What is CholestOff?

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CholestOff is a non-prescription dietary supplement taken for the purpose of lowering cholesterol. It purports to limit the body's absorption of dietary cholesterol into the bloodstream and eventually lower the user's levels of LDL, or "bad" cholesterol. It's manufactured by Pharmavite of Mission Hills, Calif., under the company's "Nature Made" label, and went on the U.S. market in 2007.

Ingredients

CholestOff's key ingredients are derived from plants. They are called phytonutrients. Two types of phytonutrients--phytosterols and phytostanols--are said to help prevent cholesterol from being absorbed into the bloodstream.

How it Works

CholestOff is to be taken 15 to 30 minutes before eating things that contain cholesterol (animal-derived food products in particular). Much like the "fat-blocking" drugs that were a weight-loss trend around 2000, this drug makes the promise of allowing less cholesterol to be absorbed into the bloodstream.

Types

There are two types of CholestOff: the one described above and CholestOff Complete, which purports to lower dietary cholesterol and the level of cholesterol generated by the liver (this is determined genetically).

Disadvantages and Side Effects

People with high cholesterol should talk to their doctors and receive a prescription for stronger medication with a more proven track record; online reviews of CholestOff vary greatly. Although fatty foods are generally high in dietary cholesterol, taking CholestOff is not an effective means of weight loss.

CholestOff Complete contains pantethine, which in extremely high doses has been shown to cause nausea, diarrhea, heartburn and skin itchiness. A normal dose of the drug will not cause these side effects.

Availability

CholestOff is available without a prescription and is sold at major drugstores and online retailers.

Warnings/Advice

It's important to talk to a doctor before taking CholestOff or any other dietary supplement, especially if you are already taking medication to lower cholesterol.

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