Heart Disease

Statins: Safe and natural alternatives to cholesterol-lowering drugs

Date: 30 January, 2011

I remember reading years ago about a powerful new insecticide that was touted to be the most efficient cockroach killer ever produced. Scientists estimated that it would be effective for about 10 years, by which time the cockroach population was expected to have adapted to the poison. And worse: Cockroaches would then be better adaptors and therefore more resistant to any new insecticides that came along.

Don’t you hate it when a solution puts out one fire, only to start another one?

A similar problem occurs when doctors and patients are encouraged by the medical mainstream to focus myopically on cholesterol as Public Enemy Number One of heart disease. Those who are convinced that lowering LDL cholesterol is the golden key to heart health might be inclined to take a statin drug. And if they do, they might very well succeed in pushing the LDL down.

But for many patients who choose statins, the LDL threat is extinguished while other fires may begin burning.

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Statins: Permanent markers

In several e-alerts weve written extensively about coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), a superior antioxidant thats essential for the production of energy in every cell of the body. Through years of research CoQ10 has been shown to be effective in protecting the cardiovascular system and helping to prevent heart disease. Ironically, statin drugs have been shown to deplete essential CoQ10 levels, which is why some doctors recommend CoQ10 supplements when they prescribe a statin drug.

Last year, US researchers at the University of Illinois (UI) conducted a study to examine the effects of atorvastatin (better known by its brand name; Lipitor) and supplements of CoQ10 on several heart disease markers.

As reported in the American Journal of Cardiology, the UI team tested 14 subjects with no history of heart problems. After taking atorvastatin for three to six months, 10 subjects showed deterioration in at least one marker for heart function, and five subjects had deterioration in THREE different heart function markers.

This would be a good time to restate the obvious: Statin therapy is supposed to IMPROVE cardiovascular health.

After tests revealed the potential problems, nine subjects received 300 mg of CoQ10 daily for three months. During this period they continued to take atorvastatin. At the end of this second phase of the study, eight of the subjects showed improved levels of heart function markers, and the five that had previously shown worsening in three different markers improved in all three markers.

This is a small study, but even so, the conclusion – that CoQ10 reduced the potential risk of heart failure that was apparently prompted by atorvastatin use – should serve as an eye-opener for anyone whos sold on the life saving value of statins.

Statins: Put to the test

If you take statin drugs, or if you’re in a high-risk group for cardiovascular problems, it’s a good idea to have your CoQ10 level tested.

If you find you are deficient, CoQ10 supplements are widely available. Generally, most health professionals agree the absolute minimum you should take daily is 30 mg, with 100 mg being considered the optimal dose by many. However, some practitioners recommend taking one milligram of CoQ10 for every pound of body weight. But for people with serious heart problems, recommend doses as high as 300 to 400 mg per day are not uncommon.
Read more here about the benefits of CoQ10 in our FREE report: ‘ 10 Steps To Healthy Cholesterol’

Statins: Safer alternatives

Contrary to what the medical mainstream will tell you about lowering LDL and raising HDL, there are a number of very safe natural alternatives to statin drugs.

In a past e-alert I told you about perilla oil (a natural source of omega-3 fatty acids), arjuna (an ancient Ayurvedic herb that has been proven to lower cholesterol by as much as 12 percent in just 30 days) and ProFibe (a grapefruit pectin powder that lowered LDL cholesterol between 25-30 percent in a study that included more than 200 subjects).

I have also told you about policosanol, a compound of fatty alcohols that’s gaining a reputation as an effective alternative to statin drugs. In one study, more than 240 post-menopausal women significantly lowered LDL levels (25.2 percent) while raising HDL levels by nearly 30 percent.

Niacin supplements have also been shown to dramatically boost HDL.
 
You can read more about safer alternatives to statin drugs on our regular blog:  The Cholesterol Truth

Are we all being conned about cholesterol?  Dr John Briffa – one of the UK’s leading experts in natural medicine – tells you why low cholesterol can leave you prone to disease, whilst high cholesterol can help protect the over 50s against heart disease.  Read more here . . .

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Comments

  1. steve Posted March 9, 2012

    what natural herb can replace Simvastatin?

