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CholestOff and Other Cholesterol-lowering Supplements & Vitamin Absorption

Question:
I read that sterol supplements to lower cholesterol like CholestOff can block the absorption of vitamins. Is that true?

Answer:
Although generally considered to be quite safe, there is some concern that sterol and stanol supplements might inhibit the absorption of beta-carotene, vitamin E and perhaps other fat-soluble vitamins (A and D) as well, so use of a nutritional supplement is recommended but should be taken at a different time than sterols and stanols. (Of course, if you are getting adequate sun exposure, you won't need to supplement with vitamin D.) You can compare the evidence and safety for sterols, stanols, and other cholesterol-lowering supplements like red yeast rice, niacin and soy, plus see our test results for popular products, in the Cholesterol-Lowering Supplements Review >> 

(Be aware that two cases of elevated liver enzymes have been reported in individuals taking a particular sterol/stanol supplement.)

Some preliminary evidence suggests that green tea and certain probiotics may also help to modestly lower levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol.

Learn More About Supplements for Lowering Cholesterol:



Does garlic lower cholesterol? >>

When taking a statin drug like Lipitor or Crestor, are there supplements I should avoid, or be taking? >>

What is lunasin and does it really reduce cholesterol? >>

Can probiotics help lower cholesterol? >>

Does glucosamine raise "bad" LDL cholesterol? >>

To lower my cholesterol, I am taking a phytosterol supplement. Will taking other supplements, like red yeast rice or fish oil, help lower my cholesterol even further? >>

For two years, I used a red yeast rice brand which ConsumerLab.com's report showed to contain the highest amount of lovastatin. With just one pill per day, it kept my cholesterol lower (down to 205 from 260 before starting). I switched to a supermarket store brand because it was cheaper and my cholesterol jumped to 278 (taking 2 pills per day)! I don't think the store brand had anything in it -- is that possible? Can you test it? >>

My doctor warned me that red yeast rice can cause liver damage - is that true? >>

When is the best time of day to take red yeast rice? >>

See other recent and popular questions >>
COMMENTS

Fay16286   December 18, 2017
This is in regard to CholestOff. After reading favorable information from this site (and I trust y'all), we started using CholestOff. I had an unexpected result. After 4 months of taking CholestOff, along with a healthy diet and exercise, I was thrilled to see my LDL levels drop on my next blood test. BUT my liver numbers went up, specifically the ALT and AST. This puzzled my doctor as I have never had abnormal LFTs, have never had any liver disease and I do not drink alcohol, never have. The only variable was the CholestOff. So, reluctantly, I have stopped taking it and my doctor wants to retest liver functions in a month or so. Any insight anyone can provide would be welcome.

ConsumerLab.com   December 19, 2017
Hi Fay - Thank you for letting us know about your experience. Please see the "Concerns and Cautions" section of the Cholesterol-Lowering Supplements Review for more about this: https://www.consumerlab.com/reviews/Cholesterol-Lowering_Supplements_Review_Sterols_Policosanol/cholesterol/#cautions


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This CL Answer initially posted on 4/4/2015. Last updated 8/3/2017.
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