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Cholesterol-Lowering Supplements (Sterols/Stanols and Policosanol)

Cholestoff Plus vs Cholestoff Complete

February 02, 2024
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What are the differences between these formulas, and is one more effective for lowering cholesterol? Find out in our Cholesterol-Lowering Supplements Review, which includes our Top Picks among products.

Cholesterol Supplement May Raise Liver Enzymes

November 07, 2023
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Two CL members have reported elevated liver enzymes after taking a popular cholesterol-lowering supplement, although this appears to be rare. Get the details in the Concerns and Cautions section of our Cholesterol-Lowering Supplements Review.

How to Reduce Cholesterol

October 31, 2023
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The cholesterol-lowering benefits of a plant sterol supplement were enhanced when a healthful diet was followed in a recent study. Get the details in our Cholesterol-Lowering Supplements Review, which includes our Top Picks for sterols/stanols.

Also see our article about supplements and foods that can help lower cholesterol.

CholestOff -- How Versions Differ

October 21, 2022
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A CL member asked us the difference between versions of Cholestoff on the market. Find out in our Cholesterol-Lowering Supplements Review, which includes our tests of CholestOff Plus, and our Top Pick among products.

Lowering Cholesterol with Red Yeast Rice and Phytosterols

September 26, 2017
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Red yeast rice and phytosterols help lower cholesterol through different mechanisms. Does combining them help more? See what two studies found in the ConsumerTips section of the Cholesterol-Lowerers Review >>

Stanols Lower Cholesterol

July 28, 2015
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Many studies have shown that plant sterols and stanols can help lower levels of LDL "bad" cholesterol. A new placebo-controlled study, which involved advice on diet and exercise, found benefit with a slightly lower dose of stanols than typically recommended. Get the details in the "What to Consider When Buying" section of the Cholesterol-Lowering Supplements Review »

Do Plant Sterols Help?

June 09, 2015
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Many studies have shown that taking plant sterols with meals can lower levels of LDL "bad" cholesterol. While that's a good thing, a recent study questions whether this reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease — the main target of treatment. Get the details in the "Concerns and Cautions" section of the Cholesterol-Lowering Supplements (Sterols and Policosanol) Review >>

Taking Fish Oil with Sterols

August 30, 2014
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A new study found that adding EPA and DHA from fish oil to a spread containing plant sterols is not a problem and may provide additional benefit for those with high cholesterol levels. For more information, including dosage amounts, see the update in the Review of Cholesterol-Lowerers >> 

Red Yeast Rice with Sterols?

May 26, 2013
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It is well known that taking a red yeast rice supplement can cause large reductions in LDL "bad" cholesterol and that sterol or stanol esters can lead to modest reductions. But does combining them result in greater benefits than using either alone? A new study says no. It's unclear, however, whether this is always the case. Get details in the updated Red Yeast Rice Supplements Review >>. Also see the updated, Cholesterol Lowering Supplements Review >>

Do Spreads Lower Heart Risk?

September 29, 2012
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Buttery spreads like Smart Balance and Benecol claim to lower the risk of heart disease due to their phytosterols/stanols. These plant compounds can certainly help (by lowering cholesterol levels), but recent lawsuits challenge whether Smart Balance and Benecol provide enough sterols/stanols to claim a benefit. It turns out that one may, and one may not. Find out more and get our quality ratings of cholesterol-lowering supplements in the updated Cholesterol-Lowering Supplements Review >>

A More Effective Way to Take Sterols/Stanols to Lower Cholesterol?

August 04, 2012
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A new study shows that taking sterols and stanols from a softgel appears to lower cholesterol more effectively than from a tablet. Get the details, including the name of a new product like the one taken in the study, in the updated Cholesterol-Lowering Supplements Review.  More >>

When Not to Take Selenium Cholesterol Lowering with Sterols/Stanols

March 03, 2012
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A recent study using a popular supplement, CholestOff, showed a modest reduction in LDL ("bad") cholesterol and total cholesterol. The reductions were not as dramatic as in some other studies of sterols and stanols; possibly because participants in the study were already on a cholesterol-lowering diet. See the update to the Cholesterol-Lowering Supplements Review for details of the study, more information about the diet, and our tests of CholestOff and other cholesterol-lowering supplements. More >>