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Product Reviews (36)

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Recalls & Warnings (116)

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Clinical Updates (76)

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11/03/2013

Caution with Calcium for Women with High Cholesterol

A study in which women with high cholesterol  were given a daily calcium supplement showed a negative effect in those who were post-menopausal.  Get the details, including the calcium dosage used, in the updated Calcium Supplements Review>>
8/31/2014

Taking Fish Oil with Sterols

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 >> 
5/27/2015

Adding Vitamin D to Statin Treatment

A recent study among people taking statin medication for high cholesterol showed significant improvements in cholesterol levels when daily vitamin D was added as treatment. Improvements were greatest among those who began with lower blood levels of vitamin D. More details, along with our reviews of products similar to the one used in this study, are found in the Vitamin D Supplements Review >>
11/01/2019

Eye Risk With High-Dose Niacin

Very high doses of niacin are sometimes used to lower high cholesterol, but there are risks -- including damage to the eye, as shown in a recent case. Get the details in the Niacin section of the B Vitamin Supplements Review.
12/16/2020

Omega-7s to Lower Cholesterol?

Can taking sea buckthorn, a source of omega-7 fatty acids, lower cholesterol in people with high cholesterol levels? Find out what a recent study found in the Omega-7 Fatty Acids section of our Fish Oil Review. Also, see our Top Picks among fish oil supplements.
7/31/2021

Bergamot for lowering cholesterol?

Can supplementing with citrus bergamot reduce high cholesterol levels? Find out what the research is showing in our updated answer to the question: Which supplements can help lower cholesterol and keep my heart healthy? Are there any to avoid?
7/31/2021

Gynostemma for Weight?

Can taking Gynostemma pentaphyllum extract help reduce weight? We've added information about this to our article about Gynostemma (which is also promoted for diabetes and high cholesterol treatment).
2/10/2017

High-Dose Resveratrol Increases "Bad" Cholesterol

A study of middle-aged men with metabolic syndrome found that high doses of resveratrol increased levels of "bad" LDL cholesterol. Get the details in the "What It Does" section of the Resveratrol Supplements Review (which includes our tests of products) >>
3/17/2018

High-Dose Vitamin D & Cholesterol

Giving high-dose vitamin D to people who are not deficient in it may backfire and increase cholesterol levels, as seen in a recent study. Get the details in the Concerns and Cautions section of the Vitamin D Supplements Review. (Also see our Top Picks among products).
5/31/2011

Niacin Concern Stops Cardiovascular Study

A clinical trial using high dose niacin (vitamin B3) was recently stopped by the National Institutes of Health due to lack of benefit and a small increase in strokes. Patients in the study had cardiovascular disease and were already taking a statin drug to keep LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels low. The addition of high dose niacin was intended to increase HDL ("good") cholesterol, reduce elevated triglycerides, and, most importantly, reduce the risk of heart attacks and stoke. For more information, including the amount and type of niacin used in the study and additional information about niacin and niacin supplements, see the B Vitamin Supplements ReviewMore >>
6/24/2017

Red Yeast Rice Variability

While red yeast rice can significantly reduce high levels of LDL ("bad") cholesterol, a recently published analysis of 28 brands re-emphasized the fact that amounts of active, cholesterol-lowering compounds can range from none to potent levels, yet this information is not found on labels. Read about the recent study and find out which products ConsumerLab has identified as the least and most potent in the Red Yeast Rice Supplements Review >>
7/19/2014

High-Dose Niacin with Statins Not Worth It

Further evidence was published this week showing that the addition of high-dose niacin (vitamin B-3) to cholesterol-lowering treatment with statin drugs provides no worthwhile benefit and appears to increase the risk of adverse side events. For details, see the Review of B Vitamin Supplements and Energy Drinks >> 
11/20/2011

No Benefit of Niacin with Statins

According to a recently published study, high dose niacin added to statin drug treatment does not further reduce the risk of heart attacks and stroke despite improvements in levels of HDL cholesterol and triglycerides. In fact, there was a small increase in strokes among those taking niacin. However, a role remains for high dose niacin in lipid treatment. For details, see the update to the B Vitamin Supplements Review.
9/18/2020

Vitamin D for Failing Hearts?

Does high-dose vitamin D help or hurt people with chronic heart failure? Find out what a new study showed in the Cardiovascular Disease section of Vitamin D Supplements Review, which also discusses cholesterol, blood pressure and heart attack risk. Also see our Top Picks for vitamin D.
3/04/2012

When Not to Take Selenium Cholesterol Lowering with Sterols/Stanols

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 >>
1/25/2022

Probiotic to Lower Cholesterol?

