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Total Cholesterol

Total Cholesterol is a phrase used to refer to all circulating cholesterol molecules, and is totalled by adding LDL-C, HDL-C and vLDL-C together. It is distinct from Triglycerides.

Research analysis lead by Kamal Patel
All content reviewed by Examine.com Team. Published:
Last Updated:

Human Effect Matrix

The Human Effect Matrix looks at human studies (it excludes animal and in vitro studies) to tell you what supplements affect total cholesterol
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.
Outcome 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.
grade-a Garlic Notable Very High See all 17 studies
Garlic supplementation or the raw garlic bulb appears to reduce cholesterol (total cholesterol, mostly due to LDL reductions) reliably and in the range of 10-15%
grade-a Policosanol Minor Moderate See all 12 studies
There may be some limited efficacy of policosanol on cholesterol (when excluding the studies from cuba, which are highly suspicious, there is still some scattered but unreliable evidence) whereas it does not appear to be potent in any way.
grade-a Chromium - Very High See all 18 studies
Similar to its actions on LDL and HDL individually, chromium does not appear to have a significant role in improving total cholesterol levels in type II diabetic subjects.
grade-a Cocoa Extract  
grade-a Fish Oil  
grade-a Red Clover Extract  
grade-b Berberine  
grade-b Grape Seed Extract  
grade-b Nigella sativa  
grade-b Olive leaf extract  
grade-b Psyllium  
grade-b Royal Jelly  
grade-b Spirulina  
grade-b Trimethylglycine  
grade-b Astaxanthin  
grade-b Creatine  
grade-b Curcumin  
grade-b Hesperidin  
grade-b L-Carnitine  
grade-b Lactobacillus reuteri  
grade-b Vitamin C  
grade-b Vitamin E  
grade-c Ashwagandha  
grade-c Soy lecithin  
grade-c Artichoke Extract  
grade-c Cissus quadrangularis  
grade-c Citrullus colocynthis  
grade-c Dehydroepiandrosterone  
grade-c Ecklonia cava  
grade-c Ginger  
grade-c Grapefruit  
grade-c Green Tea Catechins  
grade-c Guggul  
grade-c HMB  
grade-c Inositol  
grade-c Irvingia gabonensis  
grade-c Krill Oil  
grade-c Microlactin  
grade-c Panax ginseng  
grade-c Pterostilbene  
grade-c Pyruvate  
grade-c Rooibos  
grade-c Rose Hip  
grade-c Tetradecyl Thioacetic Acid  
grade-c Vitamin B3 (Niacin)  
grade-c Zinc  
grade-c Anethum graveolens  
grade-c Benfotiamine  
grade-c Biotin  
grade-c Blueberry  
grade-c Citrulline  
grade-c Coenzyme Q10  
grade-c Conjugated Linoleic Acid  
grade-c ECA  
grade-c Ecdysteroids  
grade-c Eleutherococcus senticosus  
grade-c Gamma Oryzanol  
grade-c Ganoderma lucidum  
grade-c Garcinia cambogia  
grade-c Green Coffee Extract  
grade-c Hibiscus sabdariffa  
grade-c Japanese Knotweed  
grade-c Lactobacillus casei  
grade-c Licorice  
grade-c Magnesium  
grade-c Melatonin  
grade-c Nattokinase  
grade-c Phosphatidylcholine  
grade-c Phosphatidylserine  
grade-c Punicic Acid  
grade-c Resveratrol  
grade-c Salvia hispanica  
grade-c Sea Buckthorn  
grade-c Stevia  
grade-c Theaflavins  
grade-c Tribulus terrestris  
grade-c Vanadium  
grade-c Vitamin K  
grade-c Whey Protein  
grade-c Yacon  
grade-d Aronia melanocarpa  
grade-d Coffee  
grade-d Colostrum  
grade-d Eclipta alba  
grade-d Emblica officinalis  
grade-d Medium-chain triglycerides  
grade-d Pycnogenol  
grade-d Quercetin  
grade-d Ruscus aculeatus  
grade-d Tauroursodeoxycholic Acid  
grade-d Yerba mate  
grade-d Perilla Oil  
grade-d Pueraria lobata  
grade-d Rubus coreanus  
grade-d Vitamin B1  

All comparative evidence is now gathered in our ​A-to-Z Supplement Reference.

The evidence for each separate supplement is still freely available ​here.