Statins are pharmaceutical drugs used to decrease cholesterol levels. They also lower the risk of heart disease and stroke. These drugs block your body from using a substance in your liver that makes cholesterol, and they are effective.
Specifically, statin drugs are used to lower low-density lipoproteins (LDL), or the bad cholesterol ratio, and increase your high-density lipoproteins (HDL), or good cholesterol ratio.
There are some side effects to taking statins; headaches, dizziness, abdominal cramping, muscle aches, memory loss, diarrhea, bloating, and nausea.
Many people would prefer to decrease cholesterol by not taking drugs and do not want these daily side effects that impinge on everyday life.
Fortunately, there are natural alternatives that can help in moderate to mild cases of high cholesterol. Super high cholesterol readings may need drugs to lower these high ratios; once you have better ratios, then tell your doctor to wean you off the drug so you can use natural alternatives.
Psyllium is a seed grain used to treat constipation because it is high in fiber. You can add it to food or water; it is recommended to take 10-12 grams daily for lowering your LDL cholesterol.
5. Niacin or Vitamin B3
Niacin appears to lower LDL ratio and triglycerides, along with other risk factors for atherosclerosis. Check with your doctor since niacin does cause flushing of the skin, which should go away after daily use and with a meal. There have been reports of drug interference if you already are on blood pressure meds.
The herb fenugreek is a small brown seed, used as a spice flavoring in many food dishes. In a study, done in 2016, they found that fenugreek along with garlic does seem to lower LDL cholesterol ratios and has cardioprotective potential.
3. Red Yeast Rice
Red yeast rice has been shown to lower cholesterol, but it does contain a compound identical to a statin drug, lovastatin, which can cause side effects also.
2. Omega-3 Fatty Acids or Fish Oil Supplements
Aim to eat about 2 servings per week of 3.5 oz. of fatty fish, like salmon, mackerel, tuna or trout for the omega-3 fatty acids. Or you can try a good quality omega-3 fatty acid supplement.
Or try nuts; the two highest in omega-3 are walnuts and almonds.
1. Eat a Healthy Diet
Eating a healthy diet like the Mediterranean diet is the best way to start dropping cholesterol. These diets are high in plant sterols, like beta-sitosterol, which come from eating lots of fresh veggies.
You need to decrease your simple carbs, like your sweets and bread and perhaps dairy to bring down your cholesterol naturally. A plus is you will lose weight!
“High cholesterol is a top risk factor for heart attacks, strokes, and poor circulation,” says Omar Ali, M.D., a board-certified cardiologist at ARK Medical Center in Michigan.
Try following some of these recommendations to lowering your cholesterol and becoming healthier.