IT People Must Read this.
These are for those reside in western countries. Some one should suggest
that is available in India.
Foods That Claim to Lower Cholesterol Overview [image: Some seeds,
extracts, and compounds claim to lower cholesterol, but many should be taken
with a healthy dose of caution.]
Some seeds, extracts, and compounds
claim to lower cholesterol, but many
should be taken only with a healthy
dose of caution.
Many foods and supplements claim to lower cholesterol. But do they really?
Sometimes the answer is no, and sometimes the answer is that we don't know.
In some instances, studies that support claims that a food lowers
cholesterol are conducted by the very people who are selling the product, or
the studies are poorly designed. In other instances, the studies conducted
to test whether a food lowers cholesterol are just inconclusive.
The foods discussed on the following pages are ones that doctors don't
recommend for a variety of reasons. If you are interested in taking a chance
that these foods will work for you, talk with your doctor first. And keep a
record every time you have your blood cholesterol tested to see if you
experience any progress while taking these foods or supplements.
Flaxseed is a plant-based supplement that contains omega-3 fatty acids.
Flaxseed Flaxseed is the richest plant source of the omega-3 fatty acid
alpha-linolenic acid (ALA). It also contains heart-healthy soluble fiber.
ALA, which is found only in plant foods, is considered an essential fatty
acid because the body cannot make it on its own -- it must be supplied by
the diet. In addition to flaxseed and flaxseed oil, other good sources of
ALA include English walnuts, canola oil, soybean oil, and leafy greens.
According to the Institute of Medicine, women should get 1.1 g of ALA a day,
and men should get 1.6 g, which is on target with the amount the typical
American adult consumes.
Our bodies can convert some ALA -- about 15 percent -- to DHA and EPA, the
omega-3 fatty acids found in fish, but a diet high in trans fat and
polyunsaturated fat may inhibit the conversion. So don't count on ALA as
your main source of DHA and EPA.
Is ALA as good for your heart as DHA and EPA? Some studies have shown that
consuming up to 2.8 g of ALA each day reduces the risk of cardiovascular
disease. The Nurses' Health Study found that those who consumed the most ALA
(an average of 1.4 g a day) lowered their risk of dying from a fatal heart
attack by 45 percent, as compared with those who consumed the least amount
(an average of 0.7 g a day). However, despite this evidence, it's uncertain
whether flaxseed or flaxseed oil lowers blood-cholesterol levels.
Guggul, an extract from tree resin, also claims to reduce cholesterol.
Guggul Guggul is an extract from the resin of a tree native to India. A form
of the extract, guggulipid, has traditionally been used to reduce total
cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides, and to increase HDL
cholesterol. However, in 2003, a well-designed study found that taking 1 to
2 g of guggulipid a day actually raised LDL cholesterol and did not change
total cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, or triglycerides. Additionally, some
people developed rashes. At this time, there is not enough evidence to
support the use of guggul to treat high blood cholesterol.
Like guggul, lecithin is a dietary supplement that claims to lower
cholesterol. Unlike guggul, lecithin can be found in many common food
Policosanol Policosanol, a mix of natural compounds, is most often derived
from sugar cane but also may come from beeswax, wheat germ, or rice bran. It
is promoted as a dietary supplement for lowering cholesterol. More than 80
studies, mostly conducted by a single research institute in Cuba, suggest
that 5 to 40 milligrams (mg) a day of policosanol can lower LDL cholesterol
up to 30 percent, as well as reduce total cholesterol and raise HDL
cholesterol. However, a recent German study found that policosanol from
sugar cane had no significant effect on total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol,
HDL cholesterol, or triglycerides, and policosonal is not recommended by
Before you choose to take a policosanol supplement, you should be aware of a
few things. In addition to the conflicting evidence as to its effectiveness
in treating high cholesterol, the long-term effects are unknown. The amount
of policosanol in different supplements is not standardized, and some
products may contain other ingredients as well.
Red yeast rice is also a plant byproduct.
Red Yeast Rice Red yeast rice is the fermented product of red yeast grown on
rice. It has been used for centuries in China as a food colorant, flavor
enhancer, and dietary staple in several Asian countries. Some strains of
Chinese red yeast rice produce compounds called monacolins, which inhibit
the production of cholesterol in the body. One of these compounds, monacolin
K (also known as mevinolin or lovastatin), is thought to be particularly
effective in lowering cholesterol levels. Lovastatin is the generic name for
the cholesterol-lowering prescription drug Mevacor.
Red yeast rice had been sold as a natural cholesterol-lowering supplement,
and it was the active ingredient in the proprietary dietary supplement
Cholestin. In a 1999 study, evidence showed Cholestin lowered LDL
cholesterol by 22 percent, suggesting a cheaper way to lower cholesterol
than taking prescription drugs. But in 2001, a U.S. federal district court,
with the support of the Food and Drug Administration, banned Cholestin
because it contained the same active ingredient, monacolin K, or lovastatin,
as the drug Mevacor. As a result, the manufacturers of Cholestin replaced
the red yeast rice with policosanol. In June 2005, Cholestin was again
reformulated with a proprietary blend of natural plant and marine oils
Red yeast rice supplements are still available today, although you may have
to search the Internet to find them, and the products may not be
standardized. Many red yeast rice products do not contain monacolin K,
although a few still do. Doctors do not recommend red yeast rice
specifically because of the lack of standardization.
One of the most popular food products used to lower cholesterol is soy.
Soy Over the years, soy has garnered a lot of attention for its potential
role in reducing blood cholesterol. In 1995, a review of 38 clinical trials
found that, on average, soy protein reduced total cholesterol by over 9
percent and LDL cholesterol by nearly 13 percent. However, the response to
soy protein depended on how high the blood-cholesterol level was at the
start. People with total cholesterol levels greater than 335 mg/dL benefited
the most, while those with cholesterol levels less than 260 mg/dL showed
only a modest decrease in their cholesterol levels.
In 1999, based on the research to date, the Food and Drug Administration
approved products containing at least 6.25 g of soy protein per serving to
claim that diets low in saturated fat and cholesterol that include 25 g of
soy protein a day may reduce the risk of heart disease.
But not all the research over the past ten years has found that soy protein
lowers cholesterol. In 2006, the American Heart Association Nutrition
Committee reviewed 22 studies on soy protein and found that a very large
amount of soy protein -- in fact, about half the total daily protein usually
consumed in a day -- lowered cholesterol by only approximately 3 percent. In
reviewing 19 studies on isoflavones, a component of soy, the Committee found
no reduction in LDL cholesterol.
The beneficial effects of soy may come from replacing animal products that
are high in saturated fat and cholesterol with soy products, such as tofu,
soy nuts, and soy burgers, which are low in saturated fat and higher in
polyunsaturated fat, fiber, and nutrients.