Text Size

Site Search powered by Ajax




Hypercholesterolemia is a form of hyperlipidemia, characterized by high levels of blood lipids (fats), chief of which is cholesterol. Others include: triglycerides and lipoproteins.

Lipoproteins are composed of fat and cholesterol molecules linked to protein. The higher the proportion of cholesterol, the lower the density of the lipoprotein. Three are most commonly identified: Very low density (VDL), Low density (LDL) and high density (HDL). HDL, the so-called good cholesterol, is not responsible for hypercholesterolemia.


There seems to be a definite inherited component, producing extreme levels of cholesterol, or a predisposition to high levels. There may also be cultural factors.

In the so-called French paradox, the French eat large quantities of fatty foods abut enjoy low levels of heart disease.

Certainly, a high fat diet combined with a sedentary lifestyle, as is the norm in the United States and most other Western countries, these days, contribute to the associated Western diseases, so that hypercholesterolemia advances to atherosclerosis, which may manifest as obesity, or diabetes and ultimately, a fatal heart attack or stroke.

Various endocrine (glandular) disorders may also precede the hyperlipidemias e.g. hypothyroidism, Cushing’s syndrome.

Signs & Symptoms

Diagnosis requires blood tests.

The person will tend to have high blood pressure, be overweight and have little capacity for exercise. Their diet will tend to be high in animal fats and fried foods.

Fatty deposits and nodules may be palpable at unusual sites, including the palms and joints. A white line may appear around the rim of the cornea.

Normal values for populations are still being developed. "Normal" in Finland is around 280 mg/dL, whereas in rural China it is 150. The United States falls somewhere in between.

In the United States, the National Cholesterol Education Program considers 200 mg/dL (or 5.17 mmmol/L) the high end of the desirable range.

In the United States, strict vegetarians are likely to be the only segment of the population to easily satisfy this standard. There is some discussion about being abnormally low but the low end of the desirable continuum is not below 90 mg/dL (2.33 mmol/L).

Some authorities feel that an even more important statistic is the ratio derived by dividing the Total cholesterol by the HDL cholesterol.

To give the range: an abnormally low HDL would be around 25 mg/dL. Borderline high total cholesterol might be around 200 mg/dL. This would give a ratio of 8.

A good HDL level might be 80 mg/dL. A desirable total cholesterol in the order of 160 mg/dL, then, would yield a ratio of: 2.0.

Nutritional Supplements

Structure & Function:
        Circulatory Support
        Cardiovascular Support &
        Weight Management

General Supplements

B Complex*
Chromium Picolinate500 mcg
Chondroitin sulfate*
CoQ1060 mg
Garlic2 capsules tid
Lecithin1 Tbspn (1,200 mg) tid
Vitamin C3,000 - 8,000 mg
Vitamin E200 IU

*Please refer to the respective topic for specific nutrient amounts.

Note: All amounts are in addition to those supplements having a Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA). Due to individual needs, one must always be aware of a possible undetermined effect when taking nutritional supplements. If any disturbances from the use of a particular supplement should occur, stop its use immediately and seek the care of a qualified health care professional.

Dietary Considerations

Fiber is the key to cholesterol reduction. This is available in supplement form, or common foods e.g. barley, beans and oats.

Carrot juice may be especially helpful in flushing out toxins.

Butter or an unsaturated margarine?

To examine the effect on lipid and lipoprotein concentrations when butter or an unsaturated margarine is used for cooking or spreading in a reduced fat diet.

Concentrations of low density lipoprotein cholesterol and apolipoprotein B were about 10% lower with margarine than with butter. Lp(a) lipoprotein and high density lipoprotein cholesterol concentrations were similar with the two diets.

Despite concerns about adverse effects on lipoproteins of trans fatty acids in margarines, the use of unsaturated margarine rather than butter by hypercholesterolaemic people is associated with a lipoprotein profile that would be expected to reduce cardiovascular risk.

