The number is shocking, but more than 100 million Americans suffer from high cholesterol issues. This means their total cholesterol is above 200. If you guys have followed me for awhile, you know that I am disappointed in the mainstream medicine system for putting every single patient (it feels like) on a statin, like Lipitor. These medications are some of the top prescribed medications in the USA, racking in a shocking 12 billion dollars per year since their advent. But where is the study that shows it is actual cholesterol plaques in the arteries causing the issues? How do we know it isn’t just inflammation? How do we know what the proper levels are for cholesterol? Why is some cholesterol bad and some good?
In my opinion, cholesterol is NEEDED in the proper levels for brain function and memory. It is integral in the formation of cell membranes, vitamin D, sex hormones like estrogen and testosterone, bile acids to emulsify and absorb nutrients, and a wide range of metabolic processes. We actually need it! For years, mainstream medicine touted cholesterol as “bad” and that the lower the levels, the better. Sadly, this is untrue and was a ploy to sell their popular statin medications. Statins, like Lipitor, Crestor, Pravachol and Zocor have approximately a 20% rate of causing liver failure and are also a risk for myalgias, or severe muscle cramping. They have also been linked to heart failure.
If a patient is at risk for angina, heart disease, or strokes, this is a sign that overall lifestyle changes should be made. Diet, exercise, meditation, stress management and emotional burdens should be examined and bravely worked on. This is a journey of self love and everyone will be ready at their own pace.
Many of us know about some natural ways like omega 3 fatty acids, niacin, red yeast rice, or flaxseed to help correct abnormal cholesterol levels. However, there is one combo that even helps extremely high cholesterol like familial hypercholesterolemia, a genetic mutation that causes levels to be over 1000! If you or someone you know is ready to make the change to a more holistic lifestyle including herbs and organic, whole foods, here is where you can start with cholesterol.
- Berberine- This is an alkaloid that comes from a number of different plants like barberry. It is widely known to lower risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and to aid in weight loss. But researchers were surprised when they saw what 500mg three times a day for 12 weeks could do for cholesterol.”Dr. Hu Yueshan, Ph.D, and colleagues from the Avera Institute for Human Genetics, in Sioux Falls, SD, had been investigating berberine for its ability to prevent fat accumulation in obese humans and mice. They therefore conducted a study in obese human subjects to determine the safety and efficacy of berberine treatment on cholesterol and a number of other important cardiovascular risk factors such as body weight and markers of inflammation.Taking berberine supplements to lower cholesterol leads to 12% reduction in cholesterol and 23% reduction in triglycerides
The treatment with berberine significantly reduced blood lipid levels. Cholesterol levels decreased by an average of 12% and triglycerides by 23%.The researchers also replicated the lipid-lowering effect of berberine in rats (9% decrease of cholesterol and 34.7% decrease of triglycerides). The human subjects also lost an average of five pounds without changing their diets”(1) Wow! This means berberine is more effective than the statin, Zetia! In my experience, I have seen berberine work quite well to lower cholesterol and normalize levels…without side effects! If you would like to try berberine, look for a 500mg capsule and try it out three times a day for 3 months.
2. Citrus Bergamot- Is an orange that comes from the Calabria region of Italy. The essential oil in the peel has been popularized around the world for its use in perfumes and aromatherapy as it helps to reduce anxiety. Not just that, but citrus bergamot has high antioxidant ability due to its polyphenol concentration. When examined and then extracted, this citrus has the ability to dramatically lower triglycerides and LDL cholesterol, while raising the “good” cholesterol HDL. Like its counterpart, berberine, it also can help control blood sugars and lower cardiovascular risk.
“In a placebo-controlled clinical trial, Italian researchers gave either 500 mg or 1,000 mg of bergamot extract daily to study volunteers with high cholesterol levels. After one month, average LDL cholesterol in the two groups fell by 24 and 36 percent, respectively, HDL cholesterol increased by 22 and 40 percent, and triglycerides—another cardiovascular risk factor—declined by 30 and 39 percent. These are impressive results for any intervention, let alone a nutritional supplement.” (2) Whats really nice about this natural food is that while statins rob your body of the necessary antioxidant, CoQ10, citrus bergamot does not have this effect. It leaves antioxidants alone, while still regulating proper cholesterol levels. Isn’t that what we all want?
To try out citrus bergamot, take 500mg-1000mg twice a day for 3 months.
3. Noni Berries- In Polynesian folk medicine, the juice of noni berries has been used for centuries to help remedy heart problems, cholesterol, and reduce pain. The juice comes from the exotic fruit, noni or Morinda citrifolia which grows in the Asia Pacific part of the world. It lowers cholesterol naturally by preventing the absorption of LDL cholesterol, thereby boosting memory as well. It also contains high antioxidants in the form of phytosterols.
To confirm these findings, researcher Mian-Ying Wang, MD performed a study on noni juice. She took 100 smokers who were not on other cholesterol medication and had them drink 1 to 4 ounces everyday for a month. 26 other volunteers got a placebo juice that did not contain noni berries. Total cholesterol in the noni juice drinkers went from 235.2 to 190 after one month! Triglycerides dropped from 242.5 to 193.5. The placebo group had no significant changes.
Noni has also been touted as an analgesic, immune system booster, cancer fighter, and antidepressant, however, more studies are needed to confirm these claims.
Try 60ml of noni juice daily for 3 months to see if it helps you!
4. Jerusalem Artichoke-this special artichoke is an annual plant closely related to the sunflower. Not only do I recommend this veggie as a prebiotic for some gut issues, but it also helps lower cholesterol as well. Why?
Jerusalem artichoke contains a high amount of fiber called inulin (also found in chicory and dandelion). Inulin works by sweeping the bowels clean and works on gut bacteria by encouraging the growth of the healthy bifidobacteria. As it sweeps through the GI tract, it captures some of the fat eaten, preventing its absorption into the bloodstream. This fat (AND CHOLESTEROL) is then moved out through the bowels without being brought into the body to affect levels in the liver. It works well to lower LDL and triglycerides.
Not only does Jerusalem artichoke work on cholesterol, but it helps to regulate digestion, obesity, constipation, colon cancer, and heartburn.
To try it out with the rest of my recommendations, try 900mg to 1000mg twice a day.
Remember these are synergistic and should be used together for the best and most efficacious results! There are other options besides statins and their nasty side effects. Take your health into your own hands.
Remember you are your own best doctor!
- Wang, M., Kikuzaki, H., Csiszar, K., Boyd, C.D., Maunakea, A., Fong, S.F., Ghai, G., Rosen, R.T., Nakatani, N., Ho, C.T., (1999) Novel Trisaccharide fatty acid ester identified from the fruits of Morinda citrifolia (Noni). Agric Food Chem. 47;4880-2.
Dr. Jess (MD)
Dr. Jess (Dr. Jessica Peatross) is a western trained medical doctor who began her journey into healing in 2009.
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