Cholesterol is a type of lipid and is a waxy, fat-like substance that the liver produces naturally. It’s vital for the formation of cell membranes, certain hormones and vitamin D. Stroke Association said: “Most of the cholesterol in our body is made by the liver. Eating too much saturated fat can increase the amount of cholesterol in your body, so it’s best to stick to eating small amounts of unsaturated fats like olive oil.” There are plenty of dietary supplements on the market that claim to help with lowering cholesterol. Which one’s are the best?
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Artichoke leaf extract
Artichoke is a plant and the leaf, stem and root are used to make extracts. These extracts are used as medicine.
Artichoke is used to stimulate the flow of bile from the liver. In a 2000 German study, researchers performed a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial using nearly 150 adults with total cholesterol over 280.
Participants took an artichoke supplement for six weeks and saw their levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) or bad cholesterol fall by 23 per cent on average, compared to just six per cent in the placebo group.
A more recent, three-month trial found that total cholesterol fell by an average of four per cent among participants taking artichoke leaf extract, however, the researchers found no measurable impact on either LDL or high-density lipoprotein, also known as good cholesterol.
There have been very few quality studies conducted on artichoke leaf extract and the mixed results suggest that more evidence is needed to confirm its effect on cholesterol.
Fenugreek is a seed that has been used since the days of ancient Egypt. It is a herb similar to clover and the seeds are used in cooking, to make medicine or to hide the taste of other medicine.
Several studies from the 1990s have reported that, in high doses, various fenugreek seed preparations can lower total cholesterol and LDL.
Fenugreek contains a significant amount of dietary fibre and some experts speculate that the cholesterol-lowering effect of fenugreek may in fact be attributed largely to its fibre content.
Soluble fibre is a type of dietary fibre found in oats, barley, bran and dietary supplements.
In 1999, a team of Harvard Medical School researchers conducted a meta-analysis of nearly 70 clinical trials that examined the effect of soluble fibre on cholesterol levels.
For each gram of soluble fibre that the participant of the various studies added to their daily diet, their LDL levels fell by about two points.
Looking for an a dietary supplement to help lower cholesterol is a natural way for a person to reduce their risk of serious health complications.
It’s important to speak with your GP about which one’s are best.
Following a well-balanced diet will also ensure cholesterol levels remain healthy.
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