  2. Jill Boughey Posted September 1, 2011

    I think the statin I take at bed time is affecting my sleep quality, I wake up so tired/lethargic – headache – body aches – feeling sick and wretching.
    I have familial cholesterol and even if i starve myself my levels are raised. Can i take my medications in the mornings and see if my symptoms improve.

  3. gail maccauley Posted May 11, 2011

    First of all I’m diabetic my average # 7.2
    My cholesterol hdl ratio 6.7,ldl4.6,hdl 1.0
    triglicerides 3.61. The doctor has me on lipitor 10mg and now wants me to start on diabetes meds also . I’m having a lot of muscles and joint aches but he said to still take them I also am having headaches , swelling in my feet, ankles thighs and hands on a regular and severe lower backache the doctor just sent me to have xray but he said all these concerns that i discussed with him said it is all because I’m overweight and it will disappear when the weight comes off.
    I would like to stop but I don’t know how to to tell my doctor. He is not open to any alternative suggestions . I don’t won’t to loose him as a doctor as there are no drs that take new patients.Are the alternative you suggested really effective to lower cholesterol? Help I want to stop the statin med. Thank You for listening to me . God Bless Gail

  4. Disability products Posted March 28, 2011

    Superb blog post, I have book marked this internet site so ideally I’ll see much more on this subject in the foreseeable future!

  5. James Posted March 3, 2011

    I have taken 20mg simvastatin for about 5 years. After a while I had diaroreha, cramp, slight headache in the morning and very susceptible to headache; about 8 a month and even worse with a minimum of alcohol. Stopped taking them nine months ago and felt much better in all respects but Cholesteral went up to about 8.5 [it was down to about 5.2 with statins. Tried Lipitor 10mg for a few months and my cholesteral again went donw to about 5.5. However I had some headaches in the morning and about 6 times a month.Diorrhea is slight. Have now stopped lipitor and feel great again.What should I do ? I am 64,not overweight, non smoker, and am pretty active with golf twice a week and walking two dogs every day. Should I be looking for alternatives ?

  6. Dianne Posted October 8, 2010

    I was put on a statin and while taking it, I walked alot, and took cq10.
    After 1.5 month I did a blood test for cholesterol numbers and my liver. I had excercized 2 days prior fairly hard and felt fine. I was called due to my ck level meaning my muscles and immediately taken off the statin.
    My ck was OFF the chart.
    The good news is that my cholesteral numbers are almost ideal and now I can use diet and exercise to control the numbers. I only eat good fats and no added sugar (a year now). Once my doctor heard about my weights at the gym, and not real muscle aches, she thinks will control by diet (exactly what I wanted to do anyway). I do take niacin but was doing it for my hair and nails…. good to know it works for elevating HDL.

    I never want to take a statin again if such a drug could do that to my muscles.

  7. Yudi Posted September 19, 2010

    I have been reading the comments here and can identify most with Janice. I am 58 but after being on Crestor for one year, felt like I was 80. My LDL was 13, which was way too low and it affected my mental states (per Dr. Mercola on Mercola.com) I had every side effect that could be attributed to this drug (vomiting, dizziness, disorientation, muscle pain, muscle weakness, and GI problems), yet my cardiologist dismissed my complaints. My GP said it was the Crestor. After three days without the drug, I felt much better and I did not go back to it. A pharmacist said it takes about a month for the drug to get out of your system. After taking Co-Q10, fish oils (look into the orange colored salmon oil from Vitalchoice.com), and Slo-Niacin, my levels are within normal ranges without the use of a statin. Exercise, change in diet (more evidence coming in that wheat is inflammatory and it is inflammation that is the real problem behind heart related matters.

    I have fired my cardiologist. I have my life back and I am very grateful.

  8. Janice Posted April 23, 2010

    Hi, this web site has been very useful. I am in my mid 40′s and have been on statins for 20 years. The past 4 years have been terrible as I have suffered with lots of aches and pains deep into my muscles, mostly legs aching especally at night. I have no energy and if I try to do more I suffer for it. I feel mentally in my 40′s but physically in my 70′s. I have stopped taking statins and recently started cq10, but I would love to know how long will it be before I am pain free. I feel weak and fedup with the side effects, I am also worried if long term damage has resulted. GP not very proactive!

