Scientific evidence shows that some dietary supplements are beneficial for overall health and for managing certain health conditions.
1. Fiber is naturally present in fruits, vegetables and whole grains; dietary fiber is the best but fiber supplements are also an option. There is good evidence that blond psyllium husk, a common ingredient in fiber supplements, can lower “bad” LDL cholesterol and increase “good” HDL cholesterol. Other fiber supplements include methylcellulose, wheat dextrin, and calcium polycarbophil.
2. Sterols and stanols are naturally found in nuts and grains, but are also available as supplements. These substances found in plants help block the absorption of cholesterol. Sterols and stanols are also added to many foods, such as margarines, fruit juices (orange and pineapple), soy milk, and adult nutrition drinks.
3. Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) is an enzyme that our body naturally makes in small amounts. As a supplement, CoQ10 may help lower blood pressure, either on its own or along with anti-hypertension medications.
4. Fish oil supplements are packed with omega-3 fatty acids, which can lower triglycerides and improve blood pressure.
5. Garlic, either in food or in supplements, can help lower blood pressure and slow the buildup of plaque in your arteries, which lowers your risk of blood clots.
6. Green tea extract is the concentrated form of green tea, with just one capsule containing the same amount of active ingredients as an average cup of green tea. Research shows that both green tea and its supplement form (green tea extract) may lower bad cholesterol and triglycerides, and raise good cholesterol.
Talk to your doctor before taking any dietary supplement. Your doctor will help you choose the dietary supplement that is most likely to help you.