Can taking a probiotic lower elevated cholesterol levels? See what a new study found in the Cholesterol-lowering section of our Probiotics Supplements Review. Also see our Top Picks for probiotics.

For other approaches to lowering cholesterol, see our answer to the question: Which supplements or foods can help lower cholesterol and keep my heart healthy?

7/09/2014

Chlorella Lowers Cholesterol and Triglycerides

A daily dose of chlorella (an ingredient included in some "greens" and whole foods supplements) significantly reduced total cholesterol, "bad" VLDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels in men and women with mildly elevated cholesterol. Get the details, including the dosage used, plus our tests and comparisons of supplements containing chlorella and other "greens" in the updated Greens and Whole Foods Powders and Pills >> 
2/19/2012

Does Garlic Lower Cholesterol?

Garlic can lower total cholesterol but not by lowering so called "bad" or LDL cholesterol, according to a recent analysis. Find out more in the update to the Garlic Supplements Review, which includes our tests of garlic supplements and information on dosing. More >>
12/20/2011

Algal Oil vs. Fish Oil

Fish get their omega-3's from algae and many people are now doing the same by taking algal oil, but how does it compare to fish oil? Experts recently reviewed studies of algal oil and concluded that it boosts ("good") cholesterol but it also increases LDL cholesterol -- which is often thought of as "bad" cholesterol. But there's more to the story. Get the details in the recently updated Fish/Marine Oil Supplements Review, which includes our test results for algal, krill, and fish oil supplements.
9/30/2012

Do Spreads Lower Heart Risk?

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 >>
8/05/2012

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

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 >>
7/29/2015

Stanols Lower Cholesterol

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 »
4/11/2020

Coconut Oil and Cholesterol

Coconut oil is known to raise levels of LDL ("bad") cholesterol but also increase levels of HDL ("good") cholesterol. Is one more important than the other? Find out the latest information in the Cautions and Concerns section of the Coconut Oil and MCT Oil Review. Also see our Top Picks for coconut and MCT oils.
4/09/2019

Lunasin to Lower Cholesterol?

Can taking lunasin, a protein isolated from soy, help to lower LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels? See what a new study found in our updated answer to the question: What is lunasin and does it really reduce cholesterol?
1/02/2018

Does Curcumin Lower Cholesterol?

A recent study evaluated whether curcumin can help lower cholesterol levels, as well as further reduce levels in people using a phytosterol spread. Get the results and details about the type and dose of curcumin used, in the "What It Does" section of the Turmeric & Curcumin Supplements Review >> (Also see our Top Picks among products.)  

For more about cholesterol-lowering, also see our Phytosterol Supplements Review >>
9/27/2017

Lowering Cholesterol with Red Yeast Rice and Phytosterols

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 >>
5/01/2021

Does Kefir Lower Cholesterol?

Can drinking kefir that contains probiotics, decrease LDL cholesterol or triglyceride levels in people with metabolic syndrome? See what a new study found the Cholesterol-Lowering section of our Probiotic Supplements Review. Also see our Top Picks among probiotic supplements and drinks.
7/24/2021

Diatomaceous Earth for Cholesterol?

Can supplementing with diatomaceous earth lower cholesterol levels and is it safe? Find out in our updated answer to the question: Which supplements can help lower cholesterol and keep my heart healthy? Are there any to avoid?
3/11/2012

Vitamin D Effect on Body Fat and Cholesterol

As we have reported earlier, adequate intake of vitamin D may decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease. A new study may help explain why. A 12-week course of vitamin D given to overweight women lead to a boost in HDL ("good" cholesterol) as well as a decrease in body fat. However, total body weight did not change and there was an increase in LDL ("bad") cholesterol, although it appeared to be less plaque-forming in nature. For details, including the dose given, see the updated information in the Vitamin D Supplement ReviewMore >>
9/04/2020

Coffee and Cholesterol

Drinking large amounts of coffee daily can increase cholesterol levels, according to a recent analysis. Get the details in our answer to the question: Is drinking coffee good or bad for heart health?
1/21/2020

Coconut Oil Impact on Cholesterol

Coconut oil can significantly affect cholesterol levels according to a new report. Get the details in the Concerns and Cautions section of the Coconut & MCT Oils Review. Also see our Top Picks for coconut and MCT oils.
9/12/2018

Cocoa and Cholesterol

Can cocoa flavanols improve cholesterol levels? See what a recent study found in the Cardiovascular section of the Cocoa and Dark Chocolate Review. (Also see our Top Picks among cocoa and dark chocolate products.)
10/14/2017

Turmeric (Curcumin) and Cholesterol

Turmeric and curcumin (from turmeric) can help lower levels of LDL "bad" cholesterol and triglycerides, according to a recent review of studies. Certain formulations may be better than others. Get the details in the "What It Does" section of the Turmeric and Curcumin Supplements Review >>
7/14/2020

Coconut Oil for Lowering Weight and Cholesterol?

