Alternative answers to hyperlipidaemia: Part 2

Other complementary medicines that may also assist in lowering cholesterol levels.

Artichoke leaf extract (ALE) is derived from the plant Cynara scolymus. A meta-analysis of three RCTs (262 participants) found that ALE may have the potential to reduce total cholesterol although more trials are warranted.1 The updated version of this Cochrane review noted that “There is an indication that ALE has potential in lowering cholesterol levels, the evidence is, however, as yet not convincing’.2 Side effects were mild and transient. Artichokes contain a compound cynarin, that increases bile production in the liver and speeds the flow of bile from the gallbladder, thus increasing excretion of cholesterol.

Chinese Red Yeast Rice extract (RYRE) derived from the fungus Monascus purpureus is well recognised to reduce cholesterol as it contains a natural source of lovastatin. Like statins, it is