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How does soluble fiber help lower cholesterol?

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

Soluble fiber found in foods such as oatmeal, apples, pears, citrus, beans, peas, carrots, quinoa and barley wicks bad cholesterol away from your arteries. Aim for two servings per day. Be sure to increase your fiber intake gradually to avoid gas, and drink with plenty of water since fiber can’t do its job in a dehydrated system.

This content originally appeared on doctoroz.com.

Dr. Ozgen Dogan
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)

If you're aiming to increase your fiber intake to reduce LDL levels, make sure you're getting enough soluble fiber, either through foods or supplements.

Fiber interferes with bile acid in the intestines and causes it to be eliminated as waste. Bile acid is made from cholesterol. To make up for this loss of bile, bad low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol is pulled from the blood to make new bile acid. This causes cholesterol levels in the blood to go down.

Research shows that for every 1 to 2 grams (g) of soluble fiber per day, low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or bad cholesterol is lowered by 1 percent. That means if you consume approximately 25 g of soluble fiber a day, your LDL decreases by 20 percent.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.