We often hear all the news about how statin drugs (cholesterol-lowering drugs) help to reduce cardiovascular risks. Recently there was a a study called JUPITER that found crestor to be helpful with lowering cardiovascular risk.
What reports on the JUPITER study do not tell you however is that the benefit is very low. 1.5% of the people taking placebos had a stroke or heart attack, where 0.72% of the people on crestor (a statin drug) did. That correlates to having to give crestor to 100 people to avoid only 1 heart attack or stroke.
We may ask "well, isn't it worth it to give a statin drug to 100 people to avoid even just one heart attack or stroke?". The answer to that question is a definite NO! Crestor, and all statin drugs, increases the changes of severe liver damage, muscle degeneration, and nerve degeneration, to just name a few of its effects.
It has been found that the way statin drugs helps lower cardiovascular risk is not by lowering cholesterol, but by lowering inflammation. Cholesterol will not have a damaging effect if you have little or no inflammation in your body. There are many natural ways to lower inflammation in your body, and this will have at least as much benefit as statin drugs, and often even great benefits.
Here is what you can do instead of taking statins to greatly lower your chances of heart attack or stroke:
Stop smoking. After 10 years of not-smoking, you will have reversed most of the inflammatory damage smoking has done.
Take more omega-3 oils from natural sources. Omega-3 oils decrease inflammation (and also help your skin, hair, nails, and nerves!). Raw nuts and seeds are good sources, as are oils like olive oil. Cod, salmon, mackerel, and other wild-caught cold water fish are also good sources. Taking liquid cod liver oil every day is a great way to get plenty of healthy omega-3 oils.
Exercise. the more regular exercise you get, the more you will decrease inflammation in your body. You also get other excellent side effects such as more endurance, better moods, and better sleep.
Lose the extra pounds. Extra fat tends to cause extra inflammation. This is especially true of men with waists of 40 inches or more, and women with waists of 35 inches or more.
Sleep. Less than 7.5 hours of sleep each night increases your chance of having a heart attack or stroke.
Lower your stress. High stress over long periods of time increases inflammation and causes weight gain.
Avoid highly heated foods with cholesterol or oils. This changes the cholesterol and can cause oils to become trans-fats. Have a hard-boiled egg instead of fried or scrambled. Cook your oils at lower temperatures.
These are just some of the ways we can avoid heart attacks and stroke, AND have the healthy side effects, instead of taking statin drugs and having the unhealthy side effects.
Dr. James Prego
Long Island Naturopathic
560 Main St, Suite 4
Islip NY 11751