The Truth about Statins

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JUPITER study[3]

This massive study published in 2008 showed that high doses of an expensive statin (Rosuvastatin) could lower cardiovascular events in men and women with normal LDL values and raised hsCRP. There is much controversy surrounding the results, with accusations of bias and inflated benefits gained by stopping the trial prematurely. Again, a flawed study as the overall mortality rate did not appear to be significantly improved by taking the drug, and possible long term unwanted effects were not taken into account.

To boost the benefits of statins

Niacin (vitamin B3) been shown to boost levels of HDL in the blood. It usually causes flushing, which can be uncomfortable, but this often eases after a while. No-flush forms of Niacin are available. It can be combined with low dose statins, but has been found to increase the likelihood of statin side effects when combined with higher doses.

Alternatives to statins

One of the newest and most effective alternatives to statin drugs is a recently patented proprietary formula comprising citrus and palm fruit extracts that contains polymethoxylated flavones and tocotrienols. It has been shown in human trials to significantly reduce total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglycerides. Additionally, the powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of the extracts in this natural formulation (trademarked under the name Sytrinol™) are known to contribute to managing additional cardiovascular disease risk factors.

Tocotrienols (natural Vitamin E compounds), flavonoids and policosanol are other useful natural substances, which are effective in lowering cholesterol levels.

Conclusions

When one is prescribed a statin drug, there are several factors to consider. Although it will reduce the level of LDL in the blood, which will make one’s doctor happy, will it improve overall life expectancy? Will the potential risks outweigh the potential benefits? Should one take a CoQ10 supplement with the statin or even a natural alternative to the statin? How important is cholesterol as a factor in improving health and life expectancy, or should one rather be focusing on improving lifestyle and reducing many other cardiac risk factors? (This would need to be the subject of another article).

Recommended reading: “The Great Cholesterol Con” by Malcolm Kendrick.

References

[1] A paper co-authored by Beatrice Golomb, MD, PhD, associate professor of medicine at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and director of UC San Diego’s Statin Study group. American Journal of Cardiovascular Drugs.

[2] The Great Cholesterol Con by Malcolm Kendrick, John Blake Publishing. 2007.

[3] Ridker PM, Danielson E, Fonseca FA, et al. Rosuvastatin to prevent vascular events in men and women with elevated C-reactive protein. N Engl J Med 2008; 359:2195–2207.

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