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Statin Drugs, Herbs and Your Health Choices

This subscriber question is on a subject that may have you - like a lot of people - running scared, so we're letting you in on the answer...

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Volume IV   # 67      Copyright 2014        All Rights Reserved
Note:  This topic is presented by request. 
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BHB Subscriber: “I am taking statins because my cardiologist prescribed them due to my having a heart attack a few years ago. I hate them and want to get off them but don't know what to do. As I have another health condition, I am limited in the herbs I can take. What are my choices?"

BHB: Statin drugs, such as Lipitor, Mevacor, Crestor and Zocor have been prescribed to about a 15 percent of U.S. adults, at a cost ranging from about $11 for the least expensive generic version to  around $200 for a  name-brand.  Now, new prescribing guidelines qualify more than 30% of the adult population, doubling the number in the 'definite treat' category.

However, they have side effects, which may be why you say you 'hate them'.  For example, 10-15% of those taking them experience muscle damage. Labels now include warnings  about confusion,memory loss, elevated blood sugar leading to Type 2 diabetes, and muscle weakness, to name a few side effects.

The same  'cholesterol cutting' effect can also be obtained from taking Red Rice Yeast.  That's  because its active ingredients do the same thing as the statins.  Both Red Rice Yeast and statin drugs 'cut the ecosonoid chain'.

Here's what that means: Each body has a metabolic pathway that breaks down all fats and oils.  That's how these essential nutrients are made available as building blocks the body uses for a number of processes.   Both statins AND red rice yeast work to 'cut the ecosonoid chain.'

As the fats and oils are processed along this metabolic chain, there are various places where it  branches off to make other substances the body requires.  For example, these fats and oils are used to make brain cells, the lining of nerves, anti-inflammatories, hormones and, of course,  inflammatories.
Both Red Rice Yeast and statins cut this metabolic chain above the place where it branches off to make inflammatories.  In other words,they prevent the body from making inflammatory molecules, and therefore the lab results come back with lowered cholesterol.  Problem solved, right?  Absolutely wrong.

Because either one of these (herb or drug) cut the ecosonoid chain at a fairly high level, before they have a chance to go through all the various metabolic steps, the body is ALSO prevented from making hormones.  And anti-inflammatory molecules. And the lining of nerves, the myelin sheath that insulates nerves.  And brain cells.

What you would be gaining if you decided to take Red Rice Yeast rather than statins is you would be reducing the toxic load your liver has to manage.  That's because all prescription drugs are greeted by the body as foreign toxins that have to be detoxified by the liver.  And, depending on your insurance plan, you might reduce your out-of-pocket expenses.

If you've concluded that using Red Rice Yeast is only a stop-gap measure for lowering cholesterol, you'd be absolutely right.

That said, it's important to note that high cholesterol in and of itself does not cause heart attacks or strokes.  Rather,when the body raises cholesterol, it does so in an attempt to mount a defense. It's the body's attempt to handle repair of cell damage due to inflammation.

Therefore, the true solution to lowering cholesterol levels comes from finding and eliminating all causes of inflammation.  Some of these will be specific to you, and others are applicable to all.

To reduce and eliminate causes of inflammation, a good place to start is with your food intolerances.  Eliminating the foods your particular body cannot digest can reduce high cholesterol numbers quite rapidly.

Another strategy many find helpful is to accompany their food intolerance elimination efforts  with the precursors the body uses to make its own anti-inflammatories.  These precursors - called gamma linolenic acid - are available in abundance in Black Currant Seed Oil and Evening Primrose Oil, for example.  They are known to reduce inflammation. 

Some scientific evidence for this was published in Phytotherapy Research in 2010, involving 2,154 patients with abnormal cholesterol levels.  They consumed black currant seed oil daily for six weeks.

Results indicated that regular consumption of black currant seed oil may help improve total cholesterol levels and reduce levels of triglycerides.

However, if you are still taking either statin drugs or Red Rice Yeast, your body will not be able to completely process these oils.  That's because, as described above, both prevent fats and oils from being completely metabolized.

The true solution lies with finding and eliminating all sources of inflammation for your particular body.
                                         **********************************
           Portions of this newsletter were excerpted from Natural Female Hormone Care, an online resource for learning how to balance female hormones naturally and create better health in the process. Click here for more information: Natural Female Hormone Care


                     
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Tags: anti inflammatory chronic inflammation what are statins simvastatin side effects pravastatin side effects atorvastin side effects zocor side effects

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