Statins have made the news recently because of a recommendation that nearly everyone started to take this medicine as a proactive measure to prevent heart disease. Statins works by reducing the amount cholesterol that is in the body, while targeting bad cholesterol levels that can lead to future health problems. The issue, however, is that cholesterol also plays a regulatory role within the body. It helps to produce Vitamin D with sunlight exposure on the skin and is the foundation of many hormones the body produces.
It is estimated that more than 33% of all Americans above the age of 20 have higher than recommended cholesterol levels. Because of the emphasis on reducing heart disease levels, many doctors will likely prescribe to you a cholesterol lowering drug like Mevacor, Zocor, Crestor, or Lipitor. These are very effective and are often called “wonder drugs,” but the problem that many people face is a series of side effects that occurs once the drugs are taken.
Risks with Taking Statins
The risks of taking these prescription statins includes rashes, digestion problems, memory loss, muscle and joint pain, and even liver damage because they are trying to force more straining of the LDL bad cholesterol. If you want to avoid the problems that statins can cause, but still lower your cholesterol levels, there are a number natural alternatives to statin drugs, that when combined with diet changes and exercise can help you achieve the results you and your doctor want to see.
8 Great Alternatives to Statins
This may not be everyone’s favorite vegetable, but it does a lot to increase the production of bile within the liver. Why is that a good thing? It means that extra cholesterol can be eliminated instead of being absorbed by the body. If you just can’t bring yourself to eat the vegetables every day, you can pick up artichoke extract as a supplement. And when combined with other cholesterol lowering natural herbs, it’s much more effective.
If you can stand the flavor and the potential for bad breath, then flaxseed oil could be a viable alternative for you as well. It’s been rigorously studied and has been shown to have a positive effect on people, though often minimal.
What you’ll see with this B Vitamin is a better ability for your body to deliver the bad cholesterol to your liver so it can get rid of it in a more efficient way. The issue with niacin, however, is that people have different levels of sensitivity to this vitamin. Higher levels of it can be toxic and feeling flushed is a common side effect of taking this vitamin. Significant drops of bad cholesterol can be seen when taking this vitamin, but if you have issues with your liver already, it’s best to stay away from it. A natural herbal supplement such as CholesLo is safer and much more powerful than Niacin.
It’s fish oil and you can get a lot of it in salmon. It’s also recommended for everything from ulcers to depression. When it comes to cholesterol, Omega-3’s do a double positive for people: it decreases bad cholesterol while it also increases good cholesterol. The one issue with this supplement if you take it as such is that many of the sources of it are contaminated with mercury and other heavy metals. Even farm-raised fish stock for oil supplements can be contaminated with pesticides. It’s good to perform some due diligence on your supplements before taking them.
One of the easiest ways to improve your bad cholesterol numbers is to improve your digestive tract. For people who are suffering from an imbalance of the helpful bacteria that aid in digestion, the introduction of probiotics can help to quickly lower high levels of bad cholesterol. If there is any underlying medical condition behind the digestive troubles, then finding a way to relieve those symptoms can also eliminate a bad cholesterol increase quickly. From yogurt to supplements, there’s a number of affordable ways that you add more of these good helpers to have a great natural statin alternative.
This is just a fancy term for a series of plants that produce roughage for the diet. Having high levels of dietary fiber has been shown numerous times to improve digestion. Any soluble fiber, however, has the potential to drop your bad cholesterol levels by as much as 5%. Many people will take this kind of fiber in a liquid form, but capsules and even tablets are available for those who wish not to drink some grainy water. With this natural statin alternative you’ve got to be careful, however, because it can change the way your body absorbs all medications because of the way it changes your digestion.
7. Yeast Extract: One of the most effective natural statin alternatives is also one of the most controversial. Red rice yeast extract is often the first choice that doctors recommend with a homeopathic approach, but there can be a lot of variation with this product in the actual dosage that is in a packaged supplement. There can also be arsenic in the supplement because it is developed through rice and some research has also seen low levels of citrinin in it. If you have hepatic or renal issues, you may wish to avoid this natural alternative.
8. CholesLo – This is a clinically proven, all natural alternative to statins which combines about half a dozen herbs, minerals and vitamins to help lower cholesterol levels. The most valuable aspect of CholesLo is that it ALSO helps improve other factors that affect heart disease – such as LDL/HDL ratios, homocysteine levels, triglycerides and other important lipid profiles.
When you combine these natural statin alternatives with changes in your diet and add a little exercise to your routine, your cholesterol levels can quickly become restored to where they need to be. Consult with your doctor on any medications you may be taking to be aware of potential interactions and then start making the lifestyle changes you need to make in order to prolong life.