Survey a group of your friends and you will find at least one or two people who are on prescription drugs to lower cholesterol. The most commonly prescribed medications for reducing cholesterol levels are the statins drugs. Statins originally came from a natural source but now are synthetically modified. The statin drugs lower cholesterol by reducing the production of cholesterol by the liver. Statins block the enzyme in the liver that causes the liver to produce cholesterol.

The statin drugs do have side effects such as liver damage, muscle pain, stomach problems and skin rashes. I have had several friends who have taken the drugs complain of muscle aches. There are natural alternatives to the statin drugs and some doctors are now prescribing them. One of most popular of these is red yeast rice.

Red yeast rice has been used by the Chinese for thousands of years. Red yeast rice is a product of the yeast that is grown on rice. The so called "secret ingredient" in red yeast rice is called monacolins. Monoacolin K has the same structure as the cholesterol reducing drug lovastatin.

Several studies have been conducted to measure the effectiveness of red yeast rice to reduce cholesterol. Results have been encouraging. One study by the UCLA School of Medicine involved 83 people with high cholesterol levels. Subjects who ingested red yeast rice over a 12-week period experienced significantly lower levels of total cholesterol, "bad" LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides (fats in the blood) compared to those taking placebo (no drug or supplement). "Good" HDL cholesterol levels did not change in either study group. Though the UCLA study did not show an increase of good cholesterol another 8-week study of 446 people with high cholesterol found those who took red yeast rice had a significant drop in cholesterol levels compared to those who took placebo. In this study HDL (the good cholesterol) l increased by 20% in the group that took red yeast rice.

Let's look at some of the best natural cholesterol reducers you may want to consider trying before diving into the dubious world of prescription medication.

1. Fish oil & Omega-3

This is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to reduce cholesterol naturally. You can get fish oil in your system by eating fish, or simply by using a supplement. Supplements are the cheap route, and for the tremendous cholesterol lowering benefits a good fish oil supplement will offer you, it is simply a great investment.

Remember, fish oil is not just good for cholesterol, but also for overall skin, heart and brain health.

2. Get Moving

Reducing cholesterol naturally doesn't get much more basic than exercising. Exercise increases good cholesterol (HDL), while also lowering bad (LDL) cholesterol. Work out a simple exercise routine for yourself and make sure you stick to it.

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Herbal Cholesterol Control

3. Soluble Fiber

Soluble fibre comes highly recommended by The American Heart Foundation as a natural cholesterol reducer. Oats is the richest source of soluble fibre, while you can also find good amounts in peas, oat bran, citrus fruits, beans and barley.

4. Natural Supplements

We already talked about fish oil supplements. However, if all the above are still failing to bring your cholesterol down to acceptable levels, you may consider using a natural cholesterol supplement. These are products that makes it easy for you to ingest proven cholesterol busters as a simple supplement.

Supplement for Cholesterol Levels

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