Dear Dr. Cutler,
I am a 52-year-old woman in good health except for one problem. From blood tests at my recent yearly checkup, my doctor discovered I have elevated triglycerides and “bad” LDL cholesterol levels, as well as low levels of HDL cholesterol. She indicated that I should try eating a low-fat diet, but if the levels haven’t improved in six months, I’ll need to go on cholesterol-lowering medication, which scares me. Can you suggest a natural way to fight this problem?
You’re right to be wary of the cholesterol-lowering drugs known as statin drugs. These drugs are among the most widely prescribed medications on the market today. Statins are used to help lower your “bad” low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol and raise your “good” high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol. But statins have been linked to decreased coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) levels… kidney and heart muscle damage… potential liver damage… abnormal cell growth… fatigue… and immune deficiency.
However, there are safe and natural ways to combat unhealthy cholesterol and lower your risk of a heart attack or stroke. And the first suggestion—which I cannot emphasize enough—is a lifestyle modification that includes eating mostly raw whole foods, regularly exercising and limiting your intake of refined and processed high-calorie “empty carb” foods. I also highly recommend adding to that some stress-reduction techniques.
In addition to healthy lifestyle changes, there are natural supplements that are effective alternatives to statin drugs but without side effects. Policosanol can cause a dramatic improvement in your cholesterol numbers. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, policosanol lowered triglycerides by 11.9 percent, lowered LDL cholesterol by 20.5 percent, lowered total cholesterol by 15.4 percent and raised HDL cholesterol by 12.7 percent. And to get even more cholesterol-lowering effects, you should also include niacin, guggulipids, tocotrienols (vitamin E) and phytosterols (plant nutrients).
If you follow these guidelines, you’ll be engaging in one the most effective protocols I can suggest. This healthy lifestyle will not only protect your heart and brain, but promote optimum health for your entire body for years to come.
Michael Cutler, M.D. is a board-certified family physician with 18 years experience specializing in chronic degenerative diseases, fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue.
A graduate of Brigham Young University, Tulane Medical School and Natividad Medical Center Family Practice Residency in Salinas, Calif., he serves as a medical liaison to alternative and traditional practicing physicians. His practice focuses on an integrative solution to health problems.
Dr. Cutler is a sought-after speaker and lecturer on experiencing optimum health through natural medicines and the Founder and Editor of Easy Health Options™ newsletter—a leading health advisory service on natural healing therapies and nutrients and is Medical Advisor for True Health™—America's #1 source for doctor-formulated nutrients that heal.
For more information visit www.truehealth.com.
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