You've probably heard that the herb goldenseal is great for fighting infections and boosting your immune system. And it's one of my all-time favorites for gastrointestinal problems. But now there's evidence that it can lower your cholesterol as well.

A recent study showed that a compound in goldenseal called berberine can lower your cholesterol by up to 25%. But this story gets even better. The study also showed that berberine can actually raise stubborn HDL levels.

The researchers evaluated 40 subjects who had moderate dyslipidemia (i.e., their HDL levels were too low and their LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels were too high). The researchers divided the subjects into two groups. One group took berberine alone. The second group took berberine along with policosanol, red yeast rice extract, folic acid, and astaxanthin (a powerful natural antioxidant).

After four weeks, the patients who took berberine by itself showed a 16% reduction in total cholesterol. Their LDL levels went down 20%. ApoB (a risk factor for heart disease) went down 15%. It lowered their triglycerides 22%. And it also increased their beneficial HDL cholesterol by a remarkable 6.6%.

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But when combined with the other nutrients, berberine did even better. The total cholesterol of those in the second group dropped by 20%. Their LDL went down by 25%. Their ApoB was down 20% and triglycerides by 26%. Their HDL rose 5.1%. While this isn't as high as the first group, it's still significant.

If you compare these results to statins, you'll see that berberine can help you reduce your risk of heart disease just as well. And without any side effects!

If you'd like to try this natural remedy to lower your cholesterol, I recommend you take an actual berberine supplement instead of goldenseal. You'll find it more effective. Take 500 mg twice daily. You can find berberine online or in health food stores.

Ref: Arzneimittelforschung, 2007; 57(1): 26-30; Cardiovasc Drug Rev. 2001 Fall;19(3):234-44.
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