Statins... Cholesterol Lowering Drugs! Is there really a viable alternative?
There is often a great deal of interest and shock at the extent statin cholesterol lowering drugs deplete the body's reserves of CoQ10 and inhibit the body's ability to produce more.
The net result of this is that those people who are on statin drugs and who don't take CoQ10 are actually INCREASING their risk of a cardiac event, not lowering it as they thought! This is not widely known, even amongst physicians. So, if you are on a statin drug PLEASE go and buy yourself a CoQ10 supplement. We have CoQ10 in our Total Balance products and specifically in the Ubiquinol form in our Omega 3 QH Ultra.
If you would like to know more about the impact of statins on CoQ10 you can read it here. You will find it fascinating reading.
OK... so you have high cholesterol, and you are on a statin drug, or, your Doctor wants you to prescribe you one! What then are your options? Are there any natural alternatives that don't carry the risks that statin drugs do, and are they really viable? In order to make an informed judgment it is important that you understand the different ways that your cholesterol can be lowered. By understanding this you can better judge the likely efficacy of a natural alternative.
Target cholesterol levels naturally
To maximize your chances of normalizing your cholesterol levels naturally you need to take a multi-pronged approach. In fact, you need to tackle it in seven different ways. Let me try to explain the different ways as briefly as possible:
- Reduce the production of the cholesterol by the liver. (Note: about 80% of the cholesterol in your body is produced by the liver with the other 20% coming from diet).
- Reduce intake of cholesterol in your diet. (However, this has minimal impact. A 20% reduction in dietary cholesterol will only equate to about a 4% reduction overall).
- Reduce the absorption of cholesterol in the Gastro- intestinal tract.
- Increase bile acid secretion which can convert cholesterol to bile acid and thus inhibit absorption.
- Reduce the oxidation of LDL cholesterol in the arteries.
- Emulsify the cholesterol to help prevent it from hardening the arteries.
- Dissolve cholesterol.
If you tackle the problem of high cholesterol by addressing all the above methods you have a good chance of being successful using natural methods. An advantage of using natural methods is that you won't force your cholesterol levels to dangerously low levels. More on that soon!
Most drugs, and for that matter most natural supplements deal with either one or maybe two of the above seven factors.
The statin drugs target the blocking of cholesterol production by the liver. They are very powerful, and for most people effective. They work by inhibiting an essential enzyme needed to synthesize cholesterol. But unfortunately as you know from our earlier articles they also inhibit the production of CoQ10 as well. As to be expected from a powerful drug such as this there are inevitable side effects which at best may be aching muscles or at worse permanent liver damage.
In other words the 'cure' could potentially be worse than the primary problem. What is even worse is that these drugs are so powerful that they have the ability to lower your cholesterol levels to a degree that can be dangerous! There is evidence that total cholesterol of 180 or less increases your risk of a stroke!
Not only that, but there is evidence that 'forced' low cholesterol levels can lead to senility, depression, impotency and a host of other problems. Cholesterol is needed by the body to manufacture sex hormones and a host of other substances. That's why the liver produces it!
The statin drugs are not the only substances that block the enzymes needed for the body's cholesterol production. There are some natural substances that work in the same way. The most effective one being red rice yeast extract which contains a molecule almost identical to the synthetic statin molecule. It is so similar in fact, that this natural substance is now banned in many countries where it is treated as an unapproved drug! It is claimed that it has the potential for similar side effects to that of a statin drug. It is also likely to inhibit CoQ10 production.
Cholesterol balance: Effective natural options
For reducing the production of cholesterol... policosanol which is a substance extracted from sugar or rice bran has proven to be the most effective and natural substance on the market today. There is a lot of clinical data backing its efficacy and safety. Amongst other things it also helps remove plaque from the arteries. Some clinics use up to 100mgs per day.
For reducing the absorption of cholesterol in the GI you can use phytosterols. These have been well proven in clinical studies, and in fact some margarine manufacturers are permitted to advertise their margarine as effective foods for reducing cholesterol because they contain phytosterols. But... don't be taken in by that, because they also contain hydrogenated oils which more than offset the benefits of the phytosterols. Get your phytosterols through supplementation.
For increasing bile acid secretion a specific form of Rice Bran oil called Oryzanol is clinically proven to work. Guggulipids will also help in this area.
Reduce the oxidation of LDL cholesterol in the arteries. There are a number of substances that will help this, policosanol being one of them. However, the most promising one supported by clinical studies is Theaflavins. This is special extract of tea and not to be confused with the 'catechins' which are the active ingredient in green tea. Theaflavins cost almost three times as much as normal green tea extracts. They are also a natural ACE-inhibitor that helps lower blood pressure.
To emulsify cholesterol in the arteries, lecithin is well supported with clinical data for this purpose. Take it either in the oil form or in granules.
To help dissolve cholesterol a natural extract of orange peel called D-Limonene has found to be effective for this purpose.
Lipi-Rite on cholesterol levels
If you want to try lowering your cholesterol naturally, tackle it on all the fronts as I have outlined above! Our researchers recognized the need for this multi-facet approach some while ago. We searched the world markets to see if there was a supplement that took this approach... but could not find one. So, Prof. Dr. A . Munem Daoud who heads our R & D worked on developing such a product which we now manufacture.
There was an enormous amount of research that went into getting it just right! A major challenge was perfecting the delivery system using oils, which helps protect the active powders in the formula from stomach acids. This we ultimately perfected and were able to successfully encapsulate the formula in soft gel form.
The results that we have been getting from customers is very positive, with a combination of remarkable results and reasonable results... and the occasional zero results. In other words it doesn't work for everyone. Some people have genetically high cholesterol and this product will not force the levels down lower than what their body needs.
For example, I have genetically high cholesterol personally. I reduced my LDL by about 24% but they are still considered high by current standards. However, my triglycerides, homocysteine and C-Reactive Protein are all excellent so I am not at risk of a heart 'event'. What I am trying to say is, don't get too 'hung up' on reasonably high cholesterol if your other markers are OK. Your body may need it!
Also, don't overlook your HDL/LDL ratio. I still get amazed when we have customers approach us because they are in a panic due to their total cholesterol being too high with their Doctor insisting that they go on a statin drug, but they are too frightened to do so. We first ask them what their HDL and LDL measurements are? So often their HDL is so high that it has pushed their total cholesterol up, but their ratios are excellent.
If this is combined with good triglycerides then not only to they not need a statin drug but they don't even need our cholesterol lowering product!
Two final words...
If you are concerned about high cholesterol and you feel that you need to do something about it please click here and learn how our formula may be able to help you. I can confidently say that if this formula doesn't work for you, no natural product will... sorry...
Remember what I have said in previous newsletters... "the new levels for cholesterol set by the Cholesterol Council of America, are artificial, unnatural and dangerous. Why are they promoted? Follow the money... "
Good luck and good health,