Many people are currently on cholesterol-lowering medications, such as Lipitor, Vytorin, Zetia, and Crestor. There are many side effects to these medications including muscle pain, elevated liver enzymes, and digestive complaints. Often, high cholesterol can be treated effectively through diet modification and lifestyle adjustments.
A study in the Journal of the American Medical Association suggests that sugar intake is associated with raised lipid levels, (specifically for women in this study). Sugars increases the amount of inflammation in the body, and according to Chinese Medical theory, increase the amount of "dampness" (or cholesterol) in the body. Examples of other foods that promote dampness include dairy products and fried foods.
Many supplements are available that may have cholesterol-lowering properties. Because supplements are not approved by the FDA for treating or preventing high cholesterol, I can't specifically tout their cholesterol-lowering virtues here. There are Chinese herbs that can help reduce dampness in the body (see this study). It is best to consult a health care professional or herbalist before taking any supplements, and also to consult your doctor before discontinuing any medication.
With a combination of Chinese Medicine and lifestyle adjustments, people with high cholesterol levels can see great results.
Cheryl House, L. Ac., DACM, FABORM