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  #16  
Old 04-12-2006, 05:10 PM
Mojo Mojo is offline
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At one time I took Lipitor and Zetia and began having muscular problems in my calves, buttocks and the small of my back after 5+years on the Lipitor. I was one who let the medicine do all the work and continued to eat as I pleased but I had an awakening due to my very painful existance. With the blessing of my doctors I weaned off both statins and completely changed my way of living. I had to convince them I was committed.



Instead of Lipitor/Zetia I now take 3 grams of niacin (nicotinc acid), 20 mg of Policosanol and 4 grams of omega 3 fish oil. I have the homocysteine levels in check with B12, B6 and Folic Acid in my multi. However, I give even more credit to my change in lifestyle - exercise and eating. After 3 months my numbers are not perfect but I don't consider them in the danger zone either. I'm not a big tickler for "under 200" Total Cholesterol. I'm convinced that the mere presence of cholesterol is not the problem.

- I now read all food labels
- I log all foods comsumed in a computer program which tracks everything.
- If I consciously eat "fat" it's mostly good fats except for a little dairy.
- Sugar is a total "no-no" for me except for fresh fruits.
- If I didn't eat skinless chicken and turkey or fish I would be vegetarian.
- I walk a minimum of 4 miles each weekday morning with friends.
- I tone my muscles on a BowFlex in my home 3 days/week for 20 mins.
- I concentrate on vegetables, fresh fruit, nuts, grains and legumes.
- I lost 40 pounds and 4 waist sizes in 7 months.

I consider all these things much cheaper than expensive cholesterol drugs and have none of the bad side effects. I don't recommend what I've done to anybody who doesn't get their doctors' approval first. And, it's sorta' like stopping smoking. If you aren't seriously committed nothing will ever replace your meds.
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  #17  
Old 04-13-2006, 09:05 PM
RubyTuesday RubyTuesday is offline
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I agree with Belle. Check out lifestyle changes, as painful as they might be to implement.

http://www.newstart.com

Also, check out Chinese red yeast rice. It acts like a statin.

http://www.ajcn.org/cgi/content/full/69/2/231

Quote:
Background: We examined the cholesterol-lowering effects of a proprietary Chinese red-yeast-rice supplement in an American population consuming a diet similar to the American Heart Association Step I diet using a double-blind, placebo-controlled, prospectively randomized 12-wk controlled trial at a university research center.

Objective: We evaluated the lipid-lowering effects of this red-yeast-rice dietary supplement in US adults separate from effects of diet alone.

Design: Eighty-three healthy subjects (46 men and 37 women aged 34–78 y) with hyperlipidemia [total cholesterol, 5.28–8.74 mmol/L (204–338 mg/dL); LDL cholesterol, 3.31–7.16 mmol/L (128–277 mg/dL); triacylglycerol, 0.62–2.78 mmol/L (55–246 mg/dL); and HDL cholesterol 0.78–2.46 mmol/L (30–95 mg/dL)] who were not being treated with lipid-lowering drugs participated. Subjects were treated with red yeast rice (2.4 g/d) or placebo and instructed to consume a diet providing 30% of energy from fat, <10% from saturated fat, and <300 mg cholesterol daily. Main outcome measures were total cholesterol, total triacylglycerol, and HDL and LDL cholesterol measured at weeks 8, 9, 11, and 12.

Results: Total cholesterol concentrations decreased significantly between baseline and 8 wk in the red-yeast-rice–treated group compared with the placebo-treated group [( ± SD) 6.57 ± 0.93 mmol/L (254 ± 36 mg/dL) to 5.38 ± 0.80 mmol/L (208 ± 31 mg/dL); P < 0.001]. LDL cholesterol and total triacylglycerol were also reduced with the supplement. HDL cholesterol did not change significantly.

Conclusions: Red yeast rice significantly reduces total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and total triacylglycerol concentrations compared with placebo and provides a new, novel, food-based approach to lowering cholesterol in the general population.
Why do you not hear about red yeast rice as an alternative to statins? That's easy.

Quote:
Testimony Before the House Government Reform Committee

By David Heber, M.D., Ph.D., FACP, FACN July 25, 2002

I am a Professor of Medicine and Public Health and the Founding Director of the UCLA Center for Human Nutrition and the Division of Clinical Nutrition at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA with federal funding for centers and training of physicians and scientists from three NIH Institutes including the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases, and the Office of Dietary Supplements Research in cooperation with the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine. Over the past 20 years, I have participated in and witnessed a revolutionary expansion of our knowledge of nutrition science and the benefits of fruits, vegetables and dietary supplements including botanical dietary supplements. When I attended medical school almost 30 years ago, I was taught that you get all the vitamins you need by eating the basic four food groups. Today, we know that is not true and that there is a great deal of evidence suggesting that four basic vitamins including multivitamins with folic acid, vitamin E, vitamin C and calcium can benefit all Americans by reducing the risk of chronic diseases (1). Unfortunately, scientific breakthroughs and insights such as these are not being translated into health benefits for our population as the jurisdiction for the regulation of nutrition information is divided among several different agencies with different primary missions including the USDA, the NIH, the CDC, the FDA, and the FTC. The discovery of hybrid corn in 1938 contributed to national security by helping this nation win World War II, and a grain surplus continues to insure our national security. However, 70% of that grain is fed to domesticated animals for dairy and meat production. Refined sugars such as high fructose corn syrup (the cola sweetener) and vegetable oils increase hidden calories in popular snack foods marketed to our children. In fact, it is estimated that 1/3 of all Americans get 47% of their calories from so-called junk foods. [...]