Can adding coconut oil to dinner lower weight and/or lower cholesterol levels? See what a new study found in the What It Does section of the Coconut and MCT Oils Review. Also see our Top Picks among coconut oils and MCT oils.
8/18/2020

Zinc for Lowering Blood Sugar and Cholesterol?

Zinc may help lower blood sugar as well as cholesterol levels, according to a recent analysis, but the dose and duration of zinc supplementation made a big difference. Get the details in the What It Does section of the Zinc Supplements and Lozenges Review. Also see our Top Picks for zinc.
10/25/2014

Probiotics Reduce Cholesterol / Improve Liver Function

Adding probiotic organisms to yogurt appeared to reduce LDL ("bad") cholesterol in a study of people with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, a common condition. Levels of liver enzymes also improved and more weight loss occurred when people ate the probiotic yogurt, in contrast to those who ate regular yogurt. The probiotic organisms used in this study are found in several products recently tested by ConsumerLab.com. See the details in the Probiotic Supplements Review >> 
1/06/2018

Can CoQ10 Lower Cholesterol?

A recent study looked at whether CoQ10 can lower cholesterol in people with elevated levels. Find out what the study found and details about dosage in the "What it Does" section of the CoQ10 and Ubiquinol Supplements Review >> (Also see our Top Picks among products.)
5/02/2018

Choosing Olive Oil for Cholesterol Benefit

Certain types of olive oil may be more effective at improving cholesterol levels according to a recent analysis. Find out more in the What It Does section of the Extra Virgin Olive Oil Review. (Also see our Top Picks among extra virgin olive oils).
11/06/2018

Can CoQ10 Boost Cholesterol-Lowering of Statins?

Can taking CoQ10 further lower cholesterol levels in people already taking a statin drug? See what a new study found in the What It Does section of the CoQ10 and Ubiquinol Supplements Review. (Also see our Top Picks for CoQ10 and ubiquinol supplements.)
5/27/2013

Red Yeast Rice with Sterols?

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 >>
10/19/2016

How Much Do Oats Lower Cholesterol?

A new report shows that you can lower bad cholesterol by nearly 5% when eating certain amounts of whole oats or oat bran. For details, as well as our tests of products, see the Oat Cereals Review >>
8/09/2016

Spirulina Lowers Cholesterol

Spirulina, a common ingredient in greens and whole foods supplements, was found to lower total and "bad" LDL cholesterol, but only in certain people. Get the details, plus our tests of products containing spirulina, in the Greens and Whole Foods Powders, Drinks and Pills Review >>
6/10/2015

Do Plant Sterols Help?

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 >>
9/12/2020

Green Tea and Cholesterol

Can green tea help lower cholesterol levels? Find out what a recent study showed in the What It Does section of Green Tea Review. Also see our Top Picks for green tea.
10/02/2021

Low-Dose Red Yeast Rice for Cholesterol?

Can a low dose of red yeast rice significantly lower cholesterol levels? See what a recent clinical study found in the What It Does section of our Red Yeast Rice Supplements Review. Also see our Top Pick among red yeast rice supplements.
6/07/2017

Spoiled Fish Oil Is Less Effective

Spoiled fish oil does not lower LDL "bad" cholesterol, while the same amount of non-spoiled fish oil does, according to a new study. If you take fish oil to improve your cholesterol levels, it would seem best to use a product that is not spoiled — something ConsumerLab tests for. (It may also be best to choose an oil in the triglyceride form, rather than the ethyl ester form). For details, see the "Quality Concerns" section of the Fish Oil Supplements Review. Also see our Top Picks among fish oils.
10/23/2020

Side Effects of Red Yeast Rice

As with prescription statin medications for lowering cholesterol, serious side effects can occur with red yeast rice. See what a new review of reported side effects showed in the Concerns and Cautions section of our Red Yeast Rice Supplements Review. Also see our Top Pick for red yeast rice.
12/09/2020

Cholesterol-lowering Statins May Affect Vitamin D Levels

Statin medications may increase or decrease blood levels of vitamin D depending on the version. Get the details in the Statins and Vitamin D section of the Vitamin D Supplements Review. Also see our Top Picks for vitamin D.
12/03/2021

Peanuts for Obesity?

