CLEVELAND, Ohio – If you’re taking fish oil or garlic to lower your cholesterol, a new Cleveland Clinic study suggests it’s a waste of money.
Six common dietary supplements marketed to improve heart health did not lower “bad cholesterol” when compared to a cholesterol-lowering drug or a placebo. In the clinical study.
Low-dose cholesterol-lowering drugs from a class of drugs called statins had beneficial effects on blood triglycerides and total cholesterol, reducing cardiovascular risk..
“If you’ve talked to your doctor about starting cholesterol medications and are thinking about taking more medications instead, don’t waste your money,” he said. Dr. Luke Laffin, study co-author and co-director of the Center for Hypertensive Disorders at the Cleveland Clinic Heart, Vascular and Thoracic Institute.
“You’re not going to get the benefit you’re getting at even a low dose of the stat,” says Laffin.
Statins are drugs commonly prescribed to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack.
High level Low-density lipoprotein (LDL), also known as “bad” cholesterol, is a major cause of cardiovascular disease. This type of cholesterol causes fatty deposits to build up in the arteries, reducing or restricting the flow of blood and oxygen.
Lowering LDL cholesterol can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, the leading cause of death in Americans. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 697,000 people in the United States In the year He died of a heart attack in 2020.
Fish oil, garlic, cinnamon, turmeric, plant sterols, and red yeast rice — the supplements included in the clinic study — are often touted as “cardiovascular health support” or “the natural enemy of cholesterol.”
But Supplements are not required to meet the same standards for safety and efficacy as pharmaceuticals, and are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. Unlike pharmaceuticals, most supplements have not been tested in large randomized trials, he said.
“How are consumers supposed to tell the difference? It’s a little tricky,” Laffin said.
The results of the clinical research have been published recently Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Dr. Steven Neeson, chief academic officer at the Clinic’s Heart, Vascular and Thoracic Institute, was senior author.
Statins, not supplements, lower cholesterol in studies
The clinic’s randomized, single-blind clinical trial analyzed health data for 190 adults between the ages of 40 and 75 with no history of cardiovascular disease.
Participants recruited through the clinic’s electronic health portal were randomized into groups to receive 5 mg/day of a low-dose statin, fish oil, cinnamon, garlic, turmeric, plant sterols, red yeast rice, or placebo for 28 days.
A small number of study participants were taking supplements before enrolling in the trial, but were asked to stop taking them for at least a month before the study began, Laffin said.
The results showed that the percent reduction in LDL cholesterol with statins was greater than all supplements and placebo. None of the dietary supplements showed any significant reduction in LDL cholesterol compared to placebo.
Trial participants who took statins had an average reduction in LDL cholesterol of nearly 40% after 28 days. Changes in LDL cholesterol levels among subjects taking either dietary supplement were similar to those in the placebo group.
Participants who took statins had an average 24 percent reduction in their total cholesterol. The placebo group and the groups taking all dietary supplements showed no benefit.