Hypercholesterolemia, a risk factor for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases, is a silent health problem. It occurs due to buildup of large amount of cholesterol in blood vessels resulting in narrowed blood vessels or blockage of the flow of blood and causes cellular dysfunction. The predisposing factors for hypercholesterolemia are carbohydrates‐enriched diet, unhealthy fats, and red meat. Moreover, family history, obesity, hypokinetic lifestyle, aging, and oxidative stress are associated with hypercholesterolemia. Therapeutic interventions of hypercholesterolemia involve cessation of bad habits, regular exercise, consumption of cholesterol buster diets, and cholesterol‐lowering drugs. However, cholesterol‐lowering drugs have low efficacy, and some patients cannot tolerate the adverse effects of hypocholesterolemic drugs. In light of this, there has been great interest to address natural cholesterol busters as first choice as cholesterol‐lowering option. Healthy diet, regular exercise and natural cholesterol‐lowering agents are documented to decrease blood cholesterol level. Natural cholesterol busters include dietary fibers, plant sterols, healthy fats, smart proteins, antinutrients, antioxidants, and L‐arginine. These busters not only decrease cholesterol oxidation and absorption but also increase cholesterol catabolism and elimination. Most of these busters are found in cereals, oatmeal, fruits, vegetables, legumes, and fermented foods. The natural cholesterol busters are recommended strategies for treatment of hypercholesterolemia alone or in combination with cholesterol‐lowering drugs.
Part of the book: Cholesterol Lowering Therapies and Drugs