High blood cholesterol can be a serious problem, as it could result in fatty deposits forming in your blood vessels. When this happens, your arteries can begin to narrow and blood flow becomes restricted, causing stress on your heart. It's important to lower your LDL cholesterol, which is the cholesterol that can cause these fatty deposits, and raise your HDL cholesterol, which "cleans" the blood vessels, essentially ridding them of the fatty deposits. If you have high cholesterol, work with your doctor to lower it. In the meantime, there are vitamins that, along with a heart-healthy diet, can help you get back on track.
Things You'll Need
- Vitamin C
- Omega-3 fatty acid
Start with a well-balanced diet. The most effective method of using vitamins to lower your cholesterol is to get them directly from their source: food. Seek out foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals, as well as those that are considered "heart-healthy," such as green leafy vegetables, fruits, legumes, salmon (among other cold-water fish), oats, barley, garlic and soy beans.
Take a B-complex supplement that includes B12, B6, folic acid and niacin. All four of these vitamins are considered "heart-healthy" and can serve to lower cholesterol. Niacin, in particular, has the distinct quality of lowering LDL cholesterol ("bad" cholesterol), while raising HDL cholesterol ("good" cholesterol).
Increase vitamin C. This particular vitamin has long been considered a great antioxidant, but may have some benefit in essentially neutralizing free radicals before they can interact with LDL cholesterol, potentially decreasing the chances of both high blood cholesterol and heart disease.
Supplement your diet with sitostanol and beta-sitosterol. According to the Mayo Clinic, while they are not vitamins in the strict sense of the term, both of these plant-derived substances lower cholesterol when included in your diet. You can find these as additives in common products such as margarines and fruit juices.
Use an omega-3 fatty acid to lower your cholesterol. The best way to get omega-3 fatty acid is to eat cold-water fish, but supplements on the market today contain this "heart-healthy" substance. By taking omega-3 each day in the recommended dosage, most people will see a benefit in their cholesterol levels.
Boost your calcium intake. According to the Department of Family and Preventive Medicine, a calcium supplement could decrease a person's cholesterol level between 2 and 4 percent. However, further studies still need to be done to prove the efficacy of this means of lowering cholesterol.
Tips & Warnings
- If you're carrying around extra weight, losing it can lower your cholesterol. Lower the amount of fats in your diet, especially saturated and trans fats. Limit the amount of dietary cholesterol you eat each day. Exercise to help lower your cholesterol. Thirty minutes a day is enough to make an impact. If you're a smoker, one of the best ways to lower your cholesterol is to quit smoking.
- While there are many benefits to adding more vitamins and minerals into your diet, when dealing with high blood cholesterol, it is important to talk to a medical professional. Sometimes changes in your lifestyle may not be enough to treat your cholesterol, and other methods need to be employed.