cholesterol control

  1. Raise your vitamin D levels with good bacteria

    Probiotics: Your key to vitamin D

    Seems like everyone knows the importance of getting more vitamin D, but not everyone knows the best way to get it.

    Sure, you need a supplement -- but you also need the ability to absorb what's in that supplement so your body can put it to use and raise your vitamin D levels. That requires a balanced belly full of the friendly bacteria needed for good digestion.

    Just one problem: If there's anything more common than a D deficiency these days, it's a gut so unbalanced that it's a wonder you don't tip over.

    That's why new research finds that one great way to boost your vitamin D levels isn't by boosting your supplement dose. It's by taking a probiotic -- specifically a bacterial strain called Lactobacillus reuteri NCIMB 30242.

    In just nine weeks, supplements of L. reuteri can boost your blood levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D by 25 percent, according to the study in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.

    The study didn't look beyond D, but a well-rounded gut full of helpful bugs can also improve the absorption rates of other fat-soluble nutrients.

    And the strain used in this study packs a few other benefits as well. For one, L. reuteri NCIMB 30242 is a great way to control cholesterol levels naturally. And if that's not enough, it's also been shown to help improve digestion, fight infection and more.

    But let's stick to vitamin D levels for today -- because one of the biggest problems with the sunshine vitamin is that many of the people who are deficient don't even know it, and that includes people who take a supplement.

    They pop their vitamins and assume they're covered -- and they never bother to get their levels tested to confirm that the supplement is doing the trick.

    Don't let that happen to you.

    Along with taking a supplement of between 2,000 IUs and 5,000 IUs a day, have your levels checked by a holistic doctor -- and if supplements aren't increasing your blood levels, work with that doctor to find out why.

    In some cases, it could simply be a low-quality supplement. In others, it could be anything from the gut imbalances I just mentioned, to obesity, to problems converting the form of D you ingest to the form your body uses.

    Whatever the reason, get it taken care of -- because you need highly vitamin D levels for your bones, your brain and everything in between.

  2. The wrong way to control your cholesterol

    I've got some exciting news this morning. As you've probably noticed, there's a new name at the top of this email. Dr. Mark Stengler is one of the nation's leading holistic doctors and the author of 17 books on natural healing, including three best-sellers.

    More importantly, he's also been my go-to guy whenever I have tough questions.

    And just last week -- as he was explaining why the next wave of cholesterol meds will be even worse than the statins I've been warning you about -- it hit me.

    "YOU should be writing House Calls!" I said.

    "I'd love to," he answered. "What's the catch?"

    "Well," I said. "It's a lot of hard work. There are a lot of readers who count on it. And the newsletter is completely free."

    He looked me in the eye and repeated, "What's the catch?"

    That's when I knew I found the right man for the job. So it's my honor to hand the keyboard over to him.

    Hi, I'm Dr. Mark Stengler, and I believe that what makes my practice unique is the fact that I don't think in terms of "alternative" and "mainstream."

    I'm not interested in playing semantics or choosing sides. As you'll see in House Calls, I'm only interested in the safest and most effective treatments for my patients -- and one of the areas where I combine the best elements of mainstream research with safe and natural alternative medicine is cholesterol control.

    It's absolutely clear to me that LDL levels are an important marker of cardiovascular health, and you do need to keep them under control -- but you don't need statins or any other drugs to get there.

    And you certainly won't need the next generation of cholesterol meds making their way to the market right now. The experimental meds, which are injected as infrequently as once a month, can slash LDL levels by almost two-thirds.

    They're called PCSK9 inhibitors because they inhibit the protein (PCSK9) that prevents the liver from pulling cholesterol out of the blood. Once that protein is blocked, the liver starts gobbling up all that LDL -- to the point where even patients who already take statins have seen reductions of 60 percent or more.

    That might sound great... but there's just one little problem here: Who on Earth needs to lower cholesterol by 60 percent anyway?

    Answer: Practically nobody.

    Mainstream targets for cholesterol have been set way too low. So low, in fact, that they're almost impossible to reach without meds. And sadly, I think that's the real goal here -- to sell more meds.

    It's certainly not for better health, because the research clearly shows that the current targets actually come with more risks than benefits.

    Since this is my first House Calls, I want to keep talking about cholesterol -- including some of those risks you'll face by bringing your levels down to meet guidelines.

  3. Tomatoes match statins for cholesterol control

    Now, a new study finds that a key nutrient in tomatoes may be as effective as some of the world's top-selling drugs when it comes to cholesterol control -- and that has me wondering just how much a jar of red sauce would fetch if Big Pharma was in charge.
  4. A simple way to improve your cholesterol

    Total cholesterol control is within your reach--and a new study proves that you don't need meds... just a good diet.
  5. Nuts over cholesterol control

    When it comes to cholesterol control, don't crack open that pill bottle--try cracking open a few nuts instead.
  6. Batter up! FDA has it both ways

    The FDA wants you to know that the cholesterol med Vytorin and its sister drug Zetia don't cause cancer. Well, they think that maybe these meds don't cause cancer. In fact, they're almost sure. Sort of.

6 Item(s)