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Cholesterol (High)


High cholesterol is a common risk factor for heart disease and can be measured using a simple blood test. Blood test results will show your levels of LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol and HDL (‘good’) cholesterol. One of the causes of high cholesterol may be that many of the cardio- protective nutrients which previously were found in our diets are now less prevalent due the refined, processed convenience foods that we tend to consume. When the thyroid or liver aren’t functioning optimally this can contribute to high cholesterol levels so these are also important factors to consider when looking at why cholesterol levels are raised.

In order to minimize the risks of high cholesterol certain nutrients are required to decrease inflammation & reduce oxidation of the cholesterol (and so decrease the risk of Atherosclerosis). Reducing production of cholesterol by supporting the liver and following a diet low in refined, processed sugars and trans & hydrogenated fats (such as margarine, table spreads & heated sunflower/ canola oils) is important.

Antioxidants are important to help scavenge free radicals caused by excess dietary fats, cigarette smoke, alcohol and Stress. Co Enzyme Q 10 is a potent antioxidant proven to support heart health, encourage circulation and improve energy production, particularly in the heart muscle.  Omega 3 is a healthy fat naturally found in deep sea oily fish as well as flaxseed – many of us are deficient in this nutrient which is essential to every cell in the body; Omega 3 fats dramatically decrease levels of inflammation & are recommended for those with high cholesterol levels. Cholesterol is manufactured in the liver therefore often when the liver is not functionally optimally cholesterol levels may be elevated. Fortunately herbs such as Globe Artichoke, Schisandra & St Mary’s Thistle are able to support liver function & may assist to decrease cholesterol levels. Ensuring that there is plenty of fibre in the diet assists by physically binding the cholesterol & removing it from the body via the digestive system; fibre also ensures a healthy balance of favourable bacteria in the bowel.

Some simple tips:

  1. Increase anti-inflammatory foods such as garlic, ginger and turmeric.
  2. Ensure plenty of omega 3 in the diet by regularly eating fish such as salmon, sardines, mackerel & anchovies.
  3. Avoid high glycaemic index (GI) foods such as sugars, cakes and pastries. Choose brown rice & brown pasta options.
  4. Avoid trans fats & hydrogenated fats. Eliminate margarine, olive oil spreads & replace with avocado or a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Avoid heating sunflower oils, canola oils or other vegetable oils.

Updates - 25 October 2014

Hallikainen, M et al (2011) ‘Plant stanol esters lower LDL cholesterol level in statin-treated subjects with type 1 diabetes by interfering the absorption and synthesis of cholesterol’,  Atherosclerosis, In Press, Corrected Proof, Available online 5 April 2011

In this study, one group of people was asked to eat a vegetable oil-based spread enriched with plant stanol esters every day for four weeks. When blood tests were taken afterwards, they showed significant drops in total and LDL (‘bad’) cholesterol. The group which made no changes (a ‘control’ group) had no changes.

The benefits of plant stanols (and the related sterols) may be gained by eating these enriched spreads, or, preferably, by eating wholefoods containing these phytochemicals (plant chemicals). These include rice bran and rice bran oil, nuts (especially peanuts), soybeans and wheatgerm.


Vive Health Naturopaths recommend the following products for High Cholesterol:

Products Suggested Dosage
1. Nutra Life Kyolic Aged Garlic Extract Premium Liquid  OR 2 caps 1-2 daily with meals.
1. Nutra Life Kyolic Aged Garlic Plus CoQ10 (60 Caps) 2 caps 1-2 daily with meals.
2. Herbs of Gold Omega 3 Concentrate (100 Caps, 200 Caps) 3 caps x 2 daily.
3. Thompsons Cholesterol Manager (60 Caps, 120 Caps) Take two tablets before breakfast and two tablets prior to dinner.
4. Eco Foods Psyllium Husk                  1 tablespoon in water x 2 daily.
6. Nutra Life CoQ Plus Hawthorn (30 Caps, 60 Caps) 3 cap x 1-2 daily.
7. Vive Psyllium (100g, 250g, 500g) OR 1 tsp in 250 ml water at 1-3 meals.
7. Nature's Sunshine Psyllium Hulls 500mg (100 caps) 3 caps with a large glass of water at 1 -3 meals.
8. Kialla Oats (1kg) Eat every day.

NOTE: Consideration should always be given to individual requirements. Please consider seeing a qualified practitioner before commencing a new treatment protocol or when combining supplements with pharmaceutical medication.

For more information on High Cholesterol or to ask a Qualified Naturopath a question Click Here.

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