There are 57 million Americans with high cholesterol and only 13 million take prescription drugs for cholesterol lowering. Mevacor at 20 mg to 40 mg per day has been shown to reduce heart disease deaths and heart attacks by 30% over 5 years in individuals with modestly high cholesterol levels. I suspect that Chinese Red Yeast Rice would have the same public health benefit at lower cost, but the Federal Appeals Court decision has made this an unapproved drug based on its containing a substance previously approved as a drug. This phrase is included in the DSHEA law as a protection against companies simply marketing impure fractions of drugs, a situation that is not in my view pertinent here. I have an IND pending before FDA currently to allow me to study the differences in metabolism between mevacor and Chinese Red Yeast Rice, but there can be no large phase III trial of Red Yeast Rice in this country until we find a way to solve the procedural and legal barriers to its marketing. As it stands, Red Yeast Rice is sold legally in every country but the United States.
Full text of Dr. Heber's testimony at: http://www.cancercurecoalition.org/a...andcancer.html
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  #18  
Old 04-13-2006, 09:40 PM
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Harry Hirsute Harry Hirsute is offline
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Default red yeast rice comment

Please be aware that red yeast rice can bring about some of the same side-effects as synthetic statins. Also, it doesn't appear to have much of an impact on HDL cholesterol levels - synthetic statins do.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...=pubmed_docsum

In addition to the comments above, it's important to note that some RYR products sometimes contain potentially harmful byproducts:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...=pubmed_DocSum

If you do use it, consider supplementing with CoQ10 as well:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...=pubmed_docsum

Bottomline, if you try it ... consider using CoQ10 along with it and keep on eye out for possible side-effects.

Be well,

HH
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  #19  
Old 04-13-2006, 10:10 PM
RubyTuesday RubyTuesday is offline
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Quote:
Please be aware that red yeast rice can bring about some of the same side-effects as synthetic statins.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...=pubmed_docsum
But, Harry, according to the above abstract, myopathy was observed in only one person.

Quote:
Also, it doesn't appear to have much of an impact on HDL cholesterol levels - synthetic statins do.
I found this about that.

Red Yeast Rice is NOT a Statin!
http://www.rxlist.com/rxboard/lipito...ames;read=4414
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  #20  
Old 04-13-2006, 11:18 PM
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Harry Hirsute Harry Hirsute is offline
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Default reply for Ruby

Ruby,

Technically, you're correct. RYR does not contain statins. However, it does contain chemicals which closely approximate statins (both in their chemical structure and in their mechanism of action).

I'm quoting from the link provided in your reply:

"One of these compounds called Monacolin K was isolated by a drug manufacturer from a different species of fungus and purified and crystallized to purity. The drug, Mevacor (Merck) initiated a generation of medical research that has developed many drugs in the category called statins through novel chemical modifications."

"The key difference between drugs and herbs is that herbs are a combination of multiple compounds while drugs consist of a single purified crystallized compound. Our research shows that only 5 mg of Monacolin K in the matrix of this yeast has the same cholesterol-lowering effect as 20 mg of Mevacor demonstrating that the entire family of compounds has an effect not just the one species which became a drug."

This is an argument I make frequently. In general, herbal remedies are much more complex - both chemically and in terms of the pathways by which they work in the body, than pharmaceutical drugs.

I also agree that because they often work by multiple pathways and because they almost always contain other (phyto)chemicals which are often protective ... they're generally gentler on our system.

With all that being said, it's still important to note that since we don't know how RYR works (beyond it's effect on HMG-CoA reductase) we must then proceed with caution.

Let me throw an added twist into this matter. What if, the other phytochemicals in RYR actually magnify the effect of the 5 or so milligrams of Monacolin K? Maybe that's why it works almost as well as the prescribed statins. What then?

It's also true that there are only two reported cases of myopathy in the published literature (that I could find in my preliminary search). Still, we must take into account the possibility that far fewer people are using RYR.

Also, many people who do take RYR may be taking other natural substances that may help to prevent potential side-effects. And finally, judging by what I've heard from some naturopathic doctors and ordinary people on online message boards ... some people (who are supportive of natural medicine) do suffer ill-effects from RYR but would hardly go to the lengths to get that information into a medical journal. Heck, many would be afraid to even tell their doctor that they're taking such a supplement.

http://www.*****************.com/pdfs/SuppsDontWork.pdf

http://www.