Herbal alternatives for cholesterol roundup

Herbalgram provides us with a decent HerbClip summary of some of the different herbal and dietary options for managing dislipidemias. Some interesting points:
  • dietary fiber is crucial (reducing the absorption of exogenous cholesterol)
  • phytosterols seems to have two mechanisms of action: competing with exogenous cholesterol for micelle formation; and working in the liver on lipid metabolism itself (esp. guggulsterone)
  • omega-3 essential fatty acids (of course)
  • garlic - powerful stuff, but its mechanism of action is still unclear
  • red yeast rice. I haven't used this popular supplement in my practice yet, mostly because I'm unfamiliar with its effects overall, and its dosage ranges. Doing a little research, it seems at least part of this supplement's effect comes from the formation of statin-like substances during the fermentation of the rice. Some reports outline potential muscular and liver complications from taking red yeast rice. Hmmm... stay tuned.

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