Drugs vs. Supplements

Average cholestrol reduction (percent) Average LDL reduction (percent) Average HDL increase (percent) Average triglyceride reduction (percent) Best for Potential side effects
Bile acid sequestrants Up to 15 15-30 5 Variable;may raise level Lowering LDL Gastrointestinal complaints
Fibrates Up to 20 variable to 15-20 decrease 5-20 20-50 Lowering triglycerides and raising HDL Gastrointestinal complaints,increased risk of gallstones
Nicotinic acid Up to 20 20-30 15-35 20-50 All lipid abnormalities Flushing, liver damage (in sustained-release form), gout, gastrointestinal complaints
Statins Up to 40 20-60 5-15 10-40 Lowering LDL;Zocor (sim-vastatin) is also approved for raising HDL Liver damage,muscle weakness loss of libibo
Chromium Not significant Not significant Not significant 17 Lowering trgiyoerides None
Fish oil 12 17 Not significant 36 Preventing LDL oxidation and improving heart function Has blood-thinning properties; use with care if you'retaking other blood-thinners
Gulgulipid 25 17 Not significant 18 Lowering LDL and triglycerides Gastrointestinal upsel, nausea,headache, diarrhea
Pantethine 13.5 13.5 10 13-30 Lowering LDL and tnglycerides and raising HDL None
Psyllium 7 7 Not significant Not significant Lowering LDL Bloating, gas,and abdominal diseamfort
Red yeast rice extract 16-20 21-25 Lass than 25 6-15 Lowering LDL and triglycerides Gastrointestinal discomfort, rash, headache

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