High cholesterol: Nutritionist reveals top prevention tips
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High cholesterol has no overt symptoms, and a blood test is the only way to detect if you have it. Supplements could come into play to help reduce levels and deter serious health risks. But which are the best?
When taken at prescription-level doses, niacin has been shown to help improve “good” HDL cholesterol levels and lower triglyceride levels.
It works by blocking the enzyme responsible for making cholesterol in the liver.
As a cholesterol treatment, there are good studies showing that niacin can boost levels of good HDL cholesterol and lower triglycerides, said WebMD.
The health site added: “Niacin also modestly lowers bad LDL cholesterol
“It’s sometimes prescribed in combination with statins for cholesterol control, such as rosuvastatin, simvastatin, fluvastatin, atorvastatin and pravastatin.”
As a cholesterol treatment, there are good studies showing that niacin can boost levels of good HDL cholesterol. Niacin also modestly lowers bad LDL cholesterol.
Niacin also has other health benefits. There is good evidence that it helps reduce atherosclerosis or hardening of the arteries in some people.
For people who have already had a heart attack, niacin seems to lower the risk of having a second one.
In addition, niacin is an FDA-approved treatment for pellagra, a rare condition that develops from niacin deficiency.
Psyllium husk is one of the most powerful LDL-lowering viscous soluble fibres in existence.
A high fibre diet has been shown to reduce risk of heart disease.
Psyllium also traps undesirable bile acids within the intestine, which means the liver must pull more LDLs in from the bloodstream to compensate.
It also prevents cholesterol and fat from entering the intestinal cells which increases the barrier for diffusion of fat and cholesterol across the intestinal wall.
In one study, 47 healthy participants experienced a six percent reduction in LDL ‘bad’ cholesterol after taking six grams of psyllium each day for six weeks.
Psyllium also helps relieve constipation and works by increasing stool size due to its bulk-forming laxative.
Due to psyllium’s resistance to digestion, the supplement allows proper regulation of high cholesterol, triglycerides and blood sugar levels.
Psyllium can be found in various forms and has many health benefits.
Statins are the most common medicine for high cholesterol, according to the health service.
Statins work by reducing the amount of cholesterol your body makes.
You usually have to continue taking statins for life because if you stop taking them, your cholesterol will return to a high level within a few weeks.
Many people who take statins experience no or very few side effects. Nonetheless, the NHS warns others experience some “troublesome” side effects, “such as diarrhoea, a headache or feeling sick”.
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