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B vitamins are often referred to as the “energy vitamins” because they help your body’s natural process of obtaining energy from the food you eat. When consumed, they literally provide your body with a “boost” of energy. But, B vitamins can also lower cholesterol naturally – lowering LDL (“bad”) cholesterol levels and raising HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels. With that in mind, many physicians now encourage their patients to take B vitamins to lower cholesterol.
Pantethine, the activated form of vitamin B5 or pantothenic acid, has been shown by a Princeton clinical research team to lower both total cholesterol levels and LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. Pantethine has the advantage of being an effective treatment for high cholesterol while avoiding the undesirable side effects of synthetic lipid-lowering drugs (i.e. Lipitor, Zocor, Crestor, etc). Pantethine can lower the incidence of heart attack and stroke by reducing platelet stickiness and clumping. Furthermore, it offers protection against the damaging effects of environmental pathogens such as cigarette smoke.
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Niacin, or Vitamin B3, actually works by raising your HDL (“good”) cholesterol levels. According to the Mayo Clinic, “Taking niacin — either by itself or along with other cholesterol-lowering medication — may help control your total cholesterol level.” Niacin works in the liver by affecting the production of blood fats. It is so well researched and the evidence for using it to decrease high cholesterol is so strong that it is recommended by the National Cholesterol Education Program. Several well-designed double-blind, placebo controlled studies have found that niacin can reduce LDL (“bad”) cholesterol by approximately 10% and triglycerides by 25% while raising HDL (“good”) cholesterol by 20% to 30%.
Another important vitamin for cholesterol reduction is B12. Not only has research shown that taking vitamin B12 daily can reduce cholesterol levels, but it can also provide additional cardiovascular health benefits, such as reducing the risk of developing atherosclerosis (hardening and narrowing of the arteries). Moreover, this important nutrient can help fight chronic fatigue and aids in the maintenance of the central nervous system. However, it is important to note that vitamin B12 is better absorbed by the body when it is taken along with other B vitamins, such as the aforementioned vitamin B3 (niacin).
Getting Your B Vitamins – Through Food or Through Supplements?
So if the bottom line message here is that these B vitamins for cholesterol can help regulate healthy cholesterol levels, how can you be sure you’re getting enough? Check your diet first – food is always the best way to get your nutrients. But if you are trying to lower cholesterol naturally and achieve therapeutic levels of these nutrients, you may need to add B vitamin supplements to your daily routine.
What is your experience with using supplements for high cholesterol? What do you think are the best vitamins for high cholesterol? To learn more information about lowering cholesterol naturally and lowering triglycerides naturally including more detail on the important B vitamins and other supplements, click here:
- Top 3 Nutrients to Reduce Triglycerides Naturally
- How to Lower LDL Naturally? One of the Multiple Turmeric Benefits!
 Nutrition Research. 2011 Aug;31(8):608-15.
 Illingworth DR, et al. Comparative effects of lovastatin and niacin in primary hypercholesterolemia. A prospective trial. Arch Intern Med. 1994;154:1586-1595.
 Seminars in Thrombosis and Hemostasis. 2000;26(3):341-8.
This blog was originally posted in 2012 and has been updated.