A healthy diet reduces the major risk factors for heart disease: high cholesterol, high blood pressure, and unhealthy weight. One of the most important dietary precepts is to focus on eating whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, and seeds, which are rich in the fiber and nutrients that promote cardiovascular health.
Red yeast rice (Monascus purpureus) is a powerful supplement shown to significantly lower total cholesterol levels. In one study, men and women took 1.2 grams of red yeast rice extract daily for two months. Researchers found a significant decrease in total and LDL (bad) cholesterol.
In addition, HDL (good) cholesterol levels were significantly increased and elevated triglycerides were lowered.
Niacin has been the focus of many studies on elevated cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It has been shown to increase HDL and lower LDL cholesterol, as well as improve other cardiovascular risk markers.
GuggulU (Comliphora mukul) Studies dating back to the late 1960s suggest that taking guggulu can result in significant reductions in blood levels of LDL cholesterol and triglycerides, as well as increased HDL cholesterol levels. Most studies have used a 2.5 percent extract of guggulsterones standardized to a 50-mg dose. This extract is commonly referred to as gugulipid.
Arjuna: the herbal heart tonic
rjuna (Terminalia arjuna) is a deciduous tree that can reach heights of 100 feet. It grows throughout India and Sri Lanka, preferring wet, marshy regions. The inner layers of its silver-white bark are used for medicinal purposes.
Arjuna’s traditional use has been as a heart tonic, with modern studies supporting its therapeutic role in cardiac conditions. It has effects on the circulatory system ranging from lowering cholesterol levels to improving the strength of heart contractions.
In addition to its use in treating heart disease, arjuna tea is often prescribed for disorders of the digestive tract. Topical arjuna helps skin conditions including wounds and ulcers.
If you are considering supplementing with arjuna for heart disease, it is essential to consult with your healthcare provider first.