Chisholm-A: Effect on lipoprotein profile of replacing butter with margarine in a low fat diet: randomised crossover study with hypercholesterolaemic subjects. BMJ. 1996 Apr 13; 312(7036): 931-4.

A second paper gives reasons for the following statements:

1. Restricted consumption of butter does not influence the physiological cholesterol levels.
2. An association between high cholesterol levels and the incidence of coronary sclerosis can not be demonstrated.
3. Hitherto all intervention trials do not show any effect.
4. No longer serum cholesterol can be considered as a factor of risk.

Immich-H: [Butter and total cholesterol] Versicherungsmedizin. 1993 Dec 1; 45(6): 195-7.

Soybean protein

Mildly hypercholesterolemic men (21) consumed a diet that was low in fat (< 30% of energy) and cholesterol (300 mg/d) and were given muffins containing 25 g protein + 20 g dietary fiber daily from either isolated soybean protein + soybean cotyledon fiber, isolated soybean protein + cellulose, casein + soybean cotyledon fiber or casein + cellulose.

Results indicate that consumption of 25 g soybean protein/d is associated with lower total cholesterol concentrations in individuals with initial cholesterol concentrations > 5.7 mmol/L.

Bakhit-RM: Intake of 25 g of soybean protein with or without soybean fiber alters plasma lipids in men with elevated cholesterol concentrations. J-Nutr. 1994 Feb; 124(2): 213-22.

Protein from soybeans reduces blood cholesterol concentrations in experimental animals as well as in humans. The mechanism and component of soy responsible has not been established fully. Some suggest that when soy protein is fed, cholesterol absorption and/or bile acid reabsorption is impaired. This is observed in some animal species, such as rabbits and rats, but not in humans nor when amino acids replace intact soy protein.

Others propose that changes in endocrine status, such as alteration in insulin:glucagon ratio and thyroid hormone concentrations, are responsible. The metabolic changes that have been observed on soy protein feeding in a variety of animal models, and in some cases humans, include increased cholesterol synthesis, increased bile acid synthesis (or fecal bile acid excretion), increased apolipoprotein B or E receptor activity and decreased hepatic lipoprotein secretion and cholesterol content, which are associated with an increased clearance of cholesterol from the blood.

One hypothesis suggests amino acid composition or proportionality of soy causes changes in cholesterol metabolism (possibly via the endocrine system). Others have proposed that nonprotein components (such as saponins, fiber, phytic acid, minerals and the isoflavones) associated with soy protein affect cholesterol metabolism either directly or indirectly.

Potter-SM: Overview of proposed mechanisms for the hypocholesterolemic effect of soy. J-Nutr. 1995 Mar; 125(3 Suppl): 606S-611S.

Homeopathic Remedy

Lipomas (esp. neck)Baryta carbonica
Shortness of breathIgnatia

Treatment Schedule

Over-the-counter homeopathic remedies may be single strength (of fairly weak potency e.g. 6X ) or a blend of several weaker strengths (6X, 8X, 10X).

This may comprise a single remedy, or several remedies.

Doses are administered on a 3 times daily (tid), between meals,schedule and continued for 3 days.

Liquid preparations usually use 8-10 drops per dose.

Solid preparations are usually 2 or 3 pellets per dose.

Children use 1/2 dose i.e. 1 pellet.

If there is aggravation of the symptoms, stop taking the remedy and consult a homeopath.


Murphy, R. : Homeopathic Medical Repertory. Hahneman Academy, Pagosa Springs, Colorado. 1993.

Murphy, R. : Lotus Materia Medica. Hahneman Academy, Pagosa Springs, Colorado. 1995.

Pert, J.C.: Homeopathy for the Family. The Homoeopathic Development Foundation, London. 1985 edition.

Herbal Approaches


Artichoke Plant
Cayenne (Capsicum)
Garlic plant
Hawthorn Berries

Note: The misdirected use of an herb can produce severely adverse effects, especially in combination with prescription drugs. This Herbal information is for educational purposes and is not intended as a replacement for medical advice.

