April 20, 2024
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Supplements That Can Cause High Cholesterol

Cholesterol is a type of fat that is naturally present in our body. It is essential for the proper functioning of our cells and organs. However, high levels of cholesterol in the blood can lead to the build-up of plaque in arteries, increasing the risk of heart disease and stroke. While lifestyle factors such as diet and exercise play a significant role in cholesterol levels, certain supplements can also contribute to high cholesterol. In this article, we will discuss some of the supplements that can cause high cholesterol.

Omega-3 Supplements

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential nutrients that are vital for our health. They have numerous health benefits, including reducing inflammation, improving heart health, and lowering cholesterol levels. However, some Omega-3 supplements may contain high levels of cholesterol. For example, cod liver oil, a popular Omega-3 supplement, contains high levels of cholesterol and should be avoided by people with high cholesterol levels.

Plant Sterols and Stanols

Plant sterols and stanols are found naturally in many fruits, vegetables, and nuts. They are also added to some foods, such as margarine and orange juice, to help lower cholesterol levels. While plant sterols and stanols have been shown to be effective in lowering cholesterol levels, some supplements containing these compounds may contain added ingredients such as sugar and trans fats, which can increase cholesterol levels.

Fiber Supplements

Fiber is an essential nutrient that helps to reduce cholesterol levels by binding to cholesterol in the digestive tract and preventing it from being absorbed into the bloodstream. However, some fiber supplements may contain added sugar and other ingredients that can increase cholesterol levels. It is important to choose high-quality fiber supplements that do not contain added ingredients.

Red Yeast Rice Supplements

Red yeast rice is a traditional Chinese medicine that has been used for centuries to lower cholesterol levels. It contains a compound called monacolin K, which is similar to the active ingredient in the cholesterol-lowering drug lovastatin. However, red yeast rice supplements may vary in their potency and purity, and some may contain high levels of the compound that can cause liver damage and increase the risk of heart disease.

Calcium Supplements

Calcium is an essential mineral that is important for strong bones and teeth. However, some studies have shown that calcium supplements may increase cholesterol levels. This may be because calcium supplements can interfere with the absorption of other nutrients, such as magnesium and vitamin D, which are important for maintaining healthy cholesterol levels.


While supplements can have numerous health benefits, it is essential to be aware of their potential side effects, including increasing cholesterol levels. If you have high cholesterol or are at risk of developing high cholesterol, it is important to speak to your doctor before taking any supplements. Your doctor can help you choose the most appropriate supplements and ensure that they do not interfere with any medications you may be taking.

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