Cholesterol, Statins and The Numbers Game
Statins – can’t live with ‘em but can you live without ‘em? I would say “definitely"!
If the numbers are your challenge, there are natural health promoting ways to change them, dramatically and quickly, without all of the risks, dangers and side effects associated with statin drugs. (Statins may not be considered health promoting as they “cost the body in so many ways.") The best thing about this level of support, is that you are working with the cardiovascular system to help it work better, longer. Isn't that what it is all about, anyway?
If it is risk reduction that keeps hanging on to those statins . . . did you know that they had to research and re-design the research over and over again for years, in order to get a study to confirm that statin drugs had any value at all at reducing the risk of a heart attack or heart disease? For a long time the studies came back “not shown to reduce risk of a heart attack or heart disease.” You might remember that from the older commercials on tv, for statin drugs.
Finally, they got a study to come back showing risk reduction and then . . . they don’t really tell you “by how much,” do they? It is a shockingly small amount.
On the other hand, something as simple as a non-toxic, stable (not rancid) fish oil, which contains 1,000 mg. total of EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids, once loaded for 3 months, can reduce risk for an event by 90%! And fish oil has stacks of research documenting its health promoting effects for every cell in the body. All upside on this one!
I use more fish oil in my practice than any other single supplement, and yet – I spent 2 years researching my options until I could deliver the highest quality product to my patients. It had to be stable (not rancid – tested not only for peroxides, but also anisidines) and it had to be non-toxic: meaning tested for 200+ known chemical toxins that can make their way into fish just as a result of their life in the ocean. (Namely, DDT and mercury, among many others). Therefore I use non-toxic, stable fish oil.
From a numbers perspective, we have had access to a couple of very promising natural substances over the years and here are the pros and cons thereto:
1. Niacin – regular niacin is effective at changing the numbers quickly, but it severe flushing for some people, preventing them from using it. “Flush free niacin, or inositol hexaniacinate, should/would/could work – but it really doesn’t seem to. The answer? Sustained-released regular niacin: avoids the flushing, and actually elongates the time this B Vitamin is available in the body, increasing its value. Therefore I use sustained-released regular niacin.
2. Red Yeast Rice – works wonders and fast, but it has a reputation for being toxic. Why? Not because it works, similar to the mode of action of a statin (in a very small way), but because during the fermentation process in the production of this powerful raw material, a toxic substance called “citrinin” is produced. Studies have shown that many of the Red Yeast Rice products on the market contain this toxic by-product and it is accepted in the industry as a necessary part of using this otherwise important material. I never thought so. I refused to use or recommend it until I could source a Red Yeast Rice that was non-toxic and citrinin-free.
3. CoQ10 - Finally, in order to support cardiovascular health, optimize the production of cellular energy and oxygen (both critical for heart health – and “two sides of the same coin,” so to speak) the use of a good CoQ10 would be prudent. CoQ10 is a tricky supplement. The vast majority of CoQ10 sold on the market today is very poorly absorbed, so care must be taken to make certain that if you buy it and take it, you are actually getting it! Therefore I use highly absorbable CoQ10 and I put these supplements in packs to make it really easy for anyone to take one or two packets a day and not have to think about or open different bottles every day.
Over the years, my patients (often women) will ask me “do you have anything for my son/husband/father for his cholesterol?” The answer, now, is “yes!” I made the packets just for them. Of course my patients love it too. It is simple, because it is one small pack with breakfast and the same with dinner. Not several bottles to open every day. The small packets travel well in a pocket, or a suitcase, so it is easy to stay on track. And of course, it works! A retest in 3-6 months will reveal dramatic changes that anyone can appreciate. Its components offer so many health-promoting risk-reducing effects that a statin simply can’t offer. So if your risk and your numbers are of concern – this is your best solution.
The packets contain:
1. Non-toxic Red Yeast Rice
2. Sustained-release regular Niacin
3. Non-toxic, stable Fish Oil
4. Absorbable Co Q 10