A  Word to the Wise about Statin Drugs!

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Today, we’re discussing cholesterol and how to handle it! In my practice, I see that a lot of my patients are being put on cholesterol medications – also known as statin drugs. This is actually quite normal for those who have heart disease, high blood pressure, have suffered a heart attack, occluded arteries, and other heart problems.

However, I want to issue a word to the wise and let you know about an alternative for statin drugs. Depending on your situation, statin drugs may not be necessary – of course, this would have to be discussed in my office, and in conjunction with your medical doctor.

Statin drugs – although necessary for many individuals – have been known to cause many side effects such as joint pain, or rhabdomyolysis, the medical term for muscle destruction. It’s been shown in research that about 9% of people who are placed on statin drugs will become diabetic. It’s also been shown that many people will lose cognitive function while on statin drugs, which fortunately, can be regained once they come off.

These are just a few things you want to consider before you agree to take a statin drug that may not be completely necessary for you. It’s absolutely essential to be educated about your individual needs, and to make sure that statin drugs are 100% necessary for your condition before you go on these potentially damaging medications.

There is actually a heavily researched, all-natural alternative that may help you as much – or even more – than statin drugs, and it’s called Red Yeast Rice. In fact, statin drugs were originally modeled after Red Yeast Rice! This supplement has been shown to naturally lower cholesterol, without the side effects of statin drugs. In one study from the Mayo Clinic, it was shown that “the successful use of red yeast rice to lower cholesterol showed a 42% drop in LDL cholesterol, or bad cholesterol, and a 29% drop in triglycerides, another fat lipid. It also resulted in up to 5% weight loss.”

In a meta-analysis – or an analysis of an entire group of studies (in this case, 93 studies and 10,000 patients) – red yeast rice was shown to be “comparable to statin drugs.” This analysis showed that Red Yeast Rice lowered cholesterol levels by 35 points – that’s huge! If someone has high cholesterol, lowering it by 30 points is more than enough to get it under control. There was also a 13% increase in the good kind of cholesterol, which suffers while on statin drugs. So, this meta-analysis showed that red yeast rice not only lowers your bad cholesterol, but it also helps even out and support the good cholesterol your body needs to work properly!

Here are just a few more research studies that show the benefits of red yeast rice:

  • In a 2006 report from the Chinese Journal of Internal Medicine, a study of 2,000 patients showed that red yeast rice lowered the risk of a second heart attack, as well as the risk of death by a heart attack.

  • In a report from the Chinese Journal of Cardiovascular Disease, it was stated that adding red yeast rice to conventional therapy dramatically cut the risk of heart attack for diabetics.

  • From the American Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology, it was shown that red yeast rice decreases risk of dying from a stroke, heart attack, or sudden cardiac death – we want that!

I can go on and on! Another study shows that red yeast rice decreases risk of heart attack and other cardiac events in diabetics, published in American Journal of Cardiovascular Pharmacology.

So, to sum it all up – when your doctor recommends a statin drug, make sure you’re completely educated. Be sure you have a good, long talk with your medical doctor, find out the reasons for their recommendations. Weight the benefits and the risks of statin drugs, and make sure to ask about any alternative options like red yeast rice.

Check out a list of research studies about red yeast rice and its impact on cholesterol levels:

Jacqui Somen