Newall has compiled the following list of herbs with hypocholesterolemic effect. It would appear that their use is indicated in people suffering from hyperlipidemia.

AlfalfaHypocholesterolemic, in vivo
Artichoke PlantHypocholesterolemic, in vivo
Black CohoshHypocholesterolemic, in vivo
FenugreekHypocholesterolemic, in vivo
Garlic PlantHypocholesterolemic, in vivo
GingerHypocholesterolemic, in vivo

Psyllium has approval status by the German Commission E regarding this specific action. Artichoke Plant leaf is a major phytomedicine on the German market and is listed as hypocholesterolemic, with sales over $5 million.

Similarly, Newall has compiled the following list of herbs with hyperlipidemic effect. It would appear that their use is contra-indicated in people suffering from hyperlipidemia.

Hypercholesterolemic Herbal Ingredients

Hydrocotyle (Gotu Kola)Hypercholesterolemic, in vivo
PlantainHypercholesterolemic, in vivo
SkullcapHypercholesterolemic, in vivo
TansyHypercholesterolemic, in vivo



The hypocholesterolemic properties of an ethanol extract from defatted fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) seeds were investigated.

Reductions in plasma cholesterol levels ranged from 18 to 26% and a tendency for lower concentrations of liver cholesterol was observed. These results indicate that the ethanol extract from fenugreek seeds contained hypocholesterolaemic components which appear to be saponins that interact with bile salts in the digestive tract.

Stark-A; Madar-Z: The effect of an ethanol extract derived from fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) on bile acid absorption and cholesterol levels in rats. Br-J-Nutr. 1993 Jan; 69(1): 277-87.


Blumenthal, M (Ed.): The Complete German Commission E Monographs: Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines. American Botanical Council. Austin, TX. 1998.

Newall CA, Anderson LA, Phillipson JD. Herbal Medicines A Guide for Health-care Professionals. London: The Pharmaceutical Press, 1996:21,45,63,282.

Stark-A; Madar-Z: The effect of an ethanol extract derived from fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) on bile acid absorption and cholesterol levels in rats. Br-J-Nutr. 1993 Jan; 69(1): 277-87.

Aromatherapy - Essential Oils

Garlic EssenceLemon Essence,
Rosemary Essence,Thyme Essence.

Related Health Conditions

Coronary Heart Disease
Heart Disorders



Ammerman-AS: Physician-based diet counseling for cholesterol reduction: current practices, determinants, and strategies for improvement. Prev-Med. 1993 Jan; 22(1): 96-109.

Anderson-JW: Diet, lipids and cardiovascular disease in women. J-Am-Coll-Nutr. 1993 Aug; 12(4): 433-7.

Blake DE et al., Wheat bread supplemented with depolymerized guar gum reduces the plasma cholesterol concentration in hypercholesterolemic human subjects. Am J Clin Nutr, 1997 Jan, 65:1, 107-13.

Brown WV: Hypercholesterolemia in the United States: how far have we come? Am J Med, 1997 Feb 17, 102:2A, 3-6.

Bunce-GE: Hypercholesterolemia of copper deficiency is linked to glutathione metabolism and regulation of hepatic HMG-CoA reductase. Nutr-Rev. 1993 Oct; 51(10): 305-7.

Caggiula-AW: Cholesterol-lowering intervention program. Effect of the step I diet in community office practices [see comments]. Arch-Intern-Med. 1996 Jun 10; 156(11): 1205-13.

Chan P et al., Short-term safety and efficacy of low-dose simvastatin in elderly patients with hypertensive hypercholesterolemia and fasting hyperinsulinemia. J Clin Pharmacol, 1997 Jun, 37:6, 496-501.

Chaturvedi-A: Hypocholesterolemic effect of amaranth seeds (Amaranthus esculantus). Plant-Foods-Hum-Nutr. 1993 Jul; 44(1): 63-70.

