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What are some natural remedies for high cholesterol?

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Quick Answer

Natural supplements that may help lower high cholesterol include garlic, red yeast rice, policosanol, fenugreek seeds, artichoke leaf extract, yarrow and holy basil. As of 2014, turmeric, ginger and rosemary are natural remedies that are being researched to determine whether they can lower cholesterol.

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Full Answer

Cholesterol is a white, crystalline compound found in various foods, including meats and animal products. It is also synthesized by the human liver and is a crucial part of human cells. At the cellular level, cholesterol is necessary for proper brain and nerve function. Two kinds of cholesterol exist: HDL, often called good cholesterol, and LDL, often called bad cholesterol. LDL transports cholesterol from the liver to bodily tissues, while HDL carries unused cholesterol back to the liver.

The human diet accounts for approximately 15 percent of the serum cholesterol levels in the human blood. The remaining portion of cholesterol is synthesized by the liver. However, if people eat a lot of animal products, their cholesterol levels may rise.

High cholesterol levels in the blood can lead to the development of plaque in arteries and subsequent heart disease. To lower cholesterol, many people take cholesterol-lowering medications prescribed by their doctors. These medications may have side effects, making them undesirable. Other ways to lower cholesterol include removing animal products from the diet and taking supplements.

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