Supplements vs statins - which is more effective?

Posted by elio @elio, May 12, 2016

Hello. My name is Eliott. Over the last 5 years, I’ve been suffering from hypercholesterolemia.
As I am turning 25, my cholesterol levels seem to be relentlessly increasing. Despite the fact that I do not practice any sport, and my job requires me to sit all day long, I’ve never been overweight. To the contrary, I have always managed to maintain a healthy but not ideal or athletic body weight.
All the doctors I’ve met insisted on putting me on prescription statin drugs, which I refused because of their predictable severe side effects in the long run on bones, muscles, and joints, etc… Even though my good HDL cholesterol worth 42 points, I am kind of concerned that my LDL cholesterol has reached 292 mg/dl, according the last blood check-up which I did on mid-April 2016. Today, I am being extra careful watching my diet. Trying hard to reduce my fat intake by avoiding fried foods, sweets, bakery and everything that I’ve read it might badly affect my cholesterol. I drink a lot of green tea, I eat oat with some dried fruits for breakfast. I quit dairy products and substituted chicken for red meat, etc… In brief, I now feel forced to consume heart-healthy foods which have been shown to help lower bad blood cholesterol and triglycerides levels. In addition, it’s been 2 weeks since I’ve been taking 1200 mg of red yeast rice daily with a dose of 100 mg of coQ10 (later, I was shocked to discover that red yeast rice is still controversial and is not but an alternative statin. How accurate is this?). I also make sure to sparingly include in my diet supplements and whole foods such as spirulina, chlorella, rice protein, vitamins D3 and B12, grape seed extract (sometimes red wine, resveratrol or pomegranate), royal jelly, etc…
As a next step, I am seriously planning to switch to either a combination of Sytrinol, Flush-Free
niacin and apple pectin OR a garlic supplement (1800-2000 mg), cayenne (2000 mg) in addition to a certain dose of Guar Gum and/or Psyllium. But before proceeding any further, I just want to know whether or not I am doing the right thing. If not, should I give up all the supplements and switch to an individual dose of a statin? Could you please advise me on which cure will be more effective in my case? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

Welcome to Connect @jackj. Thanks for sharing your experience with statins, supplements and diet! How long ago did you have your bypass?

@colleenyoung

Welcome to Connect @jackj. Thanks for sharing your experience with statins, supplements and diet! How long ago did you have your bypass?

Jump to this post

Last September 21, vernal equinox. A propitious day indeed. Coming up on 10
months. J

Only 10 months since your multiple bypass, eh? How’s the recovery going? What level of activity are you able to do?

You’ve joined a great group here. Let me introduce you to @predictable @elio @thankful @gulzar @briansr @lynnkay1956 and @joem. You may also be interested in reading some of the other discussions where you’ll meet these usual suspects and others as well. For example:

– Staying healthy physically (and mentally) post heart attack http://mayocl.in/29BS5ab
– After a quadruple bypass http://mayocl.in/29k9LGZ

@colleenyoung

Welcome to Connect @jackj. Thanks for sharing your experience with statins, supplements and diet! How long ago did you have your bypass?

Jump to this post

Just a little less than 10 months.

@colleenyoung

Only 10 months since your multiple bypass, eh? How’s the recovery going? What level of activity are you able to do?

You’ve joined a great group here. Let me introduce you to @predictable @elio @thankful @gulzar @briansr @lynnkay1956 and @joem. You may also be interested in reading some of the other discussions where you’ll meet these usual suspects and others as well. For example:

– Staying healthy physically (and mentally) post heart attack http://mayocl.in/29BS5ab
– After a quadruple bypass http://mayocl.in/29k9LGZ

Jump to this post

Overall, my recovery is going well, if slowly. I work out at least 5 days a week, and I have tried to increase, continuously, my activity level. I’ve traveled to Europe (3 mos after surgery), and I have another trip planned in 2 months (to S.A.). I do indeed get tired every few days, and I’m learning to better understand just how much I can do, while pushing myself a little every time. Thx for the other websites.

Liked by Ali Skahan

@colleenyoung

Hi @elio,
Welcome to Connect, an online community where people can talk with other patients, ask questions and share experiences.

I’m tagging @sjpphil @thankful @lynnkay1956 @joem @rabbit10 who have been discussing statins in other discussion threads. They may be able to weigh in on the supplements vs statins debate.

Good for you for eating healthy. I, too, sit at a desk all day in my work. I constructed by own standing desk, so at least I’m not always sitting. It really helps physically and mentally. Are you also starting to get more physically active?

This thread may interest you. A group of people are encouraging each other in their healthy habit changes. https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/hi-there-i-just-now-joined-your-group-and-after-reading-a/

Jump to this post

@elio– I finally watched a you tube that I have been wanting to watch by a Cardiologist who has been involved in medicine for over 35 years and unlike many cardiologists, takes a bit of a different slant on statins. His name is Dr. Sinatra and the name of the you tube is “Are statins the culprit”. I have since read up more on this Dr. and he seems very respected. He does sell supplements that always leaves me feeling like is this is “stick”, but I do respect him and do take some supplements that are similar as what he sells from another source. I think anyone who is already taking statins or may be in the process of having them prescribed to them should watch this to be more informed. Although it is just over an hour long it is well worth it! Here is a little bit of the interview.

Dr. Sinatra’s Take on Cholesterol-Lowering Drugs

Some researchers like Dr. Seneff do not believe it is appropriate for anyone to take statins, and while Dr. Sinatra believes that a statin drug may be suitable for some people, he agrees that the risks are very high, and side effects grossly under-reported.

“I feel that the best indication for a statin drug is a middle-aged male with coronary heart disease and a low HDL,” he says. “To me this person has the greatest to gain and the least to lose. The problem I have with cholesterol lowering drugs is that they have horrific side effects… If you treat a woman in her 30’s just for “high cholesterol,” and treating numbers, I think we’re doing a disservice… We really shouldn’t use them in elderly people. We shouldn’t use them in young people, or in women. I have been very disappointed as a clinical cardiologist in the efficacy of statins in women, even with advanced coronary disease.”

I would reserve statin drugs for, again, documented cases of coronary artery disease and again particularly middle-aged males. If I did have cholesterol problems or inflammatory cholesterol sub-types, I would try to treat the patient with weight loss and exercise and nutraceutical support first, before I would consider a statin drug.”

@colleenyoung

Hi @elio,
Welcome to Connect, an online community where people can talk with other patients, ask questions and share experiences.

I’m tagging @sjpphil @thankful @lynnkay1956 @joem @rabbit10 who have been discussing statins in other discussion threads. They may be able to weigh in on the supplements vs statins debate.

Good for you for eating healthy. I, too, sit at a desk all day in my work. I constructed by own standing desk, so at least I’m not always sitting. It really helps physically and mentally. Are you also starting to get more physically active?

This thread may interest you. A group of people are encouraging each other in their healthy habit changes. https://connect.mayoclinic.org/discussion/hi-there-i-just-now-joined-your-group-and-after-reading-a/

Jump to this post

I use supplements from naturopathic and it works fine. Also you can buy it from vitamin shop as yest red rise capsules.

Hello –
Most of my life (I am 68) I had a normal cholesterol level around 195-200. A few years ago it shot up over a three year period to 360. At that time there was a lot of stress in my life, and I had also gained a lot of weight. My Dr prescribed a statin, which made my muscles turn to mush, leaving me with no energy.. We tried 3 different statins and even red yeast rice. I would take them for a week or two before my muscles seem to give out.
A year ago I went on a diet, took up yoga (I have always been active but changed from gym to yoga). Slowly my cholesterol went down (from 313 to 283) and I lost 18 lbs between August and April 2016. My bp has always been around 115/70, my triglycerides are normal, my HDL went up and my LDL, although still high, went down. My glucose was 102, also headed downwards.. All good signs.
I discussed taking fish oil with my doctor in April and she suggested Krill Oil. I added that to my diet for four months, from April – August, when my blood was retested. I also increased my exercise to include strength training, to tone while I was losing weight.
I was eager to see what had happened, because I had lost another 7 lbs and felt really good (an average of 2 lbs a month over a year). I expected the Krill oil to help lower my cholesterol more than my diet and exercise alone had done. Imagine my shock when I saw that my cholesterol had shot up to 313! My HDL had improved from 50 to 56 mg, however, my LDL had also gone up.
Today I spoke about it with my Dr. (whom I like and trust). We agreed I am eating very healthy, exercising enough and feel super. I said I would not take anything for 3 months, and continue to watch my weight (my goal is another 20 lbs, which will take awhile) but I will have my blood retested in November. However, I still want to know why my cholesterol shot up and I can’t find an answer – could it be the Krill Oil?

Liked by badgerslover

Welcome @susanjomu. First of all, let me give you a high five for the amazing lifestyle choices (diet and exercise) you’re making for your health.

I’d like to introduce you to a few other Connect members. Please meet @jackj @predictable @johnwburns @elio @thankful @llecrup @fabulous17 and @lynnkay1956. Might any of you have some ideas for Susan about the fluctuation in cholesterol levels or experience with krill oil?

Susan, you may also interested in contributing to these discussions:
– Want to control my cholesterol and triglycerides with food http://mayocl.in/2bfEmXR
– Staying healthy physically (and mentally) post heart attack http://mayocl.in/29BS5ab

Liked by badgerslover

@colleenyoung

Welcome @susanjomu. First of all, let me give you a high five for the amazing lifestyle choices (diet and exercise) you’re making for your health.

I’d like to introduce you to a few other Connect members. Please meet @jackj @predictable @johnwburns @elio @thankful @llecrup @fabulous17 and @lynnkay1956. Might any of you have some ideas for Susan about the fluctuation in cholesterol levels or experience with krill oil?

Susan, you may also interested in contributing to these discussions:
– Want to control my cholesterol and triglycerides with food http://mayocl.in/2bfEmXR
– Staying healthy physically (and mentally) post heart attack http://mayocl.in/29BS5ab

Jump to this post

Thanks, Colleen! And I would be glad for any ideas people would like to share.

@susanjomu

Hello –
Most of my life (I am 68) I had a normal cholesterol level around 195-200. A few years ago it shot up over a three year period to 360. At that time there was a lot of stress in my life, and I had also gained a lot of weight. My Dr prescribed a statin, which made my muscles turn to mush, leaving me with no energy.. We tried 3 different statins and even red yeast rice. I would take them for a week or two before my muscles seem to give out.
A year ago I went on a diet, took up yoga (I have always been active but changed from gym to yoga). Slowly my cholesterol went down (from 313 to 283) and I lost 18 lbs between August and April 2016. My bp has always been around 115/70, my triglycerides are normal, my HDL went up and my LDL, although still high, went down. My glucose was 102, also headed downwards.. All good signs.
I discussed taking fish oil with my doctor in April and she suggested Krill Oil. I added that to my diet for four months, from April – August, when my blood was retested. I also increased my exercise to include strength training, to tone while I was losing weight.
I was eager to see what had happened, because I had lost another 7 lbs and felt really good (an average of 2 lbs a month over a year). I expected the Krill oil to help lower my cholesterol more than my diet and exercise alone had done. Imagine my shock when I saw that my cholesterol had shot up to 313! My HDL had improved from 50 to 56 mg, however, my LDL had also gone up.
Today I spoke about it with my Dr. (whom I like and trust). We agreed I am eating very healthy, exercising enough and feel super. I said I would not take anything for 3 months, and continue to watch my weight (my goal is another 20 lbs, which will take awhile) but I will have my blood retested in November. However, I still want to know why my cholesterol shot up and I can’t find an answer – could it be the Krill Oil?

Jump to this post

Omega-3 oils, whatever the source, apparently do cause a rise in LDL but I haven’t seen anything to indicate it being a dramatic rise.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3024511/

They don’t seem to be particularly useful for lowering cholesterol but are very useful if your problem is high triglycerides.

Sloan Kettering has a site where they retain data about every supplement that you’ve ever thought of. It helps since its consolidated.

https://www.mskcc.org/cancer-care/integrative-medicine/herbs/omega-3

Here is a large meta-analysis of omega-3 oil use and all cause mortality:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22968891

Did the doctor try you on very low doses of a statin, e.g. 10 mg atorvastatin? Some people get a lot of bang for their buck from a small dose. Or maybe a lipophilic versus a hydrophilic? Did he suggest trying coenzyme q10 when you had muscle symptoms?

This site is kind of marginal but interesting. Rabidly anti-statin, except for very low doses.

https://www.spacedoc.com/

The usual supplements for reducing cholesterol are soluble fiber, plant stanols and sterols, and niacin. Niacin should be considered a drug however at the doses used and approached with caution, especially the time-release version, hard on the liver.

Sounds like you have a good plan and are disciplined about it. Maybe lowering the krill oil will provide general health benefits but every doctor that I have talked to about fish oil recommends eating wild caught salmon or other cold water fish.

Hope this helps.

@susanjomu

Hello –
Most of my life (I am 68) I had a normal cholesterol level around 195-200. A few years ago it shot up over a three year period to 360. At that time there was a lot of stress in my life, and I had also gained a lot of weight. My Dr prescribed a statin, which made my muscles turn to mush, leaving me with no energy.. We tried 3 different statins and even red yeast rice. I would take them for a week or two before my muscles seem to give out.
A year ago I went on a diet, took up yoga (I have always been active but changed from gym to yoga). Slowly my cholesterol went down (from 313 to 283) and I lost 18 lbs between August and April 2016. My bp has always been around 115/70, my triglycerides are normal, my HDL went up and my LDL, although still high, went down. My glucose was 102, also headed downwards.. All good signs.
I discussed taking fish oil with my doctor in April and she suggested Krill Oil. I added that to my diet for four months, from April – August, when my blood was retested. I also increased my exercise to include strength training, to tone while I was losing weight.
I was eager to see what had happened, because I had lost another 7 lbs and felt really good (an average of 2 lbs a month over a year). I expected the Krill oil to help lower my cholesterol more than my diet and exercise alone had done. Imagine my shock when I saw that my cholesterol had shot up to 313! My HDL had improved from 50 to 56 mg, however, my LDL had also gone up.
Today I spoke about it with my Dr. (whom I like and trust). We agreed I am eating very healthy, exercising enough and feel super. I said I would not take anything for 3 months, and continue to watch my weight (my goal is another 20 lbs, which will take awhile) but I will have my blood retested in November. However, I still want to know why my cholesterol shot up and I can’t find an answer – could it be the Krill Oil?

Jump to this post

Thanks very much for your reply.
My triglycerides are fine and there was no change in those while using the Krill Oil. The doctor did put me on low doses of statins – all three (10mg), but again, the weakness in my muscles (not pain, or aches) was overwhelming. I did use CoQ10 with the second and third attempt, and also with the niacin.

Soluble fiber – would that be Beneful or something similar? I hadn’t heard the term plant stanols before and just looked it up – although I don’t eat (don’t like) butter or margarine, I like a lot of the nuts and other foods that contain it, so I will look into upping my intake of those. I do not know what is meant by lipophilic versus a hydrophilic?

I have stopped taking the Krill Oil. I like salmon and other cold water fish, so that is something to consider also.

Thanks, again John. Very interesting –

@susanjomu

Hello –
Most of my life (I am 68) I had a normal cholesterol level around 195-200. A few years ago it shot up over a three year period to 360. At that time there was a lot of stress in my life, and I had also gained a lot of weight. My Dr prescribed a statin, which made my muscles turn to mush, leaving me with no energy.. We tried 3 different statins and even red yeast rice. I would take them for a week or two before my muscles seem to give out.
A year ago I went on a diet, took up yoga (I have always been active but changed from gym to yoga). Slowly my cholesterol went down (from 313 to 283) and I lost 18 lbs between August and April 2016. My bp has always been around 115/70, my triglycerides are normal, my HDL went up and my LDL, although still high, went down. My glucose was 102, also headed downwards.. All good signs.
I discussed taking fish oil with my doctor in April and she suggested Krill Oil. I added that to my diet for four months, from April – August, when my blood was retested. I also increased my exercise to include strength training, to tone while I was losing weight.
I was eager to see what had happened, because I had lost another 7 lbs and felt really good (an average of 2 lbs a month over a year). I expected the Krill oil to help lower my cholesterol more than my diet and exercise alone had done. Imagine my shock when I saw that my cholesterol had shot up to 313! My HDL had improved from 50 to 56 mg, however, my LDL had also gone up.
Today I spoke about it with my Dr. (whom I like and trust). We agreed I am eating very healthy, exercising enough and feel super. I said I would not take anything for 3 months, and continue to watch my weight (my goal is another 20 lbs, which will take awhile) but I will have my blood retested in November. However, I still want to know why my cholesterol shot up and I can’t find an answer – could it be the Krill Oil?

Jump to this post

Here’s something abut soluble fiber including brand names of products. You get it naturally through whole grains and plant sources.

http://www.healthline.com/health/digestive-health/whats-the-best-fiber-supplement#4

Benecol is a margarine product with plant sterols, pretty expensive. There are other plant sterol products, like CholestOff from Nature Made that is sold at mainstream outlets like Costco.

I wouldn’t load up on supplements although these 2 shouldn’t be a problem if used as directed. Try the fiber and then go on to the sterols if you need more help. Inform your doctor of any changes you make. Drink lots of water.

Garlic, aged garlic specifically is supposed to help lower cholesterol but the studies are inconclusive.

Lipophilic versus a hydrophilic refers to the fact that there are supposed to different side effect profiles between statins that are water vs fat soluble. The differences get pretty technical so I was just trying to find out if your doctor had tried both to get around your symptoms. That’s probably a discussion you should have with him.

Treat over the counter products seriously. If you have questions, ask your pharmacist.

@susanjomu

Hello –
Most of my life (I am 68) I had a normal cholesterol level around 195-200. A few years ago it shot up over a three year period to 360. At that time there was a lot of stress in my life, and I had also gained a lot of weight. My Dr prescribed a statin, which made my muscles turn to mush, leaving me with no energy.. We tried 3 different statins and even red yeast rice. I would take them for a week or two before my muscles seem to give out.
A year ago I went on a diet, took up yoga (I have always been active but changed from gym to yoga). Slowly my cholesterol went down (from 313 to 283) and I lost 18 lbs between August and April 2016. My bp has always been around 115/70, my triglycerides are normal, my HDL went up and my LDL, although still high, went down. My glucose was 102, also headed downwards.. All good signs.
I discussed taking fish oil with my doctor in April and she suggested Krill Oil. I added that to my diet for four months, from April – August, when my blood was retested. I also increased my exercise to include strength training, to tone while I was losing weight.
I was eager to see what had happened, because I had lost another 7 lbs and felt really good (an average of 2 lbs a month over a year). I expected the Krill oil to help lower my cholesterol more than my diet and exercise alone had done. Imagine my shock when I saw that my cholesterol had shot up to 313! My HDL had improved from 50 to 56 mg, however, my LDL had also gone up.
Today I spoke about it with my Dr. (whom I like and trust). We agreed I am eating very healthy, exercising enough and feel super. I said I would not take anything for 3 months, and continue to watch my weight (my goal is another 20 lbs, which will take awhile) but I will have my blood retested in November. However, I still want to know why my cholesterol shot up and I can’t find an answer – could it be the Krill Oil?

Jump to this post

Thanks, again John!

Liked by JohnWBurns

@susanjomu

Hello –
Most of my life (I am 68) I had a normal cholesterol level around 195-200. A few years ago it shot up over a three year period to 360. At that time there was a lot of stress in my life, and I had also gained a lot of weight. My Dr prescribed a statin, which made my muscles turn to mush, leaving me with no energy.. We tried 3 different statins and even red yeast rice. I would take them for a week or two before my muscles seem to give out.
A year ago I went on a diet, took up yoga (I have always been active but changed from gym to yoga). Slowly my cholesterol went down (from 313 to 283) and I lost 18 lbs between August and April 2016. My bp has always been around 115/70, my triglycerides are normal, my HDL went up and my LDL, although still high, went down. My glucose was 102, also headed downwards.. All good signs.
I discussed taking fish oil with my doctor in April and she suggested Krill Oil. I added that to my diet for four months, from April – August, when my blood was retested. I also increased my exercise to include strength training, to tone while I was losing weight.
I was eager to see what had happened, because I had lost another 7 lbs and felt really good (an average of 2 lbs a month over a year). I expected the Krill oil to help lower my cholesterol more than my diet and exercise alone had done. Imagine my shock when I saw that my cholesterol had shot up to 313! My HDL had improved from 50 to 56 mg, however, my LDL had also gone up.
Today I spoke about it with my Dr. (whom I like and trust). We agreed I am eating very healthy, exercising enough and feel super. I said I would not take anything for 3 months, and continue to watch my weight (my goal is another 20 lbs, which will take awhile) but I will have my blood retested in November. However, I still want to know why my cholesterol shot up and I can’t find an answer – could it be the Krill Oil?

Jump to this post

You’re welcome. Good Luck.

Please login or register to post a reply.