The undesirable side effects of cholesterol lowering statin drugs (such as aching joints, liver damage, low hormones and depletion of Co-enzyme Co 10) to lower cholesterol are encouraging people to find alternative, symptom free natural solutions to bringing cholesterol down to a safe level. Lipator, for example has now been banned in some countries due to evidence of this drug depleting the myelin sheath of the brain, causing early dementia or Alzheimer’s.
Of course, diet is always important in maintaining healthy levels, but some people have a genetic cholesterol, unrelated to diet, and need specific treatment. However, inflammation is still the biggest cause of cholesterol.
With regard to diet – see our article on HOW GOOD FATS AND BAD FATS AFFECT YOUR HEALTH.
Treatment of high cholesterol or non-diet related cholesterol, in addition to the above good fats, may also need a natural cholesterol supplement. Recent clinical trials in the USA have uncovered two potent, natural substances called Red Rice Extract or Policosanol, which has been trialled against the four top statin drugs. Results show equal effectiveness to the drugs, and sometimes better with Red Rice extract or policosanol. In addition to this, these formulas were more effective with anti-clotting attributes and raising good cholesterol at recommended doses. High cholesterol that is not diet related can also be due to genetic disposition, diabetes or high sugar intake, liver dysfunction, fungal infections, causing inflammation in the arteries, or high homocysteine levels. High homocysteine levels have been shown to irritate blood vessels, leading to blockages in the arteries, causing cholesterol to change to a damaging form. It can also make the blood clot more easily increasing risk of stroke or thrombosis. Furthermore, it increases the risk of Alzheimer’s. A blood test through Pathology can determine your homocysteine. Ideally, the count should be 8 or below. Specific supplements are available to lower homocysteine, thereby greatly reducing the risk factors.
People using statin medication should seek the advice of their health care professional to wean from their cholesterol medication, to the natural form, as results can take up to 3 months to show.
In addition to this, all people with elevated cholesterol should be taking a good quality Omega 3 supplement, to maintain the good (HDL) levels, which will also reduce the bad (LDL) levels. When choosing a supplement, do not look at the strength, but rather at the levels of EPA (should be about 400 per capsule) and DHA (about 300 per capsule). Also, choose a product that is free of heavy metals such as mercury (especially Fish Oils). These good omega fats will also prevent the platelets sticking together, causing clots and will protect the myelin sheath of the brain, helping memory and good brain function.
Those with high cholesterol should also avoid inflammatory forming foods and factors, mentioned below:
Hydrogenated oils (such as processed Canola and Sunflower oils) and trans fatty acids – all FRIED FOODS, see BAD FATS (shallow fry only with coconut oil/butter/ghee)
Home cleaning products, including laundry detergent, dryer sheets, etc. (use environmental products – PROBAC, Better Earth, Triple Orange, Enchantrix, etc)
Sodium nitrite - found in most processed meats, such as ham, polony, bacon (cold meats)
Acrylamides (formed during high-heat food processing such as frying and burnt (braai))
Severe emotional distress or relationship stress
Refined sugars / glucose, refined grains, all white flour products and yeasts
All ACID FORMING FOODS (see our Acid/Alkaline chart)
Preservatives and pesticides and insect sprays (try to use organic vegetables)
MSG (flavor enhancers)
What to avoid on the labels: high-fructose corn syrup, sugar, sucrose, glucose, enriched bleached flour, white rice, white pastas, white breads and other "white" foods.
Willow Red Rice Yeast Extract
Future Health Cholesterol Assist
The Real Thing Mega Omega
Readers should not use this information for self-diagnoses or self treatment, but should always consult a medical professional regarding any medical problems and before undertaking any major dietary changes. This information is not meant to be substituted for medical advice.