Cominacini-L: The susceptibility of low-density lipoprotein to in vitro oxidation is increased in hypercholesterolemic patients [see comments]. Nutrition. 1994 Nov-Dec; 0(6): 527-31.

Cox-C et al: Effects of coconut oil, butter, and safflower oil on lipids and lipoproteins in persons with moderately elevated cholesterol levels. J-Lipid-Res. 1995 Aug; 36(8): 1787-95.

Davidson MH et al., A comparison of estrogen replacement, pravastatin, and combined treatment for the management of hypercholesterolemia in postmenopausal women. Arch Intern Med, 1997 Jun 9, 157:11, 1186-92.

Denke-MA: Excess body weight. An underrecognized contributor to high blood cholesterol levels in white American men [see comments]. Arch-Intern-Med. 1993 May 10; 153(9): 1093-103.

Denke-MA & Grundy-SM: Individual responses to a cholesterol-lowering diet in 50 men with moderate hypercholesterolemia. Arch-Intern-Med. 1994 Feb 14; 154(3): 317-25.

Denke-MA: Individual responsiveness to a cholesterol-lowering diet in postmenopausal women with moderate hypercholesterolemia. Arch-Intern-Med. 1994 Sep 12; 154(17): 1977-82.

Denke-MA: Cholesterol-lowering diets. A review of the evidence [see comments]. Arch-Intern-Med. 1995 Jan 9; 155(1): 17-26.

Denke-MA: Effects of continuous combined hormone-replacement therapy on lipid levels in hypercholesterolemic postmenopausal women. Am-J-Med. 1995 Jul; 99(1): 29-35.

Denke-MA: Review of human studies evaluating individual dietary responsiveness in patients with hypercholesterolemia. Am-J-Clin-Nutr. 1995 Aug; 62(2): 471S-477S

Drown-DJ: High cholesterol levels in healthy seniors: cause for concern? Prog-Cardiovasc-Nurs. 1995 Winter; 10(1): 40-1.

Fitch J et al., Influence of cholesterol screening and nutritional counseling in reducing cholesterol levels in children. The American Heart Association]. Clin Pediatr (Phila), 1997 May, 36:5, 267-72.

FitzGerald GA & Barry P: Dietary factors in thrombosis and hemostasis: summary and conclusions. Am J Clin Nutr, 1997 May, 65:5 Suppl, 1699S-1701S.

Grundy-SM: Role of low-density lipoproteins in atherogenesis and development of coronary heart disease. Clin-Chem. 1995 Jan; 41(1): 139-46.

Gylling H & Miettinen TA: Cholesterol absorption, synthesis, and LDL metabolism in NIDDM. Diabetes Care, 1997 Jan, 20:1, 90-5.

Hallfrisch-J: Diets containing soluble oat extracts improve glucose and insulin responses of moderately hypercholesterolemic men and women. Am-J-Clin-Nutr. 1995 Feb; 61(2): 379-84.

Hartman-TJ et al: Effects of a low-fat, worksite intervention on blood lipids and lipoproteins. J-Occup-Environ-Med. 1995 Jun; 37(6): 690-6.

Jenkins DJ et al., Effect of psyllium in hypercholesterolemia at two monounsaturated fatty acid intakes. Am J Clin Nutr, 1997 May, 65:5, 1524-33.

Jensen CD et al., Long-term effects of water-soluble dietary fiber in the management of hypercholesterolemia in healthy men and women. Am J Cardiol, 1997 Jan 1, 79:1, 34-7.

Kelley-MJ: Oat bran lowers total and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol but not lipoprotein(a) in exercising adults with borderline hypercholesterolemia. Journal-of-the-American-Dietetic-Association (J-AM-DIET-ASSOC) 1994 Dec; 94(12): 1419-21 (31 ref).

Klevay-LM: Hypercholesterolemia in rats produced by an increase in the ratio of zinc to copper ingested. 1973 [classical article] [see comments]. Nutrition. 1993 Mar-Apr; 9(2): 190-8.

