Exploring Natural Options for Lowering Cholesterol
In people with high cholesterol, tocotrienols--components of vitamin E--may help lower LDL ("bad") cholesterol
While medications play an important part in treating cholesterol disorders, some people prefer to try a range of management options, including lifestyle and behavior changes. A new study explores one such option for lowering cholesterol and finds that that in people with high cholesterol, tocotrienols--components of vitamin E--may help lower LDL ("bad") cholesterol.
Supplement improves cholesterol levels
In this study, 32 people with high cholesterol were randomly assigned to receive either 300 mg of mixed tocotrienols (six capsules a day, each capsule containing 30.8% alpha-tocotrienol, 56.4% gamma-tocotrienols, and 12.8% delta-tocotrienol) or placebo capsules containing 200 mg of soybean oil, daily for six months. Cholesterol blood levels were checked before supplementation and monthly for the study duration. Participants were not taking cholesterol-lowering medication.
The tocotrienol supplement group experienced a decrease in total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol after four months of treatment compared with the placebo group whose levels were essentially unchanged.
The study authors comment that "tocotrienols are compounds belonging to the vitamin E family and are found abundantly in palm oil and cereal grains," which are becoming increasingly known for their antioxidant effects, blood-thinning properties, and, now, cholesterol-lowering activity.
Take action to lower cholesterol
High cholesterol may contribute to the development of chronic disease including heart and vascular disease, and while medications may be important in treating cholesterol disorders, there are plenty of things that you can start doing today to move those numbers in the right direction. Here are some tips:
(Functional Foods in Health and Disease: 2011;3:106-17.)
Jane Hart, MD, board-certified in internal medicine, serves in a variety of professional roles including consultant, journalist, and educator. Dr. Hart, a Clinical Instructor at Case Medical School in Cleveland, Ohio, writes extensively about health and wellness and a variety of other topics for nationally recognized organizations, websites, and print publications. Sought out for her expertise in the areas of integrative and preventive medicine, she is frequently quoted by national and local media. Dr. Hart is a professional lecturer for healthcare professionals, consumers, and youth and is a regular corporate speaker.