The role of nutrition and nutritional supplements in the treatment of dyslipidemia

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Abstract

The combination of a lipid-lowering diet and scientifically proven nutraceutical supplements have the ability to significantly reduce LDL cholesterol, decrease LDL particle number, increase LDL particle size, lower triglycerides and VLDL, increase total and type 2 b HDL and improve HDL functionality. However, even the best of diets and proper nutrition may not be enough to obtain the desired lipid levels, thus a combination of nutrition and nutritional supplements are useful and effective in reaching serum lipid goals. In addition, inflammation, oxidative stress and vascular immune responses are decreased. In several prospective clinical trials, coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease have been reduced with optimal nutrition and/or administration of several nutraceutical supplements, including omega 3 fatty acids, red yeast rice, α-linolenic acid and niacin. A combined program of nutrition and nutraceutical supplements represents a scientifically valid alternative for patients who are statin intolerant, cannot take other drugs for the treatment of dyslipidemia or in those who prefer alternative therapies. This new approach to decrease dyslipidemic-induced vascular disease recognizes and treats the multiple steps that are involved in the development of atherosclerosis. The purpose of this review is to establish the scientific validity, efficacy and safety of combined nutrition and nutraceutical supplements for treating dyslipidemia without drugs for those patients intolerant of pharmacologic therapies or those who have preference for nondrug treatments. This extensive review was done through analysis of all published articles in English on the topic of nutrition and nutraceutical supplements for the treatment of dyslipidemia that were available through the NIH and National Library of Congress publications (PubMed).

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