If your blood test results show that you have high cholesterol levels, chances are quite high that your doctor will recommend you to take statin drugs. What are statins? Statins are a category of drugs used to lower the level of cholesterol in the blood. They do so by blocking enzymes found in the liver that are responsible for producing cholesterol.
As mentioned in our previous article “Cholesterol Confusion”, cholesterol is in fact beneficial to our bodies. Cholesterol is necessary for the creation of hormones, vitamin D, and enzymes needed for digestion. Nothing good will come out of taking statins to block the natural production of cholesterol. Here are a few reasons why you should seek a second opinion before taking statin drugs:
- Statins lower CoQ10
CoQ10 is a powerful antioxidant needed for every process of life. It provides the “spark” which our cells need to create energy. From birth, everyone has a large supply of CoQ10, however this supply declines rapidly as we age. Research shows that many health conditions are linked to a deficiency of CoQ10. Heart diseases like heart failure, high blood pressure and even high cholesterol have been linked to a deficiency of CoQ10.
Taking statins lowers the body’s supply of CoQ10. This is a double edged sword, as low levels of CoQ10 in the body can increase the risk of heart failure.
If you decide to take a statin drug, you MUST take CoQ10 as a supplement.
- Statins reduce Vitamin K2
Vitamin K2 has many roles in the body. The two most important ones are to help with calcium metabolism and prevent calcification of the arteries. Vitamin K2 also stops calcium from building up in soft tissues.
When statins are taken, they stop the synthesis of vitamin K2 from occurring. This means you might end up with a vitamin K2 deficiency, a condition known to lead to a number of diseases like osteoporosis, atherosclerosis, heart disease, heart attacks, heel spurs, kidney stones, brain disease and even cancer.
If you are taking statins, it is crucial that you also take Vitamin K2. Spirulina is rich in Vitamin K2.
- Statins increase the risk of diseases
Prolonged usage of statins can increase the risk of cancer, diabetes, musculoskeletal conditions and neurological disorder.
According to a letter to the editor of the Journal of Clinical Oncology entitled “Statins Do Not Protect against Cancer: Quite the Opposite” (http://ascopubs.org/doi/full/10.1200/JCO.2014.58.9564):
“Several cholesterol-lowering drugs, including statins, have been found to be carcinogenic in rodents in doses that produce blood concentrations of the drugs similar to those attained in treating patients.”
There are a number of ways that the intake of statins can increase your risk of diabetes, and they are as follows:
- Increases insulin resistance. (https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0735109710001865)
- Depletes your body of vitamin D and CoQ10, which are both needed to maintain normal blood sugar levels.
It is quite common for people who are taking statins to complain about muscular pain, soreness, tiredness and weakness. There are several reasons why these symptoms might be occurring, including how the production of CoQ10 and selenoproteins are inhibited during the usage of statins.
Selenoproteins, like glutathione peroxidase, are selenium-containing proteins, which are important for protecting muscle tissue from oxidative damage. Without this valuable enzyme, inflammation and free radicals will have nothing to stop them from damaging muscle tissues.
25% of the cholesterol in the body can be found in the brain. It is used for the creation of the synapse, which enables us to think, learn and form memories. A direct result of the usage of statins is that there will be a shortage of cholesterol going to the brain. Because of this, there have been reports of mental impairment (e.g. memory loss, forgetfulness, amnesia, confusion) among those consuming statin drugs.
These symptoms tend to reverse themselves when the usage of statins is stopped altogether.
Nevertheless, before you decide to follow your doctor’s advice and take statins, there is a likelihood that you may reduce elevated blood cholesterol levels by making the following lifestyle and dietary changes:
- Adopt an anti-inflammatory diet
There are certain foods that are commonly known to increase inflammation in the body. If your cholesterol levels are elevated, it is probably a good idea to avoid the following foods:
- Fried foods
- Refined carbohydrates
- Refined sugars
- Alcoholic beverages
- Animal products that contain hormones and antibiotics
- Artificial sweeteners
- Processed foods (i.e. biscuits, chips, hot dogs etc.)
- Foods cooked in refined cooking oil (such as soy, corn, canola etc.)
- Trans-fats in margarine, vegetable shortening and all products listing them as ingredients or made with partially hydrogenated oils of any kind.
Eat more of the following foods:
- Green leafy vegetables & fruits – If you struggle to consume whole portions of vegetables and fruits, simply use the NewLifeTM’s Alpha Juicer to make nutrient dense, deliciously tasting juices.
Alternatively, NewLifeTM’s Super Green Food ++ and Spirulina are excellent supplements to get more greens into your diet. They are concentrated sources of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, enzymes, phytonutrients, chlorophyll and powerful antioxidants.
- Potassium rich foods – Health experts recommend an intake of at least 5 times more potassium than sodium. To reconstruct healthy cells, we must replenish potassium levels in the body. Besides cutting down salt intake and taking more high potassium foods, supplementing with natural, specially formulated potassium such as NewLifeTM’s K-Salt is the perfect antidote to reduce inflammation.
Extra virgin coconut oil & omega-3 fatty acids – In many recent studies, the lauric acid in virgin coconut oil was found to reduce inflammation in cells. NewLifeTM’s Extra Virgin Coconut Oil is cold pressed and naturally processed from freshly harvested, organic, mature coconuts.
NewLifeTM’s Omega Gold Flax Seed Oil is one of the best sources of natural Omega-3. Flaxseed oil contains Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs). EFAs are necessary fats that human cannot synthesize, and must be obtained through diet. EFAs support the cardiovascular, reproductive, immune, and nervous systems. NewLifeTM’s Omega Gold Flax Seed Oil assures the highest quality oil, which is extracted from organically grown golden flaxseed using a cold-press process that eliminates the damaging effects of light, oxygen, and heat.
- Add more antioxidants
Antioxidants protect your cells from the effects of free radicals and can help reduce inflammation.
CoQ10 – Clinical evidence has suggested that CoQ10 has potent effects on inflammatory markers.
CoQ10 is found in meat, fish and whole grains. However, the amount of CoQ10 found in these dietary sources is not sufficient to significantly increase CoQ10 levels in the body. Also, levels of CoQ10 in the body decrease as you age, making supplementation essential.
NewLifeTM’s CoQ10 Plus is an advanced formula synergistically blended with essential fatty acids found in flaxseed concentrate to enhance bioavailability.
Other supplements that are high in antioxidants include NewLifeTM’s Collasta and Spirulina.
- A daily dose of NewLifeTM’s Cholestinon, which contains Red Yeast Rice, safely reduces elevated cholesterol levels by reducing inflammation in the body.
- Regular exercise with each session lasting at least 30 minutes. It can be any form of exercise but it should at least raise the pulse rate moderately.
- Quit smoking – smoking lowers the concentration of HDL and worsens the detrimental effects that LDL naturally has on the body. “Smoking creates an environment in the bloodstream that leads to a destructive breakdown [of cholesterol], making LDL even more toxic to blood vessels, increasing deposits of plaque in the arteries, and increasing inflammation,” says Dr. L. Kristin Newby, MD, professor of medicine at the Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, North Carolina.
- Stop consuming alcohol. Every drop of alcohol burdens and intoxicates your liver. The accumulation of alcohol in your body can destroy cells, eventually leading to liver diseases. Only a healthy liver can effectively produce and clear cholesterol in the body. Cholesterol is necessary for the creation of hormones, vitamin D, and enzymes needed for digestion.
At the end of the day, each of us are responsible for our own health. Make a choice that will benefit you in the long-term instead of going for short-term convenience.