hitthatswitch via Flickr

hitthatswitch via Flickr

When you come in for a “physical” we (primary care physicians) order a battery of lab tests to go with it. One of those labs is the cholesterol panel.

I don’t know of any test that keep folks at the edge of their seat more than their cholesterol test; what the numbers mean, how to bring the numbers down, will supplements help and a myriad of other questions.

I have curated the top 5 questions I get on a weekly basis regarding treating high cholesterol with supplements. I hope you find them useful.

Top 5 questions and answers on treating high cholesterol with supplement

1. What are the over-the-counter supplements options for treating high cholesterol?

-Omega fatty acids (fish oil capsules): works well for high triglycerides

-Red Rice Yeast (or Red Yeast Rice): works to bring down the bad cholesterol (LDL)

-Niacin (vitamin B5): works to raise good cholesterol levels (HDL)

2. What if I need help with all 3 subset of cholesterol, can I use all 3 supplements?
Go for it.

Nothing stops you from using all 3 supplements if you can tolerate them. You are probably wondering about potential side effects of these supplements right this moment. No worries, I have you covered with #3.

3. Are there any side effects to keep in mind while on any of the supplements?
-Red Rice Yeast is tolerable with no significant side effects. Muscle aches and bloating are the most common side effects for this supplement.

-Omega III Fish Oil could lead to heartburn or leave a fishy aftertaste.

-Niacin causes flushing of the skin so use the slow release version and use at night. Using a baby aspirin with it would usually take care of the flushing too.

4. What dose should I be taking?
Follow the directions on the bottle. Supplements are not as standardized as prescription medications and the active ingredients could vary widely depending on the manufacturer.

5. I am on a statin like Lipitor (atorvastatin) but my triglycerides levels are still high. Can I add on the Omega III Fish Oils?
You bet.

Let’s throw in a bonus point.

6. Where can I get quality supplements (for cheap)?
Anywhere drugs are sold. Store like Costco or Sam’s club might give you the best deal on supplements.

For the record we don’t sell them here on HealthGIST as doing so will pose a conflict of interest and could compromise looking out for you; our esteemed healthgister.

About the author


Dr. Bola

Family physician. Works for the "man" by day, wife & mom 24/7.
Loves the work of translating "medicalese" to plain english.


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