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Lower Cholesterol Naturally – Alternatives to Statin Drugs
Great topic. I could write a book about this, but the best not yet! Two more years of medical school and by then I’ll be even more knowledgeable about how to lower cholesterol naturally.
First: What is cholesterol?
According to Stedman’s Medical Dictionary, cholesterol is “the most abundant steroid in animal tissues, especially gallstones and gallstones, and present in food, especially rich in animal fats, circulates in the plasma complexed in proteins of various densities and plays an important role in the pathogenesis of atheroma formation in arteries.”
What is the pathogenesis of atheroma? It is the initial stage of atherosclerosis which is the build up of lipids [cholesterol] plaques within the structure of the arteries. These plaques narrow the blood vessel wall, restricting blood flow. The restriction of blood flow causes turbulence which causes further plaque deposition. The slowed blood speed through the arteries also helps more plaque build up.
Ways to lower cholesterol naturally:
- Exercise: the hell How many times do you have to hear it – everyone says it. Because it works better than any drug out there. Why does it work? Simple biochemistry and physiology. Exercise requires energy. Energy comes from sugars, fats and proteins. When sugars and proteins are burned, fats must be converted into usable forms of energy. The liver grows by creating good cholesterol, HDL. HDL goes around and collects the bad cholesterol, LDL. It converts this into usable energy. So by exercising, your energy requirements increase thereby lowering cholesterol naturally. Exercise 30 minutes a day as often as you can a week. Try one day a week and grow. You will become addicted to it. Better than statins.
- Eat soluble fiber: Where can you find it? In beans and grains. Fruits and vegetables contain insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber actually binds to cholesterol, flushing it out of your body. Insoluble fiber adds bulk to your stool making you regular – which is also extremely important.
- Limit foods with animal fat: damn it again Even Stedman’s Medical Dictionary said that cholesterol is the most abundant steroid in it beast tissue. They did not dry plant tissue. I’m not saying avoid it completely. Just keep an eye on it – don’t tear into the bottomless roast beef sandwiches with mayo and four types of cheese.
- Inositol: This is time-released niacin in non-redundant form. Niacin is a major player in cellular metabolism. If one is low in niacin, then the energy reactions do not go forward. If they do not go forward, lipids accumulate which are directly related to high cholesterol levels. A study on time-release niacin shows its effectiveness. The study I found used pharmaceutical time-release niacin, but I believe these two are very similar – with the natural form being superior. The conclusion of the study: “The results show that niacin ER [extended release] produces a beneficial effect on lipoprotein subclasses, particularly by lowering the more atherogenic small, dense LDL particles and increasing the cardioprotective large HDL particles.” Remember what I said about bad LDL and good HDL? Inositol sounds pretty good now doesn’t it?
- Red Yeast Rice: This is what pharmaceutical companies make some statin drugs from – directly! So why not take it in its natural state? It works quite well. It works by limiting the cholesterol reaction from going forward. This means that the production of cholesterol is slowed down, lowering cholesterol naturally. I found a great research article on PubMed about red yeast rice. The research was done by the Center for Human Nutrition and is not biased by a natural supplement company. Here’s another study on the cholesterol-lowering effects of a Chinese red yeast rice-rice supplement.
- Policosanol: This is sugar wax. Sound safe? It is. It does not turn off the cholesterol-forming reaction as strongly as statin drugs. Our body needs a certain amount of cholesterol formed. Without it, the many hormones would not be produced and we would be dead. Thus, it is better to limit production moderately than to limit it severely. Policosanol has also been shown to increase HDL levels. Do statin drugs do this? No. There is a good study on Policosanol that I found on PubMed. You will notice that it is not a study done by a natural supplement company or with biased interests. The title of the study is: Comparison of efficacy and tolerability of policosanol with atorvastatin in elderly patients with type II hypercholesterolemia.
Bio-Lipotrol has been shown to naturally lower cholesterol [http://www.healthegoods.com/product/bio-lipotrol-biogenesis-biolipotrol/natural-health-supplements]. Bio Lipotrol has red yeast rice extract, inositol, policosanol and Guggal Gum extract. I have seen doctor after doctor who have used Bio Lipotrol and results are seen within weeks. Now this does not mean that you can sit on the couch eating hamburgers and pizza while drinking Bio Lipotrol capsules. I’ve already said that exercise is the best medicine – along with limiting animal fats and increasing soluble fiber. I didn’t know about Bio Lipotrol until a classmate kept buying it. I found him in the hall one day and asked him what it was. She told me that it is working very well on her grandmother’s high cholesterol levels. Then I got more interested. The perks of being in med school – you find out what works and what doesn’t.
What are the risks of Statin drugs?
I don’t know all the risks, but I do know one that is not often treated. Statin drugs give the false impression that the person taking them does not need to be proactive in lowering cholesterol. If a drug is lowering cholesterol without doing anything, why not eat fatty foods? I’ll tell you why. Statin drugs limit the production of cholesterol. They do not limit cholesterol intake. You do.
Also – statin drugs seriously limit the production of Coenzyme Q10. This is a major source of energy for the human heart and electron transport chain. So if you are taking statin drugs, take CoQ10. I believe that statin drugs also limit the conversion of active vitamin D. I have to check that, but it makes sense if I follow the reactions from HMG-CoA, which is the rate-limiting step in cholesterol synthesis.
If you want to lower your cholesterol naturally, these steps will surely help you. I recommend having a sit down conversation with your doctor. Most docs will listen to you and be supportive and knowledgeable about this arena. If not, find a licensed and qualified naturopath who will listen.
This information does not tell you to stop taking your statin drugs. It’s just information. Do not stop taking statins without consulting your doctor. Only then, under their guidance, stop the medication if you apply other means.
If you’re not taking statin drugs and can’t afford to see a doctor, these steps can help you lower your cholesterol naturally. But since I’m not a doctor yet, I’m not prescribing any of this information to you. It is in your hand.
I hope you are still awake. This is a ton of information. I know I’m deleted. I need to get off this computer now.
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