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Best supplements: Two daily pills shown to lower cholesterol levels by up to 30 percent

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Diet and exercise are proven ways to reduce cholesterol. Cholesterol-lowering supplements may help, too but how can you know which ones are best?

In a study published in the National Library of Health, the cholesterol-lowering effect of garlic extract was further analysed.

In the past decade, the cancer-protective effects of garlic have been well established by epidemiologic studies and animal experiments, noted the study.

However, the cardiovascular-protective properties of garlic are less well understood.

“In a recent randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled intervention study, we showed that aged garlic extract (AGE) supplementation was effective in lowering plasma concentration of total cholesterol by 7 percent and LDL cholesterol by 10 percent in hypercholesterolemic men compared with subjects consuming a placebo.

“Supplementation of AGE in animal diets similarly reduced plasma concentrations of total cholesterol and triacylglycerol by 15 and 30 percent, respectively.”

Some studies claim a 15 per cent rise in the HDL level after taking garlic supplements for six weeks.

Researchers and scientists also claim to have seen an overall improved blood lipid profile after the consumption of garlic extract for four months.

It’s important to note that garlic may prolong bleeding and blood clotting time, so you shouldn’t take garlic or garlic supplements before surgery or with blood-thinning drugs.

Guggulipid is the gum resin of the mukul myrrh tree.

It has been used in traditional ayurvedic medicine, which originated in India more than 2,000 years ago.

In the randomised studies, guggulipid reduced levels of total cholesterol by 11 percent, of LDL cholesterol by 12 percent, and of triglycerides by 15 percent, noted the Jama Network.

Guggulipid received regulatory approval in India in 1987 for use as a lipid-lowering drug.

In clinical studies done in India, guggulipid lowered blood levels of total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol.

But most of these studies don’t meet the criteria for scientific validity.

More research is needed to find out how safe and effective this herb is.

Other supplements shown to be effective in lowering cholesterol levels include:

  • Fish oil
  • Green tea extract
  • Niacin
  • Psyllium
  • Phytosterols
  • Red yeast rice
  • Ginger
  • Flaxseed.

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