When dealing with high cholesterol, vitamin supplements are often a solution thought about. But before opting to go this route, one must understand that different kinds of supplements will have many different results depending on what you choose. Because of this, a health provider must be consulted in the beginning to determine what your cholesterol level is, and what supplements to purchase. It is also very important to take note that supplements will not reverse the ill effects of unhealthy habits such as cigarette smoking and a high fat diet. These supplements should only be used as what is was intended for, to help but not treat any underlying conditions. Therefore, you should only use these combined with healthy habits such as a low fat diet and an active lifestyle.
A nutrient that deals with high cholesterol is vitamin B3 (niacin), found in vegetables, fish, milk and eggs. However, the vitamin B3 content of these foods are not enough to lower cholesterol. Our body needs between 2,000-3,000 mg of vitamin B3 daily, and this may only be available via medication. Consuming niacin must be done carefully however, as too much can lead to hot flashes, gout, nausea, gastric distress and indigestion. Because of this, consume niacin only with a doctor’s prescription.
Another ingredient in maintaining low cholesterol is soluble fiber. Apples, barley, oat bran, beans, lentils and citrus fruits are natural foods that are known for the fiber content that eases digestion as well as to control cholesterol. Soluble fiber binds with existing cholesterol in the body. When this happens, cholesterol is flushed away with it when soluble fiber is expelled from the body through fecal waste, thus minimizing cholesterol absorption through the intestines.
One additional important ingredient to regulate cholesterol levels in the body is garlic extract. But if used excessively, garlic extract can result in stomach gas, bloating, body odor, nausea, heartburn and vomiting. It will also break down omega-3 fatty acids found in fish oil and health supplements. Well-known for its HDL-increasing attributes, omega-3 fatty acids are efficient in boosting HDL cholesterol (good cholesterol) levels in your body. Note that if you are taking blood thinning medicine, you must seek advice from a physician prior to integrating garlic and omega-3 fatty acids in your diet program.
If you are interested in all-natural food supplements to curb your cholesterol levels, flax seeds are a very good selection. This type of whole grains have been observed to lower amounts of LDL cholesterol (i.e., ‘bad cholesterol’) and keep it from being absorbed in the intestines. Flax seed is a flexible ingredient of which you can consume with cereal, yogurt or baked with bread or muffins. Be watchful of eating high amounts of flax seed if you are on blood thinning drugs.
This is just a very short list, as there are many more essential supplements in the market. Check with your health care provider or pharmacist for more information.
If you don’t get enough sleep, then maybe you are putting yourself at a higher risk that you think. Getting 6-8 hours of sleep can also lower cholesterol. Zaiden Xavier writes on issues relating to decreasing cholesterol and how to monitor cholesterol levels.