In today’s fast-paced society, which is characterized by fast food and a lack of exercise, elevated cholesterol levels are increasingly becoming a widespread disease. Cholesterol itself is a vital lipid substance that is found in all body cells and fulfills important functions, such as the formation of cell membranes, hormones and vitamin D. However, problems arise when the concentration of low-density lipoprotein (LDL), the so-called “bad” cholesterol, in the blood is too high. This can lead to arteriosclerosis, in which fat, cholesterol and other substances build up on the walls of the arteries, hardening and narrowing them. As a result, the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as heart attacks and strokes increases.

Cause of elevated cholesterol levels

Elevated cholesterol levels can be caused by a combination of genetic factors and lifestyle choices. Genetic predispositions can cause the body to produce more LDL or break it down less efficiently. Lifestyle factors such as a diet rich in saturated and trans fats, lack of exercise, obesity, smoking and alcohol consumption can also contribute to high cholesterol levels.

Elevated cholesterol levels: natural treatment options

The good news is that elevated cholesterol levels can often be treated and regulated by natural means. Changing your diet, exercising regularly and taking certain dietary supplements and medicinal plants can go a long way.

Changing your diet

A heart-healthy diet is the first and most important step in lowering cholesterol levels. Foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, mackerel and walnuts, can help to lower LDL levels. It is equally important to eat plenty of fresh fruit, vegetables and wholegrain products that contain soluble fiber. These bind the cholesterol in the digestive tract and help to remove it from the body. Plant sterols and stanols, which are found in some types of margarine, nuts and seeds, can also help to lower cholesterol levels.

Elevated cholesterol levels: Physical activity

Regular physical activity increases the amount of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the so-called “good” cholesterol, which helps to remove LDL from the arteries and transport it to the liver where it is broken down. At least 30 minutes of moderate endurance training on most days of the week is recommended.

Food supplements and medicinal plants to lower cholesterol levels

The use of dietary supplements and medicinal plants can be an effective complement to dietary changes and physical activity to lower cholesterol naturally. Some of the possibilities are explained in more detail below:

1. Omega-3 fatty acids

Omega-3 fatty acids are known to lower triglyceride levels and increase “good” HDL cholesterol. They are mainly found in fish oil, flaxseed oil, chia seeds and walnuts.

2. Red rice yeast extract

This extract contains monacolin K, which is similar in effect to the statins used to lower LDL cholesterol.

3. Garlic

Garlic extracts can lower cholesterol levels by modulating the activity of certain enzymes in the liver that are involved in cholesterol production.

4. Artichoke leaf extract

Artichoke leaf extract can help lower cholesterol levels by inhibiting cholesterol synthesis and increasing bile flow.

5. Psyllium (psyllium husks)

Psyllium seeds are an excellent source of soluble fiber that can bind and eliminate LDL cholesterol in the blood.

6. Berberine

Berberine, an alkaloid found in plants such as barberry and goldenseal, has been shown to lower cholesterol levels and improve insulin resistance.

7. Niacin (vitamin B3)

Niacin can lower LDL levels and increase HDL levels. However, it should be taken under medical supervision as high doses can have side effects.

8. Green tea extract

The catechins contained in green tea can help lower cholesterol levels and prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, which leads to vascular damage.

9. Turmeric

The active ingredient curcumin contained in turmeric has anti-inflammatory properties and can help to lower cholesterol levels.

10. Plant sterols and stanols

These substances, which are structurally similar to cholesterol and occur naturally in plants, can block the absorption of cholesterol in the intestine. They are often found in fortified foods such as margarine and yogurt.

11. Policosanol

Policosanol, which is extracted from sugar cane or beeswax, can help to lower LDL cholesterol levels.

12. Guggul

Guggul is a resin extracted from the myrrh tree mukul and is used in Ayurvedic medicine. It can lower cholesterol levels by influencing fat metabolism in the liver.

13. Saffron

Saffron is known for its antioxidant properties and there is evidence that it can help lower cholesterol and improve heart health.

14. Chromium

Chromium is an essential trace element that can help improve lipid profile by supporting fat metabolism.

15. Flaxseed

Flaxseeds are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and soluble fiber, which can help lower LDL cholesterol.

16. Selenium

This important antioxidant can help reduce oxidative stress in the body associated with elevated cholesterol levels.

17 Vitamin K

Some studies suggest that vitamin K may help to decalcify arteries and improve lipid profile.

18. Ceylon cinnamon

Ceylon cinnamon may help lower total cholesterol and LDL levels.

19. Oats

Oats contain beta-glucan, a soluble fiber that can effectively lower LDL cholesterol in the blood.

20. Fenugreek

Fenugreek seeds contain soluble fiber, which can help lower cholesterol levels.

21. Pumpkin seeds

Pumpkin seeds are a good source of phytosterols, which can help to lower cholesterol levels.

22. Medicinal mushrooms (shiitake, reishi, chaga)

These types of mushrooms are known for their health-promoting properties, including their possible contribution to lowering cholesterol levels.

23. Chili

Capsaicin, the active ingredient in chili peppers, can improve blood lipid levels and thus help to lower cholesterol.

24. Cardamom

Cardamom is another spice that has antioxidant properties and may help to lower cholesterol levels.

25. Jiaogulan herb

As an adaptogenic herb, jiaogulan may help lower cholesterol by regulating metabolism.

26. Ginger

Ginger can have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, which can help lower cholesterol levels.

