Cholesterol is a type of fat in the blood. Too much of this fat can add to a build-up of plaque in the blood vessels. It can raise your risk of stroke and heart disease.
Changes to diet, activity level, and medicine may help to lower levels. Some look to natural treatments to further lower their cholesterol.
These therapies are likely effective:
- Berberine is a chemical found in some plants.C27
- Calcium is a mineral found in the body that can also be taken as a supplement.D2
- Chocolate is a food product that comes from the cacao tree.E6
- Coenzyme Q10 is a protein in the body that helps make energy.E7, E8
- Glucomannan is thought to bind cholesterol in the intestine and remove it from the body.C2-C4,C16,C21, C22,C33
- Green tea A2-A4,A12
- Lipoic acid is a compound found in the body that acts as an antioxidant to help slow damage to cells.E14
- Psyllium is thought to bind cholesterol in the intestine and remove it from the body.C34,C38, C39
- Red yeast rice is a traditional Chinese medicine that may lower cholesterol.C10,C23,C27,C29,C31,C34,C40
- Rice bran oil comes from the outer brown layer of rice.A10
- Stanols/sterols are substances found in many plant foods.A1,A5, A6,A8,A11
May Be Effective
These therapies may be effective:
- Artichoke leaf extract may have a mild, short term lowering effect C19
- Black tea A7,A9,E1-E3
- Carob refers to the bitter seeds that come from the pods of a tropical tree.E4, E5
- Chinese herbal medicine C13
- Curcumin (Turmeric) is a plant and curcumin is a substance in turmeric.C35,E9
- Flaxseed C6,C9,C28,E10, E11
- Garlic B1,B3-B5
- Lemon balm is an herb in the same family as mint.E13
- Olive leaf may lower total cholesterol and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol C12,C26,C32
- Oolong tea may help lower fat levels in the blood.E21
- Policosanol is a compound found in sugar cane and wheat that may lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol C11,C14,C16-C18,C21,C24, C25,C37
- Probiotics C5,C7, C8,C15,C20,C31,C36
- Sage leaf B2
- Sea Buckthorn is a tall plant with orange berries.E15
- Spirulina is a bright green alga that may lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides; also likely to raise HDL (“good”) cholesterol C30
- Vitamin B3 (Niacin) is a B vitamin that helps the digestive system work. Note : Taking too much niacin can result in health problems.D1
Unlikely to Be Effective
These therapies are unlikely to lower cholesterol levels:
Editorial process and description of evidence categories can be found at EBSCO NAT Editorial Process.
Herbs and Supplements to Be Used With Caution
Talk to your doctor about all herbs or supplements you are taking. Some may interact with your treatment plan or health conditions.
Niacin in large amounts may cause liver problems, gout, ulcers, problems seeing, high blood sugar, irregular heartbeat, and other health problems. It may also increase your risk of diabetes.
. Dietary Changes
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Last reviewed February 2020 by EBSCO NAT Review Board Eric Hurwitz, DC Last Updated: 11/16/2020