Alternative medicine

By Mayo Clinic Staff

Few natural products have been proven to reduce cholesterol, but some might be helpful. With your doctor's OK, consider these cholesterol-lowering supplements and products:

  • Artichoke
  • Barley
  • Beta-sitosterol (found in oral supplements and some margarines, such as Promise Activ)
  • Blond psyllium (found in seed husk and products such as Metamucil)
  • Garlic
  • Oat bran (found in oatmeal and whole oats)
  • Sitostanol (found in oral supplements and some margarines, such as Benecol)

You may have also heard of another supplement to reduce cholesterol, red yeast. Some brands of red yeast contain lovastatin, the active ingredient in the drug Mevacor. This can be unsafe, since there's no way to determine the quantity or quality of the lovastatin in the supplement.

If you choose to take cholesterol-lowering supplements, remember the importance of a healthy lifestyle. If your doctor prescribes medication to reduce your cholesterol, take it as directed. Make sure your doctor knows which supplements you're taking as well.

Nov. 22, 2014

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