Statins hold two positions in the top 10 most commonly prescribed drugs in America (and one of them is #2). Nevertheless, evidence shows that statins do little to decrease all-cause mortality, and carry significant risks.

That said, there certainly is a correlation with cardiovascular events and 1) LDL over 190, 2) oxidized LDL, and 3) elevated Lp(a).

I wrote here and here on approaches for lowering Lp(a). Diet aside, one great natural approach to lowering cholesterol is berberine. But not everybody can tolerate berberine, as it can be hard on the gut for some. Blueberry extract may be another viable option.

Blueberries Lower Cholesterol: One Impressive Study

This study, while done in rats and not humans, showed that the animals who received the highest dose of blueberry extract achieve cholesterol improvements comparable to the animals given statins, after just 14 days.

The compound responsible for this is called pterostilbene, and it can be found in neutriceutical form. You can also get it from eating blueberries, but the content in berries ranges from 99 ng to 520 ng/gram, whereas the neutriceutical dose is about 50 mg per capsule in most cases. (For context, there are 1 million nanograms per milligram.)

The same study also found that the rats given the blueberry extract sustained less oxidative damage (contributing to lower oxidized LDL), and a decrease in actual cardiovascular plaques.

Blueberries Lower Oxidized LDL

This (human) study also shows that freeze-dried and fresh blueberries (not even the extract!) lowered oxidized LDL by 28%.

And this study likewise shows that incorporating blueberries into a high glycemic meal decreases oxidation that might otherwise occur after the meal.

The Upshot

If you have a family history of high cholesterol or cardiovascular disease, definitely add more blueberries to your diet — no down side to that! If you have high LDL (>190) or oxidized LDL (oxLDL or high apolipoprotein B), you might also consider trying pterostilbene as a supplement.

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