acids including various amounts of omega-3s including alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Although fish oil has been shown to improve triglyceride and HDL levels, many studies support that fish oil increases LDL levels.
What Does Fish Oil Do?
Omega-3s have been linked to a number of health benefits including lowering your chance of heart disease, however fish oil has a few limitations worth discussing.
- Excessive amounts of omega-3 can cause side effects like low blood pressure, thinning of the blood, increased bleeding when you are injured, and a higher risk of bruising.
- A large dose of omega-3s, often between 2,000-3,000mg per day is required to reap the benefits it can deliver.
- Because omega-3 is a polyunsaturated, it’s subject to lipid peroxidation. Like cooking oil can go rancid, omega-3 supplements can also go rancid. As many as 10 out of 60 varieties sold at retailers were tested and found rancid on the shelf.
- Fish oil supplements are often associated with an unpleasant taste, bad breath, bad-smelling sweat, headache, and gastrointestinal symptoms such as heartburn, nausea, and diarrhea.
Seeking to lower your LDL cholesterol and decrease your risk of heart disease is a smart choice, but taking omega-3 may not be the best option for supporting your goals. A solution? Fatty15.
How Can Fatty15 Help?
Fatty15 contains just one ingredient, the pure, plant-based form of C15:0, also known as pentadecanoic acid. C15:0 is an odd-chain, saturated fatty acid and the first essential fatty acid to be discovered since omega-3s, over 90 years ago.. A recent head to head comparison of fatty15 versus the purest, highest performing omega-3 (EPA) supports that fatty15 is better, broader, and safer than omega-3.*
C15:0, (the only ingredient in fatty15) naturally binds to receptors found throughout our bodies, called PPARs (pronounced pee-pars), that help to regulate our metabolism, including our cholesterol and glucose homeostasis.*
This helps to explain why daily fatty15 supplementation helped to promote healthy cholesterol and triglyceride homeostasis.*
In 12 cell types studies, fatty15 successfully repaired 10 of them. Omega-3 could only successfully repair four. Heart and red blood cells topped the list of the cell types that fatty15 can help.
While omega-3 can be toxic to cells, fatty15 was safe for all cell types studied. This means that taking once-a-day fatty15 can help support your health and cells more effectively than the purest, most effective form of omega-3.*
A Better Supplement
Lowering your LDL cholesterol helps support your cardiovascular health, but some supplements may benefit your health and wellness more than others.
The choice is clear for supporting cholesterol and triglyceride homeostasis and boosting your body’s ability to repair cells safely. Fatty15 is a science-backed, award-winning C15:0 supplement that supports your long-term health & wellness.
Reviewed by Dr. Eric Venn-Watson
Cholesterol Levels: What You Need to Know | MedlinePlus
Triglycerides: Why do they matter? | Mayo Clinic
American Heart Association Recommendations for Physical Activity in Adults and Kids | heart.org
Long-term cholesterol-lowering effects of psyllium as an adjunct to diet therapy in the treatment of hypercholesterolemia | NCBI
Phytosterols & Cholesterol | Cleveland Clinic
Effect of green tea consumption on blood lipids: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials | Nutrition Journal
Eric Venn-Watson M.D.
Senior Scientist, Co-Founder
Eric is a physician, U.S. Navy veteran, and Co-founder and COO of Seraphina Therapeutics. Eric served over 25 years as a Navy and Marine Corps physician, working with the special forces community to improve their health and fitness. Seraphina Therapeutics is a health and wellness company dedicated to advancing global health through the discovery of essential fatty acids and micronutrient therapeutics.
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