In an alarming new study of 153,840 postmenopausal women, a disturbing link was found between cholesterol-lowering drugs and diabetes.
Recently, my wife who is over 50, had a physical. Her LDL cholesterol was almost nonexistent, while her HDL was 65, the highest the doctor had ever seen. When asked why her HDL was so high while her LDL was so low, my wife replied that it was due to our diet – grass-fed and free-range meats and eggs. Since she has a dairy allergy, she consumes little or no dairy. If you are concerned about cholesterol, there are many things you can do: Consume grass-fed meats, free-range chicken and eggs, and raw or pasteurized only organic cheeses and dairy products. Stay away from homogenized dairy products. You can also consume Red Yeast Rice, a supplement that supports the liver while reducing cholesterol.
Here is a list of drugs that may cause diabetes in post-menopausal women:
Advicor® (niacin extended-release/lovastatin)
Altoprev® (lovastatin extended-release)
Caduet® (amlodipine and atorvastatin)
Lescol® (fluvastatin) Lescol XL (fluvastatin extended-release)
Simcor® (niacin extended-release/simvastatin)
Here is a list of natural remedies that help maintain normal levels of cholesterol without the need to take pharmaceutical drugs that produce dangerous side effects.
Red Yeast Rice
Chinese red yeast rice helps balance normal levels of cholesterol. Red yeast rice contains substances called monacolins, which are naturally-occurring and converted by the body to make a chemical inhibiting the production of cholesterol. One monccolin in particular, lovastatin, has been extracted and used in popular statin drugs, thus causing the FDA to view natural red yeast rice as an unproved drug and banning it in the USA. Consuming moderate amounts of natural red yeast rice as part of an overall diet helps maintain normal cholesterol levels. Extracting the active ingredient from the rice and using it in a drug formulation amplifies its effects, and may produce both muscle and kidney injuries. Supplies of red yeast rice supplements sold in the USA at this time do not contain any of the active ingredient to reduce cholesterol levels.
Green tea contains various compounds that lower LDL cholesterol levels. A study performed in Brazil where people consumed green tea extract in capsules resulted in a 4.5 percent lowering of LDL cholesterol levels.
Eating nuts regularly, especially walnuts and almonds, may help reduce cholesterol levels of LDL cholesterol.
Niacin, or vitamin B-3 helps lower LDL cholesterol levels as much as 10% and raise HDL cholesterol levels by 15% to 30%. Because of its many side effects, niacin should only be used under the supervision of a health practitioner.
Artichoke Leaf Extract
Artichoke leaf extract my help lower cholesterol levels by limiting its synthesis in the our bodies. Additionally, the extract may increase the flow of cholesterol excretion from the liver.
Slow the absorption of cholesterol in the intestines by consuming foods such as oats, legumes, prunes, apples, carrots, broccoli and yams, all high in soluble fiber. Five to 10 grams daily can produce a 5 percent reduction in LDL cholesterol.
Policonsanol is a dietary supplement made from Cuban sugarcane wax. It is not readily available in the US; however, non-Cuban products are available here which are made from beeswax or wheat germ. It is used to regular total cholesterol levels and is touted to be as effective as statins and red yeast rice. It may produce mild side effects such as digestive upsets, headaches and insomnia and can take two months or longer to show results. Here is a great article that explains why women should be aware of statin drugs.
What Women on Statins Need to Know About Diabetes By Tamara Eberlein No doubt you’re aware that cholesterol-lowering statin medications can have side effects, such as muscle pain, digestive problems and liver damage. What you may not realize is that statins also significantly increase the risk for diabetes, as a recent large-scale study showed. Participants included 153,840 postmenopausal women ages 50 to 79, none of whom had diabetes at the start of the study. The women were tracked for an average of 7.6 years, during which time 10,242 or nearly 7% of them developed diabetes. Finding: Even after researchers adjusted for other diabetes risk factors (such as age, race, diet, physical activity level, smoking, high blood pressure and a family history of diabetes), women who took statins were 48% more likely to develop diabetes during the course of the study than those who did not take statins. All types of statins had this effect, regardless of the dosage, potency or how long the medication was used. What this means for you: Remember that lifestyle changes—adopting a healthy diet, getting regular exercise, losing excess weight—are safe, effective, drug-free ways to reduce cholesterol and help guard against both heart disease and diabetes. If your doctor suggests that you start taking a statin, ask about the risks and benefits as well as possible cholesterol-lowering alternatives.
If you already use a statin, do not simply stop taking it on your own, researchers cautioned. Instead, talk to your doctor about ways to reduce your need for the drug…discuss an appropriate schedule for screening for diabetes…and immediately alert your doctor if you develop any possible warning signs of diabetes, such as increased thirst, increased urination and/or blurred vision. Source: Yunsheng Ma, MD, PhD, MPH, is an associate professor in the division of preventive and behavioral medicine at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester and coauthor of a meta-analysis published in Archives of Internal Medicine.
Sources for this article include:
Caloiricious: 6 main functions of cholesterol in the body http://blog.caloricious.com
Prevent Disease: World Renown Heart Surgeon Speaks Out On What Really Causes Heart Disease http://preventdisease.com
Natural News: Prominent heart doctor exposes the myths about cholesterol, statins and low fat diets http://www.naturalnews.com/035514_cholesterol_myths_heart_doctor.html
University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics: Cholesterol is necessary for the body to function properly http://www.uihealthcare.com
About.com — Alternative Medicine: Policonsonol http://altmedicine.about.com/od/policosanol/a/policosanol.htm
About.com -Alternative Medicine: Red Yeast Rice http://altmedicine.about.com/od/herbsupplementguide/a/redyeastrice.htm
MedicineNet.com: Red Yeast Rice and Cholesterol http://www.medicinenet.com/red_yeast_rice_and_cholesterol/article.htm
About.com — Alternative Medicine: Green Tea for Healthy Cholesterol http://altmedicine.about.com
Prevention: The Ten Commandments of Cholesterol Control http://www.prevention.com
About.com — Alternative Medicine: Remedies for High Cholesterol http://altmedicine.about.com/od/highcholesterol/a/highcholesterol.htm