Kramer-LM : Implementing new dietary guidelines of the National Cholesterol Education Program. AACN-Clin-Issues. 1995 Aug; 6(3): 418-31; quiz 495-6.

Kwiterovich-PO Jr: The role of fiber in the treatment of hypercholesterolemia in children and adolescents. Pediatrics. 1995 Nov; 96(5 Pt 2): 1005-9.

Levy-E: Beneficial effects of fish-oil supplements on lipids, lipoproteins, and lipoprotein lipase in patients with glycogen storage disease type I. Am-J-Clin-Nutr. 1993 Jun; 57(6): 922-9.

Lupton-JR et al: Cholesterol-lowering effect of barley bran flour and oil. J-Am-Diet-Assoc. 1994 Jan; 94(1): 65-70.

References M-Z

McGehee-MM: Benefits and costs of medical nutrition therapy by registered dietitians for patients with hypercholesterolemia. Massachusetts Dietetic Association. J-Am-Diet-Assoc. 1995 Sep; 95(9): 1041-3.

Mogos-T: The hair levels of unsaturated fatty acids (oleic, linoleic, and linolenic) indicators of the lipid metabolic balance. Rom-J-Intern-Med. 1994 Apr-Jun; 32(2): 159-63.

Morley-JE: Nutrition and the older female: a review. J-Am-Coll-Nutr. 1993 Aug; 12(4): 337-43.

Nenseter-MS: No effect of beta-carotene supplementation on the susceptibility of low density lipoprotein to in vitro oxidation among hypercholesterolaemic, postmenopausal women. Scand-J-Clin-Lab-Invest. 1995 Oct; 55(6): 477-85.

Nassir-F: Apolipoprotein A-I, A-IV and E synthesis in the liver of copper-deficient rats. Lipids. 1994 Oct; 29(10): 727-9.

Position statement: Flaxseed has potential in human nutrition. Journal-of-the-American-Dietetic-Association (J-AM-DIET-ASSOC) 1994 Jan; 94(1): 42.

Position statement: Position of the American Dietetic Association: cost-effectiveness of medical nutrition therapy. Journal-of-the-American-Dietetic-Association (J-AM-DIET-ASSOC) 1995 Jan; 95(1): 88-91 (46 ref).

Potter-SM et al: Depression of plasma cholesterol in men by consumption of baked products containing soy protein American-Journal-of-Clinical-Nutrition (AM-J-CLIN-NUTR) 1993 Oct; 58(4): 501-6 (39 ref).

Potter-SM: Overview of proposed mechanisms for the hypocholesterolemic effect of soy. J-Nutr. 1995 Mar; 125(3 Suppl): 606S-611S.

Retzlaff-BM et al: Changes in plasma triacylglycerol concentrations among free-living hyperlipidemic men adopting different carbohydrate intakes over 2 y: the Dietary Alternatives Study. Am-J-Clin-Nutr. 1995 Nov; 62(5): 988-95.

Retzlaff-BM: Zinc intake and plasma zinc level are maintained in men consuming cholesterol-lowering diets. J-Am-Diet-Assoc. 1995 Nov; 95(11): 1274-9.

Review Article: Summary of the second report of the National Cholesterol Education Program (NCEP) Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood Cholesterol in Adults (Adult Treatment Panel II) [comment] [see comments] JAMA. 1993 Jun 16; 269(23): 3015-23.

Richter-WO: [Dietary treatment of hypercholesterolemia]. Wien-Klin-Wochenschr. 1995; 107(18): 549-54.

Santanello NC et al., Effect of pharmacologic lipid lowering on health-related quality of life in older persons: results from the Cholesterol Reduction in Seniors Program (CRISP) Pilot Study. J Am Geriatr Soc, 1997 Jan, 45:1, 8-14.

Sanz-Paris-A et al: [Lipid metabolism and new dietetic recommendations in diabetes mellitus]. An-Med-Interna. 1996 Mar; 13(3): 136-45.

