Can The Right Supplements Reduce Need for Statin Drugs?
If you feel compelled to take a statin drug to keep your cholesterol within a reasonable range, you can still use natural products to keep your statin dosage as low as possible, so you can avoid the potentially dangerous side effects associated with statin drug therapy.
Sterols, for instance, also called phytosterols, work well with statins. These are plant compounds, found in foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and legumes. They’re similar to cholesterol, and compete with cholesterol for absorption in the intestines. When you take concentrated phytosterols, like those found in supplements, you absorb less cholesterol, and your blood levels drop. One study found that taking daily supplementation with phytosterols lowered LDL by about 9%. If you’re taking a statin drug and your doctor wants to increase your dosage, you might want to try adding phytosterols instead.
And while you’re at it, take 1,400-2,800 mg of omega-3 rich fish oil a day. New research shows that pairing fish oil with phytosterols made both work better, causing greater drops in triglycerides, total cholesterol and LDL (bad cholesterol) levels, while boosting HDL (good cholesterol) levels. Add a soluble fiber, such as psyllium, to lower cholesterol even more. Aim for 10-12 grams of fiber a day.
Want to avoid statin drugs altogether? Many studies have indicated that red yeast rice may be a sound option for some. It also provides additional cardiovascular benefits and improves blood flow. Make sure you select a premium grade, organic red yeast rice so you get a standardized dose of the active constituents and no toxins.
In conjunction with either statin drugs or red yeast rice, we also recommend CoQ10, 100-300 mg a day, to minimize any side effects.
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Article updated on: October 23rd, 2012