statin drugs

  1. Could an apple a day drive LDL cholesterol down?

    One fruit slashes your LDL cholesterol fast

    Next time you head to the store to pick up your cholesterol meds you might want to reach for some apples too.

    It turns out that an apple a day could be the key to keeping the statins at bay.

    According to research, apples are a natural cholesterol regulator fighting LDL cholesterol levels. And we're not talking a small reduction here. Heck, I wouldn't even call it a modest one. One study finds an apple habit could slash your LDL cholesterol levels by a stunning 40 percent in just 30 days!

    Given the choice between a juicy delicious apple or a heavy duty statin whose side effects could include kidney damage, liver damage, and serious muscle pain I sure know which one I would choose, but what about you?

    I'd call that the very definition of a no-brainer.

    And, as if a 40 percent drop in LDL cholesterol wasn't impressive enough, this super fruit has even more to offer. Statins are linked with diabetes, but people who indulge in apples have a lower risk of the disease.

    Just be sure your heading to the produce aisle and not the supplement aisle... this time it's the whole food that's going to give you the most benefits.

    Volunteers who received the polyphenols from apples in the form of a supplement didn't see quite as dramatic results. Although their LDL cholesterol levels did dip they couldn't compete with the apple-eaters results.

    If you choose dried instead of fresh apples you can expect to see your cholesterol levels drop too. But according to another study the reduction is likely to be a bit slower and bit less impressive... around 24 percent in half a year.

    To get all the juicy details on that study click here to read the free report in my House Calls archives.

    Oh, and don't forget, when it comes to apples, organic is really the only way to go. Conventional apples are swimming in pesticides.

  2. Natural cholesterol treatments go mainstream

    You don't need to be in alternative medicine to know that statin drugs are a bad idea.

    These days, even the doctors who once gave them out to nearly everyone are waking up to the fact that cholesterol drugs do plenty of harm and very little good.

    And now, "mainstream" doctors are turning to what was once dismissed as "alternative" medicine to bring cholesterol levels down -- including the simple lifestyle changes that I've been advocating from the beginning.

    It's not exactly a radical idea, but I'm glad to see the rest of the country catching on -- and some are even bragging about their results in places such as the Journal of the American Medical Association.

    One recent series of editorials there was a debate between two competing mainstream teams trying to treat a hypothetical 55-year-old patient with high cholesterol levels who was otherwise healthy.

    A decade ago, I'm sure they all would have said "statins."

    Today, a set of doctors who said they'd use that approach were practically booed right out of the journal -- with one team of doctors correctly pointing out that they'd have to treat 100 patients like that hypothetical man for five years to prevent even a single heart attack.

    And if that's all that happened -- a heart attack was prevented -- maybe it would be worthwhile.

    But, as Dr. Rita Redberg and Dr. William Katz of the University of San Francisco, California wrote in the journal, at least one of those 100 patients will end up with diabetes because of those meds and a whopping 20 percent will experience the notorious statin side effects (and other studies like the Jupiter trial have shown risk closer to 25 percent).

    Those include serious and debilitating muscle pain, fatigue, memory problems, cataracts, and even sexual dysfunction.

    Now, I don't know if this means these mainstream docs have gone alternative or if I'm suddenly mainstream. To be honest, it doesn't matter to me -- all that matters is that patients are finally getting the common-sense approach to cholesterol control they should have been given all along.

    Better late than never.

    For the most advanced cardiovascular testing contact the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine at 760-274-2377.

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