Can eating peanuts help manage weight, or reduce blood pressure and cholesterol levels? Find out what a recent study found in our updated answer about Supplements and Weight Management.
9/05/2021

Vitamin C & Statins

Does taking vitamin C reduce the cholesterol-lowering effects of statins? Find out in the What to Consider When Using section of our Vitamin C Supplements Review.
8/07/2021

Bergamot for Fatty Liver?

Can bergamot help reduce cholesterol or liver fat in people with fatty liver disease? Find out in our updated answer about Supplements and Diets for fatty Liver Disease.
8/06/2021

Caution With Earl Grey Tea and Bergamot

Consuming very large amounts of bergamot (which is found in supplements and teas, such as Earl Grey) may cause adverse effects. Get the details in the Bergamot section of our article about Supplements for Lowering Cholesterol.
4/14/2013

Concern Over Carnitine Causing Cardiovascular Disease

Intake of L-carnitine from supplements (and from red meat) may foster atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries), according to new research. Once ingested, L-carnitine is converted in some people to a compound which reduces the normal clearing of cholesterol from arteries.

For more details, see the updated reviews of B Vitamin Supplements & Energy Drinks and Protein Powders, as some of these products contain L-carnitine. The Acetyl-L-Carnitine Supplements review has also been updated because acetyl-L-carnitine is chemically similar to L-carnitine, suggesting a potential concern.
2/24/2013

Red Yeast Rice Supplements Unchecked

University researchers recently asked the FDA whether it was testing or keeping track of red yeast rice supplements -- which can lower cholesterol levels. The answer was no. However, the researcher noted, ConsumerLab.com periodically tests these products, checking for levels of active compounds as well as a potential toxin which can occur in red yeast rice. Get more details and results of our product tests in the Red Yeast Rice Supplements Review >>
11/07/2015

Triglyceride-Lowering with a Probiotic

Studies with probiotics have demonstrated modest lowering of LDL ("bad") cholesterol, but the evidence has been mixed regarding triglycerides. A recent study in which a probiotic was added to a kefir drink showed a 17% reduction in triglycerides along with a modest reduction in LDL — effects not seen with the kefir alone. Details are found in the Probiotics and Kefirs Review >>
1/11/2015

More Cocoa Benefits

A recently published study showed that hot cocoa made with a flavanol-enriched powder resulted in improvements in cognitive performance as well as reductions in blood pressure and cholesterol, and improved glucose metabolism. The study was conducted in people ages 65 to 80 who drank the cocoa each morning. More details, as well as our tests of cocoa powders, are found in the Cocoa and Dark Chocolate Review >> 
5/10/2015

Flaxseed Oil for Improving Cholesterol?

A recently published study looked at the metabolic effects of taking daily flaxseed oil on middle-aged men. It found a possible benefit among those with higher triglyceride levels, but overall results were not impressive. More about the study, flaxseed oil, whole flaxseed, and our tests and comparisons of products, is found in the Flaxseed Oil, Evening Primrose Oil, Borage Oil, and Black Currant Oil Supplements Review >>
3/04/2017

Statin Drugs and Vitamin D

If you take a statin drug to lower cholesterol, take note that recent studies show it is particularly important that you keep up your level of vitamin D. Also be aware that vitamin D supplements may not raise your vitamin D level quite as much as if you were not taking a statin. For details, see the "Statin Drugs and Vitamin D" section of the Vitamin D Supplements Review (which includes our tests of products) >>
5/26/2017

Red Yeast Rice Better Than Statin?

Red yeast rice lowered cholesterol as well as a statin drug but with a lower rate of muscular side-effects, according to a new study. Other studies have shown similar results. But is red yeast rice right for you? There are pros and cons. See the "What It Does" section of the Red Yeast Rice Supplements Review for more details. Also see "What CL Found" when popular brands of this supplement were tested.
11/09/2019

CoQ10 for Statin-Intolerance

Many people experience muscle pain from taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs. CoQ10 can help reduce this pain, according to a new study. Get the details in the What It Does section of the CoQ10 Supplements Review. Also see our Top Picks among CoQ10 supplements.
12/20/2017

Can Fish Oil Help Statins?

