Medical questions & health advice by board certified doctors
"What is the best natural tool for lowering cholesterol?"
My dad has been prescribed statin drugs for his high cholesterol, but he is very reluctant to take them. I think I'd have a better shot of getting him to take care of himself if there were a more natural way. Is there any natural cholesterol lowering food or herb with science behind it?
Cholesterol management is an important topic. I strongly recommend you talk with your father's physician. He or she can help with this and possibly put you in touch with other practioners who can help. Elevated cholesterol can cause serious problems. Over time, this can cause an increased risk for heart attacks, strokes and limb (hands or legs) problems. It is important for all patients to understand why we are so worried about treating cholesterol. Talk with your father and or his doctor about this. Knowing the risks and benefits of a medicine is a major part of encouraging a patient to take the medicine. As for your question--natural cholesterol lowering can be done. The major way to do this is through diet and exercise. Cholesterol is regulated by dietary intake (the food we eat) as well as your body's genetics. While we can't control genetics, we can control the food we eat. Limiting fatty foods (red meat) and other animal products like eggs and cheeses can help control your cholesterol. Another consideration is that high fiber diets can help lower cholesterol. This includes foods like whole wheat, bran etc. Exercise can also increase your cholesterol metabolism and help lower cholesterol. There are proven natural therapies as well. The best is niacin: a vitamin (Vitamin b3) that lowers cholesterol. It too has side effects--but talk to your doctor about this. Talk with your father's doctors.
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