High Cholesterol and Statin Drugs

I have high cholesterol and the medicines prescribed are beginning to cause side effects.  Basically, muscle ache. Are there natural foods to take to help lower the bad and raise the good cholesterol?

I assume the cholesterol-lowering drugs you are on are statins, which I take people off of the first time they come into my office. They cause CoQ10 levels to drop, which is the major step in energy production in the body–hence the muscle aches. (If you are on Zocor, it might be offering you heart protection through some unknown mechanism–not cholesterol lowering–so I would not discontinue it.)

You need to understand that there is no relationship of cholesterol levels to heart disease–higher cholesterol levels do not cause more heart disease. One-half of all heart attacks occur in people with cholesterol levels less than 200. Read The Cholesterol Myth by Dr. Ravnskov, if you want a complete treatise on the subject.

There are natural products that drop cholesterol levels, if you so desire. Red yeast rice, niacin, guggolipid, and garlic (to a limited extent) are only a few of them. As far as your diabetes is concerned, you should already be on a low-carbohydrate diet–if you have insulin resistance (that is, insulin greater than 5 while fasting) then more carbohydrate restriction is needed. If you are on a low fat and low carbohydrate diet, the only thing you can eat is protein, which is not healthy. Check an insulin level and glucose at the same time.  You’ll want to take the results to a good integrative medical doctor for treatment

6 Comments

  • Regina
    November 4, 2009 - 8:07 am | Permalink

    Some in our family have overweight, but normal cholesterol. Others normal weight and high cholesterol… Are both groups equally likely to get heart attacks?

  • dave, RN
    November 4, 2009 - 12:52 pm | Permalink

    A cholesterol level of 200-250, in my opinion, is not a disease process to be treated. Total cholesterol is meaningless. My total is 213, but my lipids are just 44. You need to look at your lipids, particle number and particle size. To get you lipids down, eliminate grains… There is no causation between cholesterol and heart disease. It’s inflammation.

  • dave, RN
    November 4, 2009 - 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Oh, and be careful with the red yeast rice. It also blocks CO-Q10.

  • November 6, 2009 - 11:55 am | Permalink

    According to a recent study red yeast rice can help lower cholesterol. Dr. David Becker and Ram Gordon, M.D. at Chestnut Hill Cardiology, published the findings of their study, “Red Yeast Rice for Dyslipidemia in Statin-Intolerant Patients,” in the June 16, 2009 edition of Annals of Internal Medicine.
    According to Dr. Becker “Every physician has patients who refuse to take statins or have significant side effects from them”. And he goes on to say “One of the largest challenges in the medical community has been that there is no agreement or consensus on how to treat these patients. We are convinced that our research may lead to some answers.”

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