DEAR DOCTOR K: My cholesterol is high and my doctor wants me to go on a statin. I'd like to avoid medication. Do any supplements effectively lower cholesterol?
DEAR READER: Statin drugs lower LDL (or "bad") cholesterol and also reduce inflammation. Together, these effects lower your risk of heart attack. Various herbs and supplements have been touted for their ability to improve cholesterol levels. There is one general caveat you should consider. New drugs are tested by the FDA for their safety, effectiveness and purity.