We’re told we need it to reduce cholesterol, but should be really take it?
According to recent news, doctors will now be prescribing statin drugs to a greater percentage of the population after recent changes to guidelines set forth by the American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology.
Statins are prescription drugs that clear LDL (low density lipoprotein) from the blood stream by blocking the enzyme HMG-CoA reductase, which is what LDL uses to make cholesterol. After the production of cholesterol is inhibited, your liver sources it from your blood in order to make bile.
Other Health Repercussions
When I heard the announcement on the nightly news, my heart just sank. I thought for sure that these “recent changes” would be a more conservative approach to prescribing statins, not the other way around. The reason for my dismay? Statins are directly implicated in liver damage, muscle wasting, type 2 diabetes and other blood sugar problems, memory loss, and other neurological problems.
Even worse, the use of statins does not even reduce the risk of death, and only reduces the risk of stroke or heart attack by 1.5%. This could be because cholesterol itself is not the problem— it’s sugar! LDL only causes problems if it is oxidized LDL, and high carbohydrate consumption is directly related to high oxidation rates of LDL.
If you’d like to take a more natural approach to lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease, here are some easy steps to take:
- Eat a diet low in carbohydrates and rich in essential fats from fish oil, flaxseed oil, nuts, seeds, and grass fed meat
- Soluble fiber helps eliminate excess cholesterol, so include super foods like chia seeds (up to 4 tbs daily), or taking a supplement like Super GI Cleanse
- Increase antioxidant intake to help prevent oxidation of your LDL. Berries are great sources, and chia seeds are great in this respect as well
- Be physically active! Try some yoga, crossfit, skiing, bike riding, or even just a walk around the block.
Trust your doctor, but don’t be afraid to ask questions and do your own research.