27. Caraway

Caraway can help to improve the lipid profile and thus have a positive effect on cholesterol levels.

28. Pu-erh tea

This fermented tea has been shown to lower LDL cholesterol.

29. Astragalus

Astragalus root is used in traditional Chinese medicine and can help to lower cholesterol levels.

30. Triphala

Triphala, a traditional Ayurvedic herbal mixture, supports digestion and can indirectly help to regulate cholesterol levels.

31. Quercetin

Quercetin, a flavonoid found in many plants, has antioxidant properties that may help lower LDL cholesterol.

32. Astaxanthin

This powerful antioxidant can reduce oxidative damage and may have benefits in lowering cholesterol levels.

33. Vitamin C

Vitamin C may help prevent the oxidation of LDL cholesterol, which plays an important role in reducing the risk of atherosclerosis.

34. Apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar is known for its many health benefits. Some studies suggest that regular consumption of Apple cider vinegar can help lower cholesterol levels. The acetic acid in Apple cider vinegar can influence cholesterol production in the liver while reducing the absorption of cholesterol from food. Apple cider vinegar also has antioxidant properties that can help reduce oxidized LDL cholesterol.

35. Black seed oil

Black seed oil, which is extracted from the seeds of Nigella sativa, has been used in traditional medicine for centuries and is known for its therapeutic effects. It contains thymoquinone, a component with strong anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. Studies have shown that black seed oil can effectively lower cholesterol levels, especially LDL cholesterol, while increasing HDL cholesterol levels.

Elevated cholesterol levels: integration into everyday life

When using dietary supplements and medicinal plants, it is important to discuss their use with a doctor or qualified health advisor, especially if you are already taking medication to lower your cholesterol levels. Some supplements may interact with medications or be unsuitable for certain health conditions.

The supplements and herbal remedies mentioned above offer a variety of ways to naturally lower cholesterol and support heart health. Careful selection and integration of these products into a healthy lifestyle can help achieve long-term health benefits.

Important facts about cholesterol

Elevated cholesterol levels: Cholesterol is essential for life

Cholesterol is a vital substance found in the cell membrane of every cell and plays a role in the production of vitamin D, various hormones and bile acids needed for fat digestion. Without cholesterol, the body could not fulfill these important functions.

Transport of cholesterol: Lipoproteins

Cholesterol is insoluble in fat and cannot circulate freely in the blood. It must be bound to lipoproteins in order to be transported. The most important lipoproteins are

  • LDL (low density lipoprotein): Often referred to as “bad” cholesterol, as high levels of LDL can build up in the arteries, increasing the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • HDL (High Density Lipoprotein): Referred to as “good” cholesterol because it helps to remove cholesterol from the arteries and return it to the liver where it can be excreted.
  • VLDL (Very Low Density Lipoprotein): Formed in the liver and transports triglycerides. In the bloodstream, VLDL is converted into LDL.
    Measurement of the cholesterol level

Cholesterol levels are measured by means of a blood test. It is possible to measure cholesterol levels yourself with a home test kit, but for a comprehensive analysis a laboratory test should be carried out. The results usually show the total values for cholesterol, HDL, LDL and triglycerides.

Standard values for cholesterol

The standard values for cholesterol can vary, but are generally valid:

  • Total cholesterol: below 200 mg/dL is desirable.
  • LDL cholesterol: below 100 mg/dL is optimal.
  • HDL cholesterol: 60 mg/dL or more is optimal.

The ratio of LDL to HDL plays a decisive role; the lower the ratio of LDL to HDL, the better.

Elevated cholesterol levels: the causes

Elevated cholesterol levels can be caused by various factors:

  • Genetics: familial hypercholesterolemia is a hereditary disease that leads to very high cholesterol levels.
  • Lifestyle: A diet rich in saturated fats and trans fats, lack of exercise and smoking can increase cholesterol levels.
  • Organ diseases: Diseases such as diabetes and hypothyroidism can affect cholesterol levels.
  • Medications: Certain medications such as diuretics and steroids can raise cholesterol levels.
  • Stress: Chronic stress can also lead to an increase in cholesterol levels.
  • Dietary habits: Too many carbohydrates and too much fat are known causes of elevated cholesterol levels.
  • Vitamin C deficiency: there is evidence that a lack of vitamin C can contribute to elevated cholesterol levels.

Oxidized cholesterol: the real danger

Oxidized LDL cholesterol is particularly dangerous because it penetrates the artery walls more easily and promotes inflammation there, which leads to the formation of plaques. Measuring oxidative stress can be an important marker for the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Elevated cholesterol levels: link between cholesterol and atherosclerosis

Although elevated cholesterol levels are associated with an increased risk of atherosclerosis, not all elevated cholesterol levels lead to this disease. Factors such as the total concentration of cholesterol, the ratio of HDL to LDL and individual genetic factors play a role in determining the actual risk.


Elevated cholesterol levels pose a significant health risk, but can often be successfully treated with natural remedies. A heart-healthy diet, regular exercise and the targeted use of dietary supplements and medicinal plants can work together to lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease. When implementing these measures, however, it is important to have staying power and see them as a long-term commitment to your own health.

The evaluation of cholesterol norms should always be done with caution and seen in the context of individual health aspects. Measures to lower cholesterol levels should include a combination of diet, exercise and, if necessary, medical treatment to effectively minimize the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Published on: 28. April 2024


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