  9. Mildred Posted April 15, 2010

    Statins are poison!!! This article is full of good advice and I hoipe it shows people that they don’t need to buy into the who cholesterol hoax.

  10. Michele Posted February 5, 2010

    Glad I stopped by here. Working on lowering the Simvastatin my dad takes.

  11. s miller Posted February 5, 2010

    You can order them online from any supplement shop. I use swansons and vitacost.

  12. Anon Posted January 24, 2010

    Could you tell me where I can find perilla, arjuna & policosanol

    My country is Saudi Arbia-Dhahran

  13. Brian Phillips Posted January 4, 2010

    I have had terrible colesterol levels and triglicerides were out of control until taking 1200mg of red rice yeast twice a day and slow release niacin. I took crestor and lipitor before using the red yeast rice and had terrible side effects. My colesterol use to be around 300 and were over 1000 on a bad day . Now with the red rice yeast and slow release niacin and 3000 mg of fish oil daily my colesterol is always under 200 around about 170-180 and tris hover around the 200 mark and my good colesterol is within the normal average. I dont have all the side effects either. You can get the red rice yeast from puritans pride for less than 6 bucks a month and the fish oil(spring valley brand)from walmart for a about 2 bucks for a months supply when buying in bulk. I also get the 500mg of niacin from walmart (slo Niacin) .I still get my lipid profile and liver function tested twice a year and have been on this regiment for 2 years now and both my doctors are conviced that my current vitamin regime is working much better than the Statins. Also taking 200mg of coq10 from puritans pride has kept me off of blood pressure medicine. I am 50 now and feel alot better than When I was 40 . taking all the precription drugs.Brian

  14. paul trewin Posted November 11, 2009

    I had open heart surgury for 5 blocked arteries even though I am rarely sick. Starting taking lipitor had muscles problems and totallly stopped. I take coq10 plus omega 3.6.9. plus b12 vitamin and c. The doctor doesn’t approve but I feel longterm drug use is not good at all.

  15. G. Michael Watson Posted July 31, 2009

    I am 39 years old. I currently take 160 mg of Diovan for my HBP. I am 6’2″ and 216 pounds. I recently had blood work done. Concerns on the lab order report were my CHOL 267, TRIG 297, LDL 166. I currently take 3000 mg of fish oil and 2 Shaklee Vita-Lea Multivitamin & Multimineral tablets a day. I exercise 3-5 days a week as well. My doc wants to put me on Lipitor or some other statin. I don’t want to do this! I am going to exercise more and eat healthy. My question is … Are there any other natural supplements that I can take that will help. I’ve heard things about cinnamon, niacin, arjuna, CoQ10, policosanol as well as something called “Heart Savior”. Please help! What should I do?

  16. G. Michael Watson Posted July 31, 2009

    I am 39 years old. I currently take 160 mg of Diovan for my HBP. I am 6’2″ and 216 pounds. I recently had blood work done. Concerns on the lab order report were my CHOL 267, TRIG 297, LDL 166. I currently take 3000 mg of fish oil and 2 Shaklee Vita-Lea Multivitamin & Multimineral tablets a day. I exercise 3-5 days a week as well. My doc wants to put me on Lipitor or some other statin. I don’t want to do this! I am going to exercise more and eat healthy. My question is … Are there any other natural supplements that I can take that will help. I’ve heard things about cinnamon, niacin, arjuna, CoQ10, policosanol as well as something called “Heart Savior”. Please help! What should I do?

  17. G. Michael Watson Posted July 31, 2009

    I am 39 years old. I currently take 160 mg of Diovan for my HBP. I am 6’2″ and 216 pounds. I recently had blood work done. Concerns on the lab order report were my CHOL 267, TRIG 297, LDL 166. I currently take 3000 mg of fish oil and 2 Shaklee Vita-Lea Multivitamin & Multimineral tablets a day. I exercise 3-5 days a week as well. My doc wants to put me on Lipitor or some other statin. I don’t want to do this! I am going to exercise more and eat healthy. My question is … Are there any other natural supplements that I can take that will help. I’ve heard things about cinnamon, niacin, arjuna, CoQ10, policosanol as well as something called “Heart Savior”. Please help! What should I do?

