Penn Herb Wellness Guide

High Cholesterol

Also indexed as:Cholesterol (High), Dyslipidemia, Hypercholesterolemia, Hyperlipidemia, Hypoalphalipoproteinemia, Low HDL Cholesterol, LDL Cholesterol Damage, HDL Cholesterol Damage
Take control of your cholesterol to lower your heart disease risk. According to research or other evidence, the following self-care steps may be helpful.
  • Reliable and relatively consistent scientific data showing a substantial health benefit.
  • Contradictory, insufficient, or preliminary studies suggesting a health benefit or minimal health benefit.
  • For an herb, supported by traditional use but minimal or no scientific evidence. For a supplement, little scientific support.

Our proprietary “Star-Rating” system was developed to help you easily understand the amount of scientific support behind each supplement in relation to a specific health condition. While there is no way to predict whether a vitamin, mineral, or herb will successfully treat or prevent associated health conditions, our unique ratings tell you how well these supplements are understood by some in the medical community, and whether studies have found them to be effective for other people.

For over a decade, our team has combed through thousands of research articles published in reputable journals. To help you make educated decisions, and to better understand controversial or confusing supplements, our medical experts have digested the science into these three easy-to-follow ratings. We hope this provides you with a helpful resource to make informed decisions towards your health and well-being.

SupplementAmountWhy
Beta-Glucan
2,900 to 15,000 mg daily3 stars[3 stars]
Beta-glucan is a type of soluble fiber that has been shown to lower total and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol and raise HDL (“good”) cholesterol.
Chromium
200 to 500 mcg daily3 stars[3 stars]
Chromium supplementation has reduced total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol and increased HDL cholesterol in double-blind and other controlled trials.
Fenugreek
10 to 30 grams three times per day with meals3 stars[3 stars]
Fenugreek seeds contain compounds that inhibit both cholesterol absorption in the intestines and cholesterol production by the liver.
Glucomannan
4 to 13 grams daily3 stars[3 stars]
Glucomannan is a water-soluble dietary fiber that has been shown to significantly reduce total blood cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides, and to raise HDL cholesterol.
HMB
3 grams daily3 stars[3 stars]
Supplementing with HMB, or beta hydroxy-beta-methylbutyrate, is an effective way to lower total and LDL cholesterol.
Pantothenic Acid
300 mg pantethine taken two to four times per day3 stars[3 stars]
Pantethine, a byproduct of vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid), may help reduce the amount of cholesterol made by the body.
Psyllium
5 to 10 grams per day with meals3 stars[3 stars]
Psyllium has been shown to be effective at lowering total and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.
Red Yeast Rice
1.2 to 2.4 grams (5 to 10 mg of monacolins) daily in divided amounts3 stars[3 stars]
One of the ingredients in red yeast rice appears to block the production of cholesterol in the liver.
Sitostanol
1.7 grams daily3 stars[3 stars]
Sitostanol, a synthetic molecule related to beta-sitosterol, is available in margarine form and has also been shown to lower cholesterol levels.
Soy
25 grams soy protein per day3 stars[3 stars]
Soy supplementation has been shown to lower cholesterol. Soy contains isoflavones, which are believed to be soy’s main cholesterol-lowering ingredients.
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
1,500 to 3,000 mg daily under a doctor's supervision3 stars[3 stars]
High amounts (several grams per day) of niacin, a form of vitamin B3, have been shown to lower cholesterol.
Vitamin C
1,000 mg daily3 stars[3 stars]
Vitamin C appears to protect LDL cholesterol from damage, and in some trials, cholesterol levels have fallen when people supplement with vitamin C.
Artichoke
Refer to label instructions 2 stars[2 stars]
Artichoke has moderately lowered cholesterol and triglycerides in some trials.
Astaxanthin
4 to 12 mg daily2 stars[2 stars]
Astaxanthin has antioxidant and other properties that may help improve blood cholesterol regulation and protect against lipoprotein oxidation.
Asteraceae
15 to 20 drops of tincture twice per day for six months2 stars[2 stars]
In one trial, people who took a tincture of Achillea wilhelmsii had significant reductions in total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides and an increase in HDL cholesterol.
Berberine
500 mg twice per day2 stars[2 stars]
Berberine, a compound found in certain herbs such as goldenseal, barberry, and Oregon grape, has been found to lower serum cholesterol levels.
Berberine

(Type 2 Diabetes)
500 mg two to three times daily2 stars[2 stars]
Berberine may improve blood glucose control and insulin sensitivity and decrease risks of cardiovascular and other complications in people with type 2 diabetes.
Beta-Sitosterol
0.8to 3.2 grams daily 2 stars[2 stars]
Beta-sitosterol blocks cholesterol absorption and has been shown in studies to reduce blood levels of cholesterol.
Calcium
800 to 1,000 mg daily2 stars[2 stars]
Some trials have shown that supplementing with calcium reduces cholesterol levels.
Charcoal
4 to 32 grams per day 2 stars[2 stars]
Activated charcoal has the ability to attach (adsorb) cholesterol and bile acids present in the intestine, preventing their absorption.
Copper
3 to 4 mg daily2 stars[2 stars]
Copper deficiency has been linked to high blood cholesterol, supplementing with it may correct a deficiency and lower cholesterol.
Cranberry
500 mg three times per day after meals 2 stars[2 stars]
Supplementing with a cranberry extracthas been shown to help lower total and LDL ("bad") cholesterol in people with type 2 diabetes taking hypoglycemic medication.
Garlic
600 to 900 mg a day of a standardized herbal extract2 stars[2 stars]
Taking garlic may help lower cholesterol and prevent hardening of the arteries.
Green Tea
3 cups daily2 stars[2 stars]
Green tea has been shown to lower total cholesterol levels and improve people’s cholesterol profile.
Green Tea Enriched with Theaflavins
75 mg of theaflavins, 150 mg of green tea catechins, and 150 mg of other tea polyphenols daily2 stars[2 stars]