Recently, the American Academy of Pediatrics published guidelines for screening children for high cholesterol blood levels.

Now, researchers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, Georgia have estimated the number that might need treatment.

First, the details.

  • Data from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey 1999 to 2006 for participants 6 to 17 years of age were reviewed.

And, the results.

  • A little less than 1% of adolescents 12 to 17 years of age were potentially eligible for pharmacological treatment for elevated blood levels of LDL (bad) cholesterol.

The bottom line?
How many of those 1% might avoid drug treatment if complementary options were tried first?

Here’s a summary of CAM options to lower LDL cholesterol.


  • The LDL cholesterol was lowered 0.34 mmol/L (13 mg/dL) using an average daily dose of 2.15 grams of phytosterols.
  • Examples of phytosterol-containing foods are here.


  • LDL cholesterol decreased from 3.2 to 2.6 mmol/L (123 to 100 mg/dL).


  • Eating strawberries resulted in a significantly greater reduction in oxidative damage due to LDL cholesterol.

Omega-3 enriched eggs

  • LDL cholesterol declined from 3.92 to 3.85 mmol/L (153 to 150 mg/dL).


  • Controversial, but to lower cholesterol, 600 to 1200 mg of garlic powder daily in divided doses, or up to 4 g of raw garlic daily has been recommended.

Mediterranean diet

  • In contrast to using drugs (including cholesterol lowering), the Mediterranean diet has a striking effect on survival.

2/18/09 10:17 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.