Despite their overwhelming popularity and the fact that guidelines for their use are continuing to change which would make even more people arrive in the land of the prescribed, statins are not for everyone.
First of all, they’ve been shown to be not very effective for most women.
And according to renowned cardiologist Dr. Steven Sinatra, they should definitely not be used by children, but sadly that’s exactly what’s happening in our society.
Well, a third strike against statins has just come up.
Because a recent study has shown that in 20 percent (one out of five) people taking statins, not only are they NOT effective, but they can actually result in even worse clogged arteries!
Let’s look a little closer at this study, as well as explore some safe, natural ways you can help encourage your body to keep just the right amount of cholesterol.
The study that has opened many eyes
This latest statin study was headed by Dr. Stephen Nicholls, deputy director of the South Australian Health & Medical Research Institute in Adelaide, and published in the journal Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis and Vascular Biology.
Dr. Nicholls and his team analyzed a total of 647 patients with heart disease taking statins. Ultrasound was used to compare the patients' arteries before and after statin therapy, and the patients were followed for 18 to 24 months.
While most (80 percent) of the patients saw decreases in their LDL cholesterol, that was not the case for the other 20 percent. Instead for them, LDL cholesterol levels either decreased only slightly, remained the same or increased.
Plus, the non-responders had faster plaque buildup in their arteries too!
But isn’t it always bad?
Most people don’t realize this, but cholesterol is a life-giving substance that your body MUST have. Here are some of its important jobs:
· Cholesterol is actually a powerful antioxidant that protects you against free radical damage and cancer.
· Cholesterol is Nature's healing ointment that's used to repair wounds, including tears and irritation in your arteries.
· Many hormones are made from cholesterol, including those that regulate mineral metabolism and blood sugar (and thus protect you against osteoporosis and type 2 diabetes, among other things), the stress hormones and all of the sex hormones.
· Your brain and nervous system MUST have cholesterol to function properly.
· Cholesterol plays a role in your body's utilization of serotonin, thereby protecting you against depression.
· Cholesterol is needed by your liver to manufacture bile salts, which in turn help digest fats.
· Your body uses cholesterol to manufacture Vitamin D in your skin when you're out in the sun.
· It makes your cells waterproof so they can function properly and maintain the delicate chemistry inside and outside of the cell membrane.
· Cholesterol helps your body fight infections.
Guilt by association
The problem with cholesterol is really more a matter of guilt by association.
You see, although high cholesterol is associated with atherosclerosis (clogged arteries) which can in turn potentially lead to a heart attack or stroke, it is not cholesterol in and of itself that is the problem like so many people believe.
While cholesterol may be found “at the scene of the crime” with atherosclerosis, it’s not the “perpetrator”—inflammation is.
Inflammation is part of your body’s repair process—cholesterol and white blood cells “come to the scene” of inflammation when you’re injured and that’s how the healing process is carried out.
But the problem arises when inflammation in your body becomes chronic.
Chronic inflammation in your arteries causes a repetitive "signal" for cholesterol to come and do its “repair work.” However, it's not a cholesterol buildup exclusively that will clog an artery.
On the contrary, when your body goes into overdrive trying to heal an inflamed artery, not only is cholesterol present, but that area also becomes a "magnet" for fibrous proteins called fibrinogens, calcium deposits, and wastes and toxins in your blood.
All of these substances together can keep building up and building up until eventually you have the blockage called "plaque."
So, inflammation is the true “criminal” here and cholesterol is guilty by association.
Natural help from within
Whether or not statins are right for you is between you and your doctor, but know this: There is a whole lot you can do to help encourage your body to maintain proper (not excessive) amounts of cholesterol and to help keep inflammation low in your arteries so you’re less likely to get into cholesterol trouble to begin with!
Here are some safe, natural measures you can try:
1) Pamper your liver
Most people don’t realize this, but less than 20 percent of your body’s cholesterol comes from your diet. The vast majority is made by your cells and your liver.
If your liver is working properly, it closely watches your cholesterol level. As such, when you do take cholesterol in with your diet, your liver temporarily slows down its own production of cholesterol until more is needed.
