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Complementary Medicine

Alternative Treatments to Lower Cholesterol

05/14/2002

Question:

Despite following a low fat diet and moderate exercise several times per week, my cholesterol and triglycerides are too high. Before I begin taking any medications to lower the numbers, are there any alternative therapies you would recommend that I can discuss with my physician? I am an otherwise healthy woman in her 40`s.

Answer:

Studies have been mixed regarding the effectiveness of Garlic in lowering cholesterol. I recommend a trial of 1-2 grams of dried garlic daily (capsule form) along with diet and exercise. Red rice yeast (cholestin) has been proven to lower cholesterol, and is available at most health food stores. It has the same active ingredients as the well known "statin" drugs (like Mevacor or Lipitor), but is produced naturally. The dosage is 2-3 grams/day. Fiber in large doses (10-40 grams/day) will also bring your cholesterol down some (around 10-15%).

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Response by:

Tanya I Edwards, MD, MEd Tanya I Edwards, MD, MEd
Formerly, Associate Professor of Medicine
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University