Treating Cholesterol: The Natural Approach
Maintaining a healthy cholesterol level can be very difficult for some people, particularly those with a genetic tendency for high blood cholesterol levels. The natural ingredients in some cholesterol Support products, combined with a healthy diet and regular exercise, can help you to maintain appropriate, normal cholesterol levels.
One way I like to treat high cholesterol problems is by using red yeast rice, an extremely effective supplement that’s also a natural statin. The “natural” here isn’t an empty term; red yeast rice lowers LDL levels but without many of the negative effects of prescription statin drugs. And although red yeast rice does affect CoQ10 levels, I usually suggest using a brand that has CoQ10 added in or buying a standalone supplement. Red Yeast Rice lowers LDL cholesterol and triglycerides and raises HDL. Treatment with red yeast rice has actually been shown to decrease cardiovascular death by 30% and total death by 33%.
I also use fish oil containing the omega-3 fatty acids EPA and DHA – 4,000 – 5,000 grams daily – to help lower LDL cholesterol. This dose also has been shown to decrease clot formation and cardiac arrhythmias (irregular heartbeat).
When it comes to the problem of low HDL cholesterol, I treat this very aggressively, since for every 1 point rise in your HDL number, coronary artery disease risk decreases by 2-3%! Statins are only marginally effective to that end. Instead, I administer niacin, also know as vitamin B6, which raises HDL (and also lowers LDL). Some patients get a flushed feeling after taking high doses of niacin, but the flushes are generally brief, and can be mediated by taking the supplement with food or by taking a controlled-release form. Reducing dietary carbohydrates and cardiovascular exercise also increase HDL cholesterol.
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