Supplement

How It Works

Suggested Dose

Note:

Beta-sitosterol

Beta-sitosterol, a plant sterol, helps block the body’s absorption of cholesterol. Niacin helps regulate the body’s cholesterol levels and can also help lower triglyceride levels.

0.5–10 grams/day

No reported significant side effects or drug interactions.

Niacin

Fish oil, cod-liver oil, and flaxseed oil are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, which are anti-inflammatory, help keep triglycerides in check, and may help keep cholesterol within safe levels.

1,000–3,000 mg/day, usually as part of a daily multivitamin or B-complex vitamin

Only the niacin (not the niacinamide) form of vitamin B3 regulates cholesterol. Niacin may cause flushing, headache, stomachache, and elevated liver enzymes. “Flush-free” niacin (inositol hexaniacinate) is the most well-tolerated form; sustained-release niacin is more likely to cause liver inflammation.

Omega-3 fatty acids

Researchers are not yet sure why this mixture of long-chain alcohols (usually extracted from sugar cane or beeswax) helps treat high cholesterol.

10 grams/day

Increasing omega-3 fatty acid intake through foods is preferable; high-quality supplements are a good alternative.

Policosanol

Researchers are not yet sure why this mixture of long-chain alcohols (usually extracted from sugar cane or beeswax) helps treat high cholesterol.

5–10 mg, 2x/day

When combined with aspirin, increased blood thinning occurs.

Red yeast rice

Ingredients in red yeast rice have been associated with lowered cholesterol levels and may also lower triglycerides.

1.2–2.4 grams/day

Avoid red yeast rice products that contain citrinin, a potentially toxic ingredient. Because red yeast rice inhibits the production of coenzyme Q10, it’s best to supplement 30–60 mg/day of Co-Q10.

Vitamin E

An antioxidant, vitamin E may help prevent heart attacks, despite recent concerns about “high dose” vitamin E.

400 IU/day of natural mixed tocopherols

An unsaturated fat-rich diet increases vitamin E requirements.