Plus your liver is responsible for recycling cholesterol and putting old, worn-out cholesterol in your bile so it can be eliminated when you have a bowel movement.
So truly, the health of your liver is a HUGE indicator of whether you'll have a cholesterol problem and an increased risk of heart disease.
Here are some ways you can help pamper your liver:
· Drink a large glass of room temperature water every morning to which a splash of fresh lemon or lime juice has been added to flush out your liver.
· Incorporate lots of onions and garlic into your diet, as they help the liver escort heavy metals out of your body and support your liver’s efforts.
· Other liver-helpful foods include grapefruit, beets and carrots, leafy greens, avocados, apples, cruciferous vegetables, lemons and limes, walnuts, olive oil, cabbage and turmeric.
· Consider milk thistle (silymarin) supplementation.
2) Help keep arterial inflammation low
One of the best ways to avoid the arterial healing process from going into overdrive and recruiting massive amounts of cholesterol to the scene is to help reduce arterial inflammation to begin with.
Here are two strategies that can help:
1. Embrace the natural anti-inflammatory power of omega-3 essential fatty acids
When you have too many inflammation-stirring Omega-6 essential fatty acids and too few anti-inflammatory omega-3s (like most people with a typical processed modern-type diet do), you're helping to light fires of inflammation from head to toe.
But when you bring the balance closer to the ideal 3:1 range, the Omega EFAs act together in harmony to keep inflammation under control in your body (including your arteries!).
VitalMega-3 fish oil formula can help you achieve this optimal balance.
Based on recent studies, the Journal of the American Medical Association reported decreases in cholesterol of up to 20% in just 10 DAYS by boosting Omega-3 EFA's through diet and supplementation!
According to scientists at the International Society for the Study of Fatty Acids and Lipids (ISSFAL), the recommended daily intake of Omega-3 is at least 650 mg/day of EPA+DHA combined for health maintenance and to prevent deficiency.
VitalMega-3 is a top quality molecularly distilled fish oil formula that delivers a full 1,000 mg of EPA+DHA Omega-3s in each and every daily two-capsule serving.
2. Reduce your intake of refined carbs
Sugar is a very inflammatory substance and when your diet includes lots of sugar and refined carbs (which turn to sugar upon digestion), eventually your blood sugar monitoring system can get overtaxed. This allows glucose to build up in your bloodstream and trigger inflammation in your arterial walls.
Concentrate on real foods—fruits, vegetables, meats, poultry, dairy, real butter, legumes, nuts and seeds. When you nourish your body with real foods, you are more likely to stay full longer and therefore won’t be as tempted to reach for refined carb snacks like cookies, chips, crackers, etc.
Use organic raw honey, organic cane sugar, organic real maple syrup or stevia for sweeteners in moderation, and avoid products with high fructose corn syrup like the plague.
Drink water instead of soda or sports drinks. Soda is THE single largest source of sugar (in the form of high fructose corn syrup) consumption in the world.
3) Eat for better digestion
Like I mentioned above, your liver gets rid of old cholesterol by placing it in your bile, which in turn gets excreted into the intestinal tract and escorted out when Nature calls.
But guess what—if you’re constipated a lot, then the cholesterol in your intestinal tract (along with other wastes and toxins) has an opportunity to instead be reabsorbed into circulation.
So your level of digestion is also extremely important to keep you out of cholesterol trouble!
The good news is, the Great Taste NoPain system can guide you on creating meals that are much easier for your body to break down.
When you pair foods together that require similar digestive enzymes, your body has a much easier time accomplishing digestion—and that can mean less gas and bloating as well as more regular BMs.
Plus Great Taste No Pain includes a collection of delicious recipes, many of which feature the liver-loving foods I mentioned in #1 above!
Although statins have been helpful for some, like any other drug, they are not one-size-fits-all, and sometimes they can be downright wrong or harmful.
But when you instead support and help your body to maintain proper levels of cholesterol like it should, you are making tremendous strides in helping to reduce your heart disease risk as well as any potential need for medications to begin with.
PS: Always be sure to let your doctor or healthcare provider know what supplements you are taking.