The Role of Nutrition and Nutritional Supplements in the Treatment of Dyslipidemia

Mark Houston


Clin Lipidology. 2014;9(3):333-354. 

In This Article

Vitamin C

Vitamin C supplementation lowers serum low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and triglycerides.[172] A meta-analysis of 13 randomized controlled trials in subjects given at least 500 mg of vitamin C daily for 3 to 24 weeks found a reduction in LDL cholesterol of 7.9 mg/dl (p < 0.0001) TG reduction of 20.1 mg/dl (p < 0.003). HDL did not change. The reductions in LDL and TG were greatest in those with the highest initial lipid levels and the lowest serum vitamin C levels.[173]


Lycopene is an acyclic carotenoid with a high concentration in tomatoes. It has been shown in tissue culture to inhibit HMG CoA reductase, induce Rho inactivation, increase PPAR-γ, LXR receptor and RXR activities, increase reverse cholesterol transport and efflux with ABCA1, apo AI expression and caveolin -1 expression, increase HDL 2 and 3, improve HDL functionality, reduce SAA, decrease CETP, increase PON 1 and reduce inflammation in humans..[174–176] This reduces intracellular cholesterol and lowers cholesterol in lipid domains, which alters membrane-induced cellular signal transduction. The two unconjugated double bonds in the lycopene molecule have high activity against ROS. Higher serum lycopene levels are associated with reduction in carotid IMT and carotid atherosclerosis.[177]

Wogonin & Flavonoids

Wogonin is a flavonoid (Scutellaria baicalensis Georgi extract) that enhances reverse cholesterol transport..[178] Wogonin increases the protein expression, level and half-life of the ABCA-1 transporter (ATP binding cassette transporter A-1). This effect is linked to its ability to stimulate PP2B, which is a protein Ser/Thr phosphatase that regulates the stability of ABCA1 protein. In addition, Wogonin inhibits the expression of proatherogenic molecules in endothelial cells and vascular smooth muscle cells. Other flavonoids such as procyanidins, quercetin, catechins, red wine, resveratrol, grape seed extract, tangerine extract and anthocyanins may have similar effects.