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LDL-C

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL) carries cholesterol and fatty acids from the liver to the rest of the body. It is often called “the bad cholesterol” (as opposed to HDL), but that view is simplistic.

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Summary of LDL-C

Low Density Lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is the amount of cholesterol within LDL particles (proteins that carry hydrophobic molecules through extracellular fluid). It is seen as the 'bad' cholesterol, as it's a risk factor for atherosclerosis, and much of atherosclerotic plaque is made up of LDL, though it's unclear if higher LDL-C is always worse. LDL serves to bring fatty acids and cholesterol from the liver and circulate them to tissues, oxidized LDL (oxLDL) in particular seems to contribute to heart disease.


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Human Effect Matrix

Unlocked for Examine members

The Human Effect Matrix looks at human studies to tell you what supplements affect LDL-C.

Full details on all LDL-C supplements are available to Examine members.
Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Supplement Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
Notes
grade-a Notable Very High See all 14 studies
There appears to be a reliable and significant reduction in circulating LDL cholesterol in hypercholesterolemic persons with garlic supplementation, and the magnitude of this change tends to be in the range of 10-20% (more potency in those with worse profiles at baseline)
grade-a Minor Very High See all 15 studies
Cocoa products appear to be able to reduce LDL cholesterol due to their flavonoid component, with the reduction in LDL-C being mild.
grade-a
Minor
- See all 30 studies
A decrease has been noted in persons without high cholesterol in the first place, and the decreasing effect of statins appears to be augmented with fish oil. However, in persons at higher risk for cardiovascular disease due to high triglycerides and cholesterol (who more frequently use fish oil as therapy) it is possible LDL-C may actually be increased. The magnitude tends to be in the 5-10% range.

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Things to Note

Also Known As

LDL-cholesterol