  18. Jan Posted July 19, 2009

    I had open heart surgery because of a heart murmur, which turned out to be the aortic valve. I have been exercising and eating right for 40 years. I had no real symptoms so I was shocked when the doctor told me this. I am fine and still exercise. I am now on Lipitor. My doctor says my cholesterol is still too high.(175) Just my LDL’S are a little high. She wanted me on 20mg. but I diclined. She then suggested Crestor. I took it and had a terrible dizzy spell.

    I would prefer not taking any statin’s. Can you make any suggestions.

  19. doris Posted July 14, 2009

    where does one buy policosanol?

  20. pamela ward Posted July 10, 2009

    I’ve gone from a reasonably fit 60 yr old (6 yrs ago) to a decrepit oldie after taking lipitor. My cholesterol is 4.2 but my doc says I can’t come off the statin. I’ve had nothing but ill-health since I’ve been on them so now they are going in the bin and I’m studying natural alternatives to take.

  21. Edith Sewell Posted June 14, 2009

    I am a 65 year old: previously as fit as a fiddle until I was put on Simvastatin 40mg because of cholesterol levels of 8.7. After 6 weeks I was like an 80 yr old with all the side effects. Stopped 1 week ago and the symptoms are slowly going. I Will not take another statin, instead I am going to try Niacin when the poison from the Statin is out of my system. My Doctor wants to change me to another brand and lower dose of 20mg but after all I have read regarding these drugs there is no way I even want to try. I am underweight and eat as healthily as I can afford to. Will take my chances as quality of life is more important to me than living with all the side effects of Statins. My HDL is fine – it is the LDH which seems to be the problem. Thank you for your web page from which I have got so much information.

  22. Elaine Richardson Posted May 29, 2009

    If you have taken statins for a number of years and decide to switch to coQ10, how do you switch? Do you go off the statins gradually, or just stop taking them?

  23. Diane Duffin Posted March 28, 2009

    I have been prescribed 2 different blood pressure tablet to take. Zestoretic and Teveten. I have been taking them for about 5 years. I have had bad pain in my legs, and fingers and hands going numb with pins and needles. I took myself off the Teveten about 3 months ago. Pains mostly gone, and very few pins and needles now. My cholesterol reading was 6.5 last week. I told the nurse I would like to come off the blood pressure tablet and take something natural but she recommended I stay on the Zestoretic and took the cholesterol lowering drinks like Benecol. Can any one recommend something suitable. I am 67 (about 2 stone overweight) and in very good health otherwise, except for the fact that my blood pressure rockets up and down.

  24. Irene McNulty Posted March 10, 2009

    I have also been prescribed a statin but don’t take it and instead take CoQ10. My last blood test showed reduced cholesterol.

  25. Anthony Campbell Posted February 17, 2009

    I just turned 60, always had good health and never taken any medicine for anything. I thought I’d ask my doctor for a test to check on my overall health. When results came back I was advised that I had a 32% higher risk of heart attack in the next 10 years! Based on a UK Gov average. I asked for a copy of the results and checked on the internet against ”normal” readings. I found that all other readings were well within the ”healthy normal” levels. But the ”bad” chlorestrol was indeed a little higher than it should be. I’ve been presscribed 20mg statins that I’m not happy about. I already take 100mg of CoQ10 per day and avoid fatty foods. I’ll change my diet and excersise more and see my reading in 3 months. I also take DHEA in my daily vitamin top-up.

  26. robert bullen Posted January 16, 2009

    My doctor got nasty when I would not take my statins due to side affects. I am diabetic no other help was given they are really crap in this country.

  27. Rose Precious Posted January 16, 2009

    What is the recommended daily dosage of policosanol?

  28. Eugene Posted August 11, 2008

    There is a product called Bios Life that works to lower bad cholesterol, increase good cholesterol and lower triglycerides using a combination therapy.

  29. Miles Posted July 2, 2008

    Could you tell me where I can find perilla, arjuna & policosanol. THANKS

  30. Joseph Robinson Posted May 29, 2008

    Is it possible to obtain CoQ10 over the counter?

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