The People's Perspective on Medicine

How Can You Lower Your Cholesterol Naturally?

Consider adding soluble fiber such as psyllium to your diet to lower your cholesterol naturally. There are also other tasty options.

Do you know how to lower your cholesterol naturally? Frequently, when doctors discover that a patient has an elevated cholesterol level, they offer a prescription for a statin drug to lower these blood fats. Not everyone is happy to take medication such as atorvastatin or simvastin, however. Some people find that they develop unpleasant side effects, such as muscle cramps, pain or even brain fog. That is why they are searching for natural approaches. Have you been hunting for such an option?

Stubborn High Cholesterol:

Q. I’ve taken statins for high cholesterol, but I have horrible side effects. Red yeast rice doesn’t work for me.

I eat oatmeal for breakfast and before bed with cinnamon and flax seed and lecithin. I also take 12 flax seed oil capsules daily and eat a low-fat diet. My two daily tablespoons of olive oil push my HDL over 60 but no matter what I do, I can’t get my cholesterol below 279. Any other ideas?

Lower Your Cholesterol Naturally:

A. One approach you might add to your regimen is psyllium. This soluble fiber, found in Metamucil, Konsyl and certain other bulk-forming laxatives, can lower LDL cholesterol effectively (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, online Sep. 15, 2018).

You may find that adding nuts to your low-fat diet could be helpful. Following a vegetarian or mostly vegetarian dietary pattern can lower cholesterol, especially LDL cholesterol (Clinical Nutrition, June 13, 2018). Also consider adding some grape or pomegranate juice and possibly even red grapefruit (Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, March 8, 2006). Vinegar is another popular option to lower your cholesterol naturally. You can learn more about such options in our Guide to Cholesterol Control & Heart Health.

Oatmeal to Lower Your Cholesterol Naturally:

Although you have not been successful in lowering your cholesterol by eating oatmeal every day, this tactic may work for other people. Scientists have known for years that consuming oats can lower your cholesterol. In fact, the first study showing that oat bread instead of white bread reduced LDL cholesterol was published in 1963.

Data on Oat Fiber to Lower Your Cholesterol:

A meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials shows that the beta-glucan in oat fiber actually lowers three different markers of blood fats (British Journal of Nutrition, online Oct. 7, 2016). In addition to LDL cholesterol, beta-glucan consumption brought down levels of non-HDL cholesterol and apolipoprotein B. Elevated levels of these fats are particularly dangerous for people with type 2 diabetes or metabolic syndrome.

The meta-analysis included 58 clinical trials and nearly 4,000 individuals. Eating about 3.5 grams of beta-glucan daily lowered LDL by 4.2 percent, non-HDL cholesterol by 4.8 percent and apo B by 2.3 percent.

How Can You Get the Right Amount of Beta-Glucan?

Both oats and barley are rich in beta-glucan. Oat bran is a better source of beta-glucan than whole oats, so if you want to lower your cholesterol with this soluble fiber, you might consume oat bran rather than oatmeal. A cup of cooked oat bran contains about 3 grams of beta-glucans, while a cup of cooked barley has roughly 2.5 grams. You’d need two cups of cooked oatmeal to get 3 grams of beta-glucans. To lower your cholesterol, you’d need to get beta-glucans into your diet every day.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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Kyolic cholesterol formula (aged garlic), two caps at breakfast, lowered my LDL by 35 points in 3 months! I swear that was enough to keep my doctor from nagging me about statins once again.

I lowered cholesterol by NOT eating meat, chicken, dairy. It’s miraculous! My total cholesterol dropped 70 points in three weeks on a plant-based diet.

My cholesterol was always from 200-220 but my doctor said the ratios were O.K. Two years ago I started putting a heaping spoonful of oat bran on my Greek yogurt for breakfast, and for the last two years my cholesterol has been in the 180’s with high HDL.

I’ve found Beta-Sitosterol and Plant Sterols are of tremendous help. I used to take 10 Mg of Lipitor daily, keeping my total cholesterol at 190. Now, I take 5Mg Lipitor and a few Plant Sterols daily and my total cholesterol runs in the mid 150’s.

Why does everyone want their cholesterol so low?
Whoever gets their numbers the lowest, does not necessarily win.

When my cholesterol hit 268 my doctor recommended statins. I told her I wanted to try diet first, and adopted a paleo eating plan. Five months later it had dropped 52 points. Eliminating grain and legumes did the trick for me. Side benefit was that I lost about 10 pounds and have kept it off. My doctor and naturopath were thrilled.

When I added some grains back in (mostly rice and rice crackers) it started climbing again, back up about 25 points, so I really watch consumption of those.