Schaefer-EJ et al: Effects of National Cholesterol Education Program Step 2 diets relatively high or relatively low in fish-derived fatty acids on plasma lipoproteins in middle-aged and elderly subjects. Am-J-Clin-Nutr. 1996 Feb; 63(2): 234-41.

Schaefer-EJ et al: Efficacy of a National Cholesterol Education Program Step 2 diet in normolipidemic and hypercholesterolemic middle-aged and elderly men and women. Arterioscler-Thromb-Vasc-Biol. 1995 Aug; 15(8): 1079-85.

Seetharamaiah, G. Chandrasekhara, N. Comparative hypocholesterolemic activities of oryzanol, curcumin and ferulic acid in rats. Journal of Food Science and Tecbnology 30 (1993):249-252.

Shane-JM & Walker-PM: Corn bran supplementation of a low-fat controlled diet lowers serum lipids in men with hypercholesterolemia. J-Am-Diet-Assoc. 1995 Jan; 95(1): 40-5.

Simon-JA et al: Dietary vitamin C and serum lipids in black and white girls. Epidemiology. 1993 Nov; 4(6): 537-42.

Simons-LA: On the effect of garlic on plasma lipids and lipoproteins in mild hypercholesterolaemia. Atherosclerosis. 1995 Mar; 113(2): 219-25.

Stark-A; Madar-Z: The effect of an ethanol extract derived from fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum) on bile acid absorption and cholesterol levels in rats. Br-J-Nutr. 1993 Jan; 69(1): 277-87.

Tillotson JL et al., Food group and nutrient intakes at baseline in the Multiple Risk Factor Intervention Trial. Am J Clin Nutr, 1997 Jan, 65:1 Suppl, 228S-257S.

Tonstad S & Aksnes L: Fat-soluble vitamin levels in familial hypercholesterolemia. J Pediatr, 1997 Feb, 130:2, 274-80.

Tonstad S & Sivertsen M: Dietary adherence in children with familial hypercholesterolemia. Am J Clin Nutr, 1997 Apr, 65:4, 1018-26.

Tonstad S: A rational approach to treating hypercholesterolaemia in children. Weighing the risks and benefits. Drug Saf, 1997 May, 16:5, 330-41.

Truswell-AS: Dietary fibre and plasma lipids. Eur-J-Clin-Nutr. 1995 Oct; 49 Suppl 3: S105-9.

Van-Horn-L: Dietitians' contributions to cholesterol education: a decade of progress. J-Am-Diet-Assoc. 1995 Nov; 95(11): 1263-7.

Vega-GL & Grundy-SM: Hypercholesterolemia with cholesterol-enriched LDL and normal levels of LDL-apolipoprotein B. Effects of the step I diet and bile acid sequestrants on the cholesterol content of LDL. Arterioscler-Thromb-Vasc-Biol. 1996 Apr; 16(4): 517-22.

Veldman FJ et al., Dietary pectin influences fibrin network structure in hypercholesterolaemic subjects. Thromb Res, 1997 May 1, 86:3, 183-96.

Vobecky-JS: Hypercholesterolaemia in childhood: repercussions in adulthood. Eur-J-Clin-Nutr. 1993 Sep; 47 Suppl 1: S47-56.

Waki-M Long-term serum lipid lowering, behavior modification, and weight loss in obese women. Nutrition. 1993 Jan-Feb; 9(1): 23-8.

Welch-RW: Can dietary oats promote health? Br-J-Biomed-Sci. 1994 Sep; 51(3): 260-70.

Yamori-Y: Nutritional factors for stroke and major cardiovascular diseases: international epidemiological comparison of dietary prevention [see comments]. Health-Rep. 1994; 6(1): 22-7.

Zhang J et al., Nonhypercholesterolemic effects of a palm oil diet in Chinese adults. J Nutr, 1997 Mar, 127:3, 509S-513S.


Follow Applied Health on FaceBook Follow Applied Health on Twitter Follow Applied Health on Pinterest Follow Applied Health on YouTube

cruelty free - tested only on humans
We test only on humans