6 widely used dietary supplements do not lower bad cholesterol

6 widely used dietary supplements do not lower bad cholesterol

Source: Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 2022

Cholesterol is a chemical compound that the body requires as a building block for cell membranes and for hormones like estrogen and testosterone. The liver produces about 80 per cent of the body's cholesterol and the rest comes from dietary sources like meat, poultry, eggs, fish, and dairy products.

Cholesterol does not travel freely through the bloodstream. Instead, it is attached or carried by lipoproteins (fat in the blood). Low-density lipoproteins (LDL) contain a higher ratio of cholesterol to protein and are thought of as the “bad” cholesterol. High levels of LDL increase the risk of heart disease, stroke, and peripheral artery disease, by helping form cholesterol plaque along the inside of artery walls.

Various herbs and other supplements have been touted for their ability to improve cholesterol levels. Dietary supplements (or nutritional supplements) are products designed to provide nutrients missing from diet

Supplements, Placebo or Rosuvastatin Study (SPORT) looked at health data for 190 adults between the ages of 40 and 75 with no history of heart disease. The participants were divided into groups who were given either a low-dose statin medication rosuvastatin (5 mg daily) or placebo. The six supplements studied included fish oil, garlic, cinnamon, turmeric, plant sterols and red yeast rice. The researchers studied if there was any per cent change in LDL cholesterol levels for all groups after 28 days.

Results presented at the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions 2022 and published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology showed a per cent LDL cholesterol reduction with rosuvastatin (37.9 per cent) was greater than all supplements and placebo. None of the six dietary supplements showed any significant decrease in LDL cholesterol compared with placebo. Rosuvastatin also had beneficial impact on blood triglycerides and total cholesterol, which help reduce cardiovascular risk.

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