10 CHOLESTEROL (Coumadin), researchers from the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center at the University of California, Los Angeles David Geffen School of Medicine found that no such interaction occurred in those taking AGE. Their clinical trial of 48 patients taking warfarin found that AGE posed no threat of increased bleeding or blood clots breaking loose. However, it’s always wise to let your physician know of all dietary supplements you are taking, especially if you are scheduled for surgery. My research is demonstrating that when AGE is combined with other heart-healthy ingredients such as fish oils, vitamin E, B vitamins, and others, it can be even more effective. An important combination is AGE and CoQ10. Coenzyme Q10 Cholesterol-lowering statin drugs can cause a deficiency of CoQ10. This coenzyme supports energy production on a cellular level. CoQ10 is responsible for transporting an electrical charge across cell membranes. Without this charge, our heart stops pumping. During a 2012 study, my colleagues and I also found that combining CoQ10 with AGE resulted in a 3.99 reduction in the progression of coronary artery calcification as well as a 7.67 fold reduction in C-reactive protein (CRP). CRP is an indication of inflammation that, along with oxidized LDL, can contribute to atherosclerosis. Plant Sterols One of the reasons doctors recommend that their patients with high cholesterol increase their consumption of vegetables is because plants contain important compounds called sterols. Plant sterols have been proven to help reduce harmful LDL cholesterol levels. Based on a variety of successful clinical studies, the FDA has approved the cholesterol-lowering health claim for plant sterols. In 2007, researchers at East Tennessee State University confirmed the effectiveness of plant sterols. Their study featured 16 participants who took a plant sterol capsule for four weeks. LDL levels were significantly decreased while HDL levels were increased. These researchers also confirmed the optimum dosage of 1.3 grams per day. Plant sterols should be taken with meals as a part of a healthy diet low in saturated fat and sugar. According to a report in the Journal of The American College of Nutrition, South African researchers studied six different published clinical trials and found that plant sterols reduced total cholesterol in people with a family history of high cholesterol. The researchers concluded that plant sterols offer an effective cholesterol-lowering strategy in this high-risk group. Plant sterols are very safe. However, if you are pregnant or nursing, do not use this supplement without first consulting with your physician. Some studies have demonstrated that individuals taking statin drugs may have an even greater reduction of LDL cholesterol levels when they add plant sterols. Consistently, the studies have shown that plant sterols can reduce LDL cholesterol by 6 to 15 percent.