A Cork-based GP has developed a product that aims to lower cholesterol by using natural ingredients.
Clióna Murphy was working in general practice listening to patients who were looking for alternatives to prescription medicines when she heard a recurring question — how can I lower my cholesterol levels.
She began looking into natural ingredients with cholesterol lowering properties that could be combined in supplement form.
The result was a product called Cholesterol-Low, which comes in a strawberry or lemon flavour powder that can be mixed into a drink or added to cereal or yoghurt.
The product uses oat beta glucan and coenzyme Q10 and inulin.
Coenzyme Q10 is a naturally occurring substance in the human body that declines from the age of 20 and which has benefits for blood pressure and energy levels, while inulin is a prebiotic, which has shown promise with improving triglyceride levels in some studies, she says.
“If you bring down your cardiovascular risk factors of which cholesterol is one, you’re reducing your risk of heart attacks stroke,” says the Macroom native.
Taking a supplement like Cholesterol-Low ties in with primary prevention advice, she says.
Ms Murphy worked with the Floating Doctors in Panama, before taking up the BioInnovate programme based at NUI Galway which included a fellowship in the Mayo Clinic in the US.
She explains that some people will be genetically predisposed to having high cholesterol, and others who face lower risks and are otherwise healthy can manage with lifestyle and dietary changes.
Launched late last year, the company sells its product online and through McCauley pharmacies and other chemists in Cork, Galway, and Mayo.
The company is self-funded so far.
Ms Murphy worked with Galway-based digital marketing startup, Grafton Digital, to develop the marketing and in creating videos, including advice on healthy choices which it calls “heart hacks”.
She says it helps that she as a GP is leading the company, stressing that it has been developed by a doctor with the purpose of lowering cholesterol.