Six supplements that people commonly take for heart health don’t help lower “bad” cholesterol or improve cardiovascular health, according to a study published Sunday, but statins did.
Some people believe that common dietary supplements – fish oil, garlic, cinnamon, turmeric, plant sterols and red yeast rice – will lower their “bad” cholesterol. “Bad” cholesterol, known in the medical community as low-density lipoproteins or LDL, can cause the buildup of fatty deposits in the arteries. The fatty deposits can block the flow of oxygen and blood that the heart needs to work and the blockage can lead to a heart attack or stroke.
For this study, which was presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2022 and simultaneously published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, researchers compared the impact of these particular supplements to the impact of a low dose of a statin – a cholesterol-lowering medication – or a placebo, which does nothing.
Researchers made this comparison in a randomized, single-blind clinical trial that involved 190 adults with no prior history of cardiovascular disease. Study participants were ages 40 to 75, and different groups got a low-dose statin called rosuvastatin, a placebo, fish oil, cinnamon, garlic, turmeric, plant sterols or red yeast rice for 28 days.
The statin had the greatest impact and significantly lowered LDL compared with the supplements and placebo.