When you think of OTC medicine, lowering your cholesterol may not be the first thing to come to your mind. Many believe OTC medicine is for simple problems like minor pains, aches, or coughs and colds. But OTC medicines can also be effective in improving cholesterol.
Reasons behind high cholesterol
High cholesterol may result from several factors, some of which may change and others cannot. The common risk factors include:
- Heavy body weight
- Age (cholesterol can be higher as you get older)
- High-fat diet
- Lack of exercise
- Specific medical conditions like hypothyroidism and diabetes
Best OTC Cholesterol Medicine
OTC medicine may be an excellent place to start for people with mildly high cholesterol. However, they will work best if you change what you drink and eat, add exercise and avoid smoking.
Here are a few OTC medications that may help you in improving your cholesterol levels:
Red yeast rice
It is a traditional Chinese medicine that helps to lower cholesterol.
Niacin, known as vitamin B3, improves cholesterol. It lowers LDL and increases HDL.
Fish oil (omega-3 fatty acids)
It helps to reduce triglycerides. The triglyceride levels are high rather than moderately rising.
Best OTC Cholesterol Supplements
There are a few OTC supplements that may be helpful in the improvement of cholesterol. These are the plant-based supplements that are not available as prediction medicine. Though you may find them as supplements, they also come with common dietary sources.
People often use supplements in addition to prescription medicine and OTC to reduce cholesterol levels. But it would help if you check with the provider before adding supplements to your daily routine. Sometimes interactions may occur due to existing health conditions or other medicines.
A few common cholesterol-lowering supplements and dietary changes include the following:
- Plant sterols
Can Garlique lower cholesterol?
Most people use garlic supplements to improve cholesterol. But do supplements like Garlique lower cholesterol? So far, the evidence is mixed. They may work better for people who have high cholesterol levels. But even then, the effects would be modest.
Researchers also studied the different garlic forms. It includes garlic powder, raw cloves, and extracts in supplements. They have yet to figure out which form or dose of garlic offers the best benefits. However, the supplements offer a high amount of active garlic compound.
Let your healthcare provider know if you are thinking about garlic supplements. The reason could be that the garlic supplements may interact with the specific prescription medicine. The same is right for eating garlic in your diet.
You need to be careful if you take any of the following medicines:
- NSAIDs (like aspirin and ibuprofen)
- Anticoagulants (medications for blood thinning)
- Protease inhibitors (medications to treat HIV/AIDS)
- Blood sugar lowering medicine (for diabetes treatment)
What can you do to get cholesterol under control?
Whether taking OTC prescriptions or treatment medicine, it is essential to make a healthy lifestyle change to improve cholesterol. If cholesterol is not very high, these changes may be enough to improve the cholesterol without any medicine.
To get you started, here are a few lifestyle changes to lower cholesterol:
- Maintain healthy body weight
- Get regular exercise (2-3 hours per week of moderate-intensity activity)
- Eat a healthy diet (Mediterranean or plant-based diet)
- Avoid alcohol (only 1 to 2 drinks each day)
- Quit smoking
- Manage any medical condition like diabetes and thyroid
High cholesterol is one of the silent health conditions with serious consequences. However, managing high cholesterol doesn’t always mean you need prescription medicines. Sometimes lifestyle change and OTC treatment may do the trick.
If you have high cholesterol or other risk factors for heart disease, your provider may suggest other treatments. If you are concerned about cholesterol, contact your healthcare provider for screening. You can also download WiseRx discount card to download best pharmacy discount card.