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The Top Ten Ways to
Lower Cholesterol Naturally

Did you know that almost half of the U.S. population has total cholesterol levels over 200?? Since high cholestereol has been shown to increase the of heart disease and stroke, healthcare providers are quick to prescribe cholesterol lowering medications. In fact…


…nearly every major medical group, including the American Academy of Cardiology, recommends cholesterol lowering medications as first line therapy for high cholesterol. Statin drugs like Lipitor, Crestor, and Pravachol top the list. The research to date has shown that statin drugs reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and death by 25%, especially in patients over the age of 65. However, when used long term, especially in higher doses, statin drugs have been associated with more adverse side effects without an improvement in life span.

Some of the adverse side effects of statin drugs include:

  • Headache

  • Nausea

  • Rash

  • Decreased libido

  • Dementia

  • Muscle pain and weakness

  • Rhabdomyolsis (breakdown of muscle tissue)

  • Several types of liver injury

  • Neuropathy (nerve related pain)

  • New onset Type 2 diabetes


I don’t know about you, but this list scares me enough to think twice before taking statin drugs. I certainly don’t want to contradict your doctor’s recommendations, but you may be interested in learning about more natural, safer ways to improve your cholesterol profile.


Garlic is one of the most widely studied herbs for its potential cardiovascular benefits, including lowering cholesterol levels.

Here's how garlic helps to lower cholesterol levels:

  1. Reduces cholesterol production. Garlic inhibits enzymes which are needed for cholesterol production in the liver. By interfering with these enzymes, garlic helps to reduce the production of cholesterol in the body.

  2. Increases cholesterol excretion. Garlic also helps the body get rid of cholesterol by promoting the conversion of cholesterol into bile acids. The body then eliminates these bile acids through the intestines.

  3. Improves cholesterol profiles. Garlic also improves overall cholesterol profiles by lowering total cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. It also increases HDL (good) cholesterol levels.



Fenugreek is a plant commonly used as a spice in cooking and as an herbal supplement. It has been studied for its potential health benefits, including its ability to lower cholesterol levels.


Not only does Fenugreek lower cholesterol because of its high soluble fiber content, but it also reduces cholesterol absorption from the gut, improves of LDL (bad) cholesterol receptor activity (which lowers LDL cholesterol levels), and improves cholesterol metabolism.


Berberine is a bioactive compound found in several plants, including goldenseal, barberry, and Chinese goldthread. It has been studied for its various health benefits, including its potential to lower cholesterol levels. Here's how berberine helps to lower cholesterol:

  1. Inhibits cholesterol production. Berberine has been shown to inhibit an enzyme called HMG-CoA reductase, which plays a key role in cholesterol production in the liver. By blocking this enzyme, berberine reduces the liver’s ability to produce cholesterol.

  2. Increases LDL receptor expression. Berberine also increases the expression of LDL receptors on liver cells. LDL receptors help remove LDL (bad) cholesterol from the bloodstream. By increasing LDL receptor expression, berberine enhances the clearance of LDL cholesterol from the blood which lowers cholesterol levels.

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3. Supports the gut microbiome. Berberine modulates the composition of gut microbiota, the community of microorganisms living in your gut. This indirectly affects lipid metabolism and cholesterol levels. For example, berberine promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria that produce short-chain fatty acids, and this has a favorable effects on cholesterol metabolism.


Omega 3

Omega-3 fatty acids are a group of polyunsaturated fatty acids that are well-known for their various health benefits, including their ability to lower cholesterol levels. Not only do they lower triglyceride and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels, but they also raise HDL (good) cholesterol levels, decrease inflammation, and improve blood vessel function.


Examples of omega-3-rich foods are fatty fish (e.g., salmon, mackerel, sardines), flaxseeds, chia seeds, and walnuts. You can also add an omega-3 supplement in the form of fish or krill oil.

Green Tea Catechins

Green tea comes from the plant It contains numerous bioactive compounds known as catechins, particularly epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), contribute to its numerous health benefits.

Green tea catechins have been shown to lower cholesterol levels by:

  1. Inhibiting cholesterol absorption. Green tea catechins, particularly EGCG, have been shown to inhibit the absorption of cholesterol from the intestines into the bloodstream.

  2. Promoting cholesterol excretion. Like garlic, green tea catechins also help your body eliminate cholesterol by converting them into bile salts which are then removed from the intestinal tract.

  3. Reducing LDL oxidation. LDL (bad) cholesterol can become oxidized (a process similar to tissue ‘rusting’) in the bloodstream. Oxidized LDL particles are more likely to cause hardening of the arteries. Green tea catechins are potent antioxidants and essentially ‘remove the rust’ from the LDL particles. By reducing LDL oxidation, green tea may help protect against cardiovascular disease and improve lipid profiles. 

  4. Improving cholesterol metabolism. Green tea has also been shown to improve lipid metabolism by lowering total cholesterol, LDL (bad) cholesterol, and triglyceride levels and increasing HDL (good) cholesterol levels.


Pycnogenol is a patented extract derived from the bark of the French maritime pine tree (Pinus pinaster). It contains a variety of bioactive compounds, including flavonoids, procyanidins, and phenolic acids, which contribute to its various health benefits, including its potential to lower cholesterol levels.


Pycnogenol exerts its cholesterol-lowering effects a variety of different ways including reducing inflammation, inhibiting cholesterol absorption, and enhancing blood circulation. It also has antioxidant activity and improves blood vessel function.

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Plant Sterols

Plant sterols, also known as phytosterols, are naturally occurring compounds found in plants that are structurally similar to cholesterol. Examples include broccoli, dill, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, and apples. Plant sterols have been shown to lower cholesterol mainly by interfering with the intestine’s ability to absorb dietary cholesterol.

Hawthorne Berry

Hawthorn (Crataegus spp.) is a plant used in herbal medicine for cardiovascular health, including its potential to lower cholesterol levels. Here are a few examples of how it works:

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  1. Antioxidant activity. Hawthorn contains flavonoids and other antioxidant compounds that help reduce oxidative stress in the body. Oxidative stress can contribute to the oxidation of LDL (bad) cholesterol, leading to the formation of oxidized LDL particles, which are more atherogenic (more likely to contribute to plaque formation in the arteries).

  2. Improves cholesterol metabolism. Hawthorn also helps to regulate lipid metabolism by influencing the activity of enzymes involved in cholesterol synthesis and metabolism. Compounds present in hawthorn affect the activity of enzymes involved in cholesterol production.


Bergamot (Citrus bergamia) is a citrus fruit primarily grown in the Calabria region of southern Italy. Bergamot extract exerts its cholesterol-lowering effects through multiple mechanisms. These include inhibiting the enzymes that make cholesterol, increasing LDL receptor activity, reducing inflammation and oxidative stress, and improving cholesterol metabolism.

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Here's the Bottom Line...

Plants have a variety of positive effects on cardiovascular health and offer safer, more natural alternatives to statins and other cholesterol lowering medications. Not only do they cholesterol through a variety of mechanisms, they’ve also been shown to reduce inflammation, improve blood vessel function, reduce oxidative stress, enhance blood circulation, and regulate blood pressure.


What’s more...plant-based solutions offer other health benefits above and beyond cardiovascular health, including improved digestive health, weight management, cancer prevention, and immune system support.

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