Adding fish oil to cholesterol-lowering statin therapy was found to provide added benefit in certain situations. See the details, including dosage of EPA and DHA, in the "What It Does" section of the Fish Oil Supplements Review > (Also see our Top Picks for fish oil supplements).
8/14/2018

Red Yeast Rice and Diet

Can taking red yeast rice lower cholesterol levels on top of reductions achieved by switching to a Mediterranean diet? See what a new study showed in the What It Does section of the Red Yeast Rice Review.

Also, be aware that red yeast rice may aggravate symptoms of a neurological disorder, as described in a recent case report noted in the Concerns and Cautions section of the Red Yeast Rice Review.
1/06/2018

Vitamin D's Cardiovascular Effect

Taking vitamin D can improve aspects of cardiovascular function in certain situations, as shown in a recently published study. Get the details in the "Cardiovascular disease, blood pressure, and cholesterol" section of the Vitamin D Supplements Review. (Also see our Top Picks among vitamin D supplements.)
3/07/2018

Statins and Green Tea

If you take a statin drug to lower your cholesterol, be aware that green tea can moderately affect blood levels of certain statins, as noted in a recent report. This effect also depends on the amount of green tea consumed and individual variability. For details see the Concerns and Cautions section of the Green Tea Review.
10/26/2018

Extra Help From Red Yeast Rice?

Can red yeast rice lower cholesterol levels in people already taking the non-statin medications evolocumab and ezetimibe? Find out in our update to the What It Does section of the Red Yeast Rice Supplements Review. (Also see our Top Pick for red yeast rice.)
10/30/2018

CoQ10 & Statin Muscle Symptoms

Can taking CoQ10 reduce muscle symptoms that can occur when taking cholesterol-lowering statin drugs? Find out in the recent update to the What It Does section of the CoQ10 & Ubiquinol Supplements Review. (Also see our Top Picks for CoQ10 and Ubiquinol.)
6/28/2017

Some Concern About Theobromine in Dark Chocolate

ConsumerLab's tests of dark chocolates show them to contain about as much theobromine (a caffeine-related stimulant) as heart-healthy flavanols. So is all this theobromine good or bad? A recent study suggests that it may be an issue for people who need to control their blood sugar, while, on the positive side, it lowers LDL "bad" cholesterol. Get the details in the "Concerns and Cautions" section of the Cocoa Powders, Dark Chocolate, Extracts, Nibs, & Supplements Review, which includes comparisons of the amounts of theobromine in popular products, as well as amounts of flavanols, caffeine, and contaminants.
3/11/2017

Can High-Dose Vitamin D Backfire?

A recent study found that taking very high doses of vitamin D increases the production of an enzyme which inactivates vitamin D in the body -- which may help to explain why taking very high-dose vitamin D has been linked with adverse effects such as muscle weakness and increased risk of fractures and falls in previous studies. For details, see the "How Much Do You Need?" section of the Vitamin D Supplements Review (which includes our tests of products) >>
4/08/2017

Exercise Benefit Lost With High-Dose Vitamins

Older men asked to perform resistance (strength) training for 12 weeks showed less gain in bone density if they were given high daily doses of vitamins C & E than if they were given a placebo. This is not the first time that  high-dose antioxidant supplements have been shown to reduce benefits from exercise. For details, see the "Concerns and Cautions" section of the Vitamin C Supplements Review >>
6/17/2015

High-Dose Vitamin D Increases Upper Respiratory Infections

A study among older people found that taking a high dose of vitamin D every 2 months increased the risk of upper respiratory infection by 48% compared to taking low-dose vitamin D daily. Infections lasted two days longer for those taking the high dose versus the low dose. For details, including dosage, as well as our test reports on vitamin D supplements, see the Vitamin D Supplements Review >>
11/11/2018

High EPA Fish Oil Lowers Cardiovascular Risk for Some

Taking high-dose, high-EPA fish oil (Vascepa) was found lower the risk of cardiovascular disease by 25% among people with elevated triglycerides in a major new study. Get the details in the What It Does section of the new Fish Oil Review. (Also see how fish oil supplements compare to Vascepa.)
12/16/2020

High-Dose Fish Oil for COVID?

A two-week course of high-dose, high-concentration fish oil was reported to reduce inflammation and symptoms in COVID patients in a preliminary study. See the details in the What It Does section of the Fish Oil Supplements Review. Also, see our Top Picks for fish oil supplements.
9/03/2021

High Allergy Risk & Vaccination

Can people with high allergy risk get safely vaccinated? See what the data is showing.

News Releases (37)

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