Initial Posting: 4/4/2015    Last Update: 8/3/2017
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: