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!

Just something to consider: The sugar content of dried fruits is really high. Maybe switch to frozen ones, particularly blueberries? You can run them under cold or lukewarm water for just a few seconds, and they’ll thaw.

REPLY

More recent article about red yeast supplements to lower cholesterol, as mentioned above. Not just any kind will do, even to try.

September 2017, Harvard Health Letter, article with this title:
Key ingredient in red yeast rice supplements varies dramatically

I’m new here, so not eligible to post links. You’ll find it if you search with that info, though.

REPLY
@soloact

Just something to consider: The sugar content of dried fruits is really high. Maybe switch to frozen ones, particularly blueberries? You can run them under cold or lukewarm water for just a few seconds, and they’ll thaw.

Jump to this post

I’m with you on dried fruits, @soloact, so I’m a bigot for blueberries for breakfast — almost always frozen, until I thaw them for 30 seconds in the microwave per cup of berries. Strawberries and black raspberries get similar treatment! Martin

REPLY
@soloact

Just something to consider: The sugar content of dried fruits is really high. Maybe switch to frozen ones, particularly blueberries? You can run them under cold or lukewarm water for just a few seconds, and they’ll thaw.

Jump to this post

I grew blueberries for the first time this year. They were so much better than any I’d ever had that I’m going to plant another bush. Love strawberries and blackberries, too, but have to forego the blackberry and raspberry seeds now. 🙁

REPLY
@soloact

Just something to consider: The sugar content of dried fruits is really high. Maybe switch to frozen ones, particularly blueberries? You can run them under cold or lukewarm water for just a few seconds, and they’ll thaw.

Jump to this post

I get picky around blackberries and raspberries. My favorite is Black Raspberries, food of the gods and much better in all respects that either of the other two. Chem out. Martin

REPLY

Hello @soloact,

Thank you so much for all the information and support you are offering. Here’s a Mayo Clinic update on red yeast rice, which I thought you may wish to view: http://www.mayoclinic.org/drugs-supplements/red-yeast-rice/background/hrb-20059910

The new study, which you refer to, is published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology: http://journals.sagepub.com/eprint/kW3SSXI7NDkaa9Jr35Fn/full
It examines 28 brands of red yeast rice and showed that some contain no monacolin K, which is chemically identical to the prescription drug lovastatin, and some have as much as prescription medication – which means they cannot be legally sold as supplements. The FDA has prohibited the sale of these products, since there’s no way to determine the quantity or quality of the active ingredient.

@soloact, what brings you to the Heart & Blood Health group?

REPLY

Thanks for the welcome, Kanaaz. What brings me here: I have SVT (supraventricular tachycardia), bradycardia, diastolic dysfunction (aka heart failure) and recently, after an afternoon in the ED and an overnight stay in the hospital for observation, learned I had a stroke but don’t know when. I was there because I had either a TIA or ophthalmic (occular) migraine. Still waiting for neurologist follow-up appt so still not sure which, but likely the migraine.The CT scan they did revealed the previous stroke. With all this, I don’t even count severe sleep apnea and mild-moderate COPD at this stage.

I’m actually doing pretty well, all things considered. But I am scared about the future. I’m rather reclusive, so I wouldn’t be likely to attend a local support group. So decided to try this.

I’m in the Ischemic Stroke group, too.

REPLY

We’re glad you’ve joined us too, @soloact.

REPLY

elio, the current protocol for high cholesterol is to attack it as aggressively as possible to get it as low as possible. You are doing all of the right things with your diet. The main thing is to stay away from processed foods and empty carbs. Because your job is sedentary, I would suggest an easy daily exercise routine not for weight control but more for vascular health. walking/jogging for an hour, biking etc. Also stay away from refined sugars. Sugars are what scar your artery walls and help the cholesterol stick to them and build up. DO NOT SMOKE. DO NOT SMOKE. DO NOT SMOKE. DO NOT SMOKE.
Adding a statin is also a good idea have been on high dose for almost 20 yrs with no noticeable side effects. Don’t get too caught up in supplements as they are very expensive and not extensively proven effective. I do take Vit D 2000 mg/dy, Fish Oil 3000 or more/dy and a multi vitamin to make sure I don’t have any deficiencies that may be created by my prescription meds. I urge you to get your cholesterol under control. This is something that builds up over time and will definitely cause huge problems for you later in life. I had my first triple bypass at age 44 and now my arteries are totally clogged again everywhere. The Cardiologist says I have a condition called Chronic Total Occlusion. Many other conditions can arise from bad heart and vascular health. I learned my lessons late in life. You are 25 and have a much better chance of avoiding huge problems down the road.

REPLY
Please login or register to post a reply.