It’s my belief that all the hoo-ha about cholesterol was begun by Big Pharma to sell statins. After suffering severe damage from the most well-known statin drug (much upper arm muscle and rotator cuffs destroyed), I discovered that there’s a great deal of good research available that does NOT support 200 as a healthy cutoff for everyone. In fact, a great deal of research shows that cholesterol levels between 200 and 300+ result in better memories in older people. I also suffered from severe depression due to that same statin drug, and I found research performed in the early 1990s that indicated overall cholesterol of less than 160 often resulted in aggression in men and depression in women. Mine had been maintained at 134 for several years while on a statin drug. My doctor apparently hadn’t seen the research and thought 134 was wonderful. Ye gods.

I do believe that there are unhealthy fats to be avoided and doing so will likely lower cholesterol levels. The fats to avoid are those found in junk, fast, and processed foods, restaurant and take-out food, i.e.: any fat described as hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated, transfats, canola oil, and most cooking oils described as vegetable oils, especially corn oil, which is likely also made from genetically engineered corn. Any kind of oil that’s reheated should be avoided, such as the fats used in restaurant deep fat fryers.

The idea is to keep arteries from clogging with fats the body cannot use, not to keep the overall cholesterol level as low as possible. The brain *needs* cholesterol to function, being approximately 60% fat. As usual, a healthy diet, exercise, peace of mind, and all things in moderation are key.

ADO I have to Cook the oat first,mornis it ok to add it to my morning Smoothie?

I have been taking Cholesterade for 6 months. 7 grams of flavorfull acacia fiber per serving. i lowered my LDL over 25% , my Triglycerides over 40% and even lost 15 lbs. It has also helped with digestive issues like acid reflux that went away after the first month. I will continue taking cholesterade for the rest of my life.

The link between high cholesterol and heart issues is bogus. Just because people who have already had a heart attack have high cholesterol doesn’t mean the high cholesterol CAUSED the heart attack. Correlation is not cause. This making everyone take statins and worry about numbers is ridiculous. My mother had cholesterol over 300 all her life, and never had a heart issue. My father took statins to keep his cholesterol low, and yup – 3 heart attacks while on the statins. We need to stop worrying about numbers and just eat right and exercise.

Since I’m prone to loose stools and occasional diarrhea, unfortunately, I can’t follow many of these suggestions, though they are good ones. Would you have more ideas for those of us who must be on very low-fiber diets? Thank you.

The secret to bringing down LDL Cholesterol is fiber! So however you can, get that substance into your body so that the cholesterol can bind to it and take it out the other end. Pysllium is one intensive fiber. By adding Fiber one (original) or All-Bran to our oatmeal, I was able to cut my statin in half. Since then with more aggressive adding vegetables to my diet, cutting out desserts, and regular exercise, I was able to stop taking statins and can now enjoy a local Florida grapefruit. To bring up the HDL, do exercise.
Our oatmeal is a mix of oatmeal, oat bran, flaxseed, chopped almonds or walnuts, and sprinklings of cinnamon and ginger.

On April 13, 2017, my total cholesterol was 269 until I daily started taking 1,000 mg of vegetarian black cumin seed oil. Upon my August 28, 2018, yearly physical my cholesterol had dropped to 215 and I had done nothing differently to lower it. Black cumin seed oil has many benefits.

I take 2 Red Yeast capsules and 500 MG of Niacin (flushing kind) daily and have kept my Cholesterol down with no problem. I found Oatmeal did not work for me. I was allergic to the Statins so I did research and told my Dr. and she said try it for three months and it was great. I also take 1 tsp Garlic (not capsules) daily to keep Blood Pressure down. My son’s doctor said he does as well.

I had high cholesterol. I just cut back on my cheese and butter. And I eat an apple a day. Overtime my cholesterol was lowered to normal.No drugs at all. And really no change in diet just cutting back on the amount. if food. Apples did it for me. Something so simple and easy to do.

I have brought about very impressive results for lowering my high cholesterol by eating Brazil nuts – just one every other day. I refuse to take statins, as I am susceptible to side effects with many prescribed drugs.

I was to get my LDL down in the range of low to middle 70s. Meds and non-med approaches got me to the upper 80s to low 90s. Reading somewhere about the benefits of 100% NATURAL UNSWEETENED CACAO, I started adding 2 heaping table spoons to my breakfast drink. That was the ONLY change I made to my diet. Upon measuring my LDL within 1-2 months, my LDL was in the low 70s and has remained in the 70s for 3+ years. I buy a 5# bag as needed on Amazon.

Bergamot BPF has lowered my triglycerides from 157 to 110 and L
D L from184 to 143 after a month of taking two capsules in the morning and Two at night.

Try and get a report from tom sladic a thyroid doctor from michigan. About roundup in oats.

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