Hyperlipidemia supplements

  • Beta-glucan is a soluble fiber derived from the cell walls of algae, bacteria, fungi, yeasts, and plants. It is commonly used for its cholesterol-lowering effects. Beta-glucans have also been used to treat diabetes and for weight loss. Concentrated yeast-derived beta-glucan is more easily incorporated into food products than grain beta-glucans, which are found in cereal grains such as oats and barley. Yeast-derived beta-glucan is also more palatable than oat because it is not soluble in water and does not become viscous in water as beta-glucan from oats does. However, oat derived beta-glucan may have a higher therapeutic benefit potential. The use of beta-glucan is a relatively new practice. Practitioners have used beta-glucan as an immunostimulant or as an adjunct cancer treatment. Beta-glucan is also used for its cholesterol-lowering effects and glycemic (blood sugar) control. In 1997, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) passed a ruling that allowed oat bran to be registered as the first cholesterol-reducing food at an amount of 3 grams beta-glucan daily.
  • Cordyceps sinensis , the Cordyceps species most widely used as a dietary supplement, naturally grows on the back of the larvae of a caterpillar from the moth Hepialus armoricanus Oberthur found mainly in China, Nepal, and Tibet. The mycelium invades the caterpillar and eventually replaces the host tissue. The stroma (fungal fruit body) grows out of the top of the caterpillar. The remaining structures of the caterpillar along with the fungus are dried and sold as the dietary supplement cordyceps. Commonly known as "dong chong xia cao" (summer-plant, winter-worm) in Chinese, cordyceps has been used as a tonic food in China and Tibet and has been used as a food supplement and tonic beverage among the rich because of its short supply due to over harvesting. It is also an ingredient in soups and other foods used traditionally in Chinese medicine for thousands of years helping debilitated patients recover from illness. Cordyceps is used therapeutically for asthma, bronchitis, chemoprotection, exercise performance, hepatitis B, hepatic cirrhosis, hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol), as an immunosuppressive agent, and in chronic renal failure. The fungus became popular in 1993 when two female Chinese athletes, who admitted using cordyceps supplements, beat the world records in the track and field competition at the Stuttgart World Championships for the 1,500-, 3,000-, and 10,000-meter runs. The women were drug tested for any banned substances such as steroids and were negative. Their coach attributed the performance to the cordyceps supplementation.
  • Pantethine is a naturally occurring compound and the active form of pantothenic acid. Structurally, pantethine is a disulfide form of pantothenic acid; it is metabolized to coenzyme A. Pantethine received its name from the Greek word pantos, which means "everywhere" because it was in a wide variety of foods such as fish, legumes, organ meats, whole grains, and yogurt. Research has demonstrated that pantethine, when taken by mouth, can be used for lowering cholesterol. It is also used for lowering cardiovascular risk, improving energy, improving adrenal function, and preventing allergy symptoms in people allergic to formaldehyde. Reliable evidence on pantethine for enhancing exercise performance is lacking. Pantethine is believed to have lipid-modulating properties. It has been used to help convert fat and carbohydrates to energy. Pantethine has also been used to support adrenal function and act as an anti-stress aid.
  • Gamma oryzanol is a mixture of ferulic acid esters of sterol and triterpene alcohols, and it occurs in rice bran oil at a level of 1-2%, although it has been extracted from corn and barley oils as well. It is theorized that some of the health benefits from rice bran oil, namely, its cholesterol-lowering effects, may be due to its gamma oryzanol content. Gamma oryzanol was first isolated and purified in the 1950s. In the 1960s, it was used medically in Japan for anxiety. Each year Japan manufactures 7,500 tons of gamma oryzanol from 150,000 tons of rice bran. Not surprisingly, most of the research on oryzanol has been performed in Japan. Gamma oryzanol is frequently sold as a bodybuilding aid, specifically to increase testosterone levels, stimulate the release of endorphins (pain-relieving substances made in the body), and promote the growth of lean muscle tissue. However, most currently available studies do not support these claims.
  • Globe artichoke ( Cynara scolymus ) is a species of thistle. The edible part of the plant is the base of the artichoke head in bud, harvested well before any fruit develops. In traditional European medicine, the leaves of the artichoke (not the flower buds, which are the parts commonly cooked and eaten as a vegetable) were used as a diuretic to stimulate the kidneys and as a "choleretic" to stimulate the flow of bile from the liver and gallbladder. Cynarin, luteolin, cynardoside (luteolin-7-O-glycoside), scolymoside, and chlorogenic acid are believed to be artichoke's active constituents. The most studied component, cynarin, is concentrated in the leaves. Artichoke has been used in the treatment of hypercholesterolemia (high cholesterol), alcohol-induced hangover, and for its choleretic (stimulates bile release) and antioxidant properties. Artichoke extracts are becoming increasingly available in the United States, with public interest and the availability of standardized extracts resulting in efforts to develop more rigorous support for clinical studies exploring the beneficial effects of artichoke.
  • Borage ( Borago officinalis ) is an herb native to Syria that has spread throughout the Middle East and Mediterranean. Borage flowers and leaves may be eaten and borage seeds are often pressed to produce oil very high in gamma-linolenic acid (GLA). Borage is popularly used for premenstrual syndrome (PMS) and menopausal symptoms. Borage is also popular among elderly women. Borage is known for its anti-inflammatory properties and has been studied for the treatment of gum disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and asthma. There is currently controversy about the safety of borage. Consumers should use caution when taking borage as there have been cases of poisoning after confusion with foxglove.
  • Traditionally, nopal (also known as prickly pear) has both food and medicinal uses. Nopals are common in North American deserts and are generally sold fresh, canned, or dried for use in the preparation of nopalitos (a traditional Mexican dish made from nopal pads). They have a light, tart flavor. Nopals are commonly used in Mexican and New Mexican cuisine in dishes such as huevos con nopales (eggs with nopal) or tacos de nopales. The juice is used in jellies and candies. The fruit is also eaten fresh or used in pies, deserts, shakes, or spreads. Traditionally, nopal is medicinally used as an anti-inflammatory or a laxative. More recently, nopal has been used in exercise recovery and in reducing the symptoms of alcohol hangovers. Nopal is the most commonly used substance for lowering blood sugar among persons of Mexican descent. Nopal may offer benefits to individuals with an alcohol-induced hangover, diabetes, or hyperlipidemia (high cholesterol). However, additional study is needed.
  • Fenugreek has a long history of medical uses in Indian and Chinese medicine, and has been used for numerous indications, including labor induction, aiding digestion, and as a general tonic to improve metabolism and health. Preliminary study has suggested possible hypoglycemic (blood sugar lowering) and anti-hyperlipidemic properties of fenugreek seed powder when taken by mouth. However, at this time, the evidence is not sufficient to recommend either for or against fenugreek for diabetes or hyperlipidemia. Nonetheless, caution is warranted in patients taking blood sugar-lowering agents, in whom blood glucose levels should be monitored. Hypokalemia (lowered potassium levels in the blood) has also been reported, and potassium levels should be followed in patients taking concomitant hypokalemic agents, or with underlying cardiac disease.
back to top
General Drug Tools
General Drug Tools view all tools
Health Management
Health Management Programs view all programs
Tools for
Healthy Living
Tools for Healthy Living view all tools
Search Tools
Search Tools view all tools
Insurance Plan Tools
Insurance Plan Tools view all tools