Nutraceuticals for Cardiovascular Risk

Nutraceuticals for Lowering LDL-Cholesterol and Cardiovascular Risk: A Review of the Evidence

The global nutraceutical market (functional foods and dietary supplements) is expected to reach $578.23 billion by 2025, and a search for “cholesterol-lowering supplements” on an online shopping site yields over 600 results. Patients are seeking out natural methods of treating hypercholesterolemia, and dietitians must be equipped to support them with evidence-based recommendations. Nutraceuticals have multiple mechanisms to lower LDL-cholesterol when combined with diet and/or medications (statins). They have other positive effects, e.g., reduce artery stiffness, improve artery health & reduce inflammation. They appear to be well-tolerated, safe, and effective for statin-intolerant patients. While not intended to replace pharmacological therapy, nutraceuticals can help achieve treatment targets, particularly in 1) patients with mild to moderate lipid elevations, 2) statin-intolerant patients, and 3) patients on pharmacological treatment but not quite at goal. This session will review the current body of evidence for lowering LDL-cholesterol with nutraceuticals and provide evidence-based recommendations to help patients reduce LDL-cholesterol. We will also identify the role of vitamins and minerals in the prevention of CVD.

Presented on: Wednesday February 23, 2022 at 1 pm CT, 2 pm ET


Geeta SikandGeeta Sikand, MA, RDN, FAND, FNLA, CLS, CDE

Geeta Sikand is Director of Nutrition, Preventive Cardiology Program at the University of California, Irvine and an Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine (Cardiology Division). Geeta is a registered dietitian, Fellow of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (Academy), a clinical lipid specialist and a Fellow of the National Lipid Association (NLA). Ms Sikand serves on the NLA Board of Directors and also Co-chair of the NLA Nutrition Task Force which has developed the NLA Clinical Lifestyle Modification Toolkit Ms Sikand serves as the Academy’ Cardiovascular (CV) Nutrition Content Expert for the CV Health and Well-being dietetic practice group. Ms Sikand is a seminal co-author of the “2015 NLA Nutrition Recommnendations for the Management of Dyslipidemia.” Ms Sikand coauthored the “Academy’s 2011 Evidenced Based Recommendations for Disorders of Lipid Metabolism” and currently serves on the Board of Editors of the Academy’s Nutrition Care Manual. Geeta co-chairs the NLA South Asian Workgroup and is a co-author of the article “NLA 2021 Prevention of Atherosclerotic Cardiovascular Disease in South Asians in the US: A Clinical Perspective from the National Lipid Association.”

Ms Sikand has published her own seminal studies on the beneficial outcomes of medical nutrition therapy for the management of patients with dyslipidemia and cardiometabolic risk factors. She is the lead author of the 2018 Clinical and Cost Benefit of Medical Nutrition Therapy by Registered Dietitian Nutritionists for Management of Dyslipidemia:  A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Journal of Clinical Lipidology (2018).

Ms Sikand has authored many book chapters and peer reviewed articles on cardiovascular nutrition. Ms Sikand is the recipient of multiple awards. Most recently she is the recipient of the NLA’s 2020 President’s Service Award, the Academy’s 2019 Medallion Award, 2019 California Academy’s Outstanding Dietitian of the Year Award and the Academy’s 2018 SCAN DPG Excellence in Cardiovascular Practice Award.

Credits: 1 CEU pending


1. Define “nutraceutical” and identify common nutraceuticals that have purported lipid-lowering benefits
2. Provide evidence-based recommendations for nutraceuticals to help patients reduce LDL-Cholesterol & CVD risk
3. Identify role of vitamins and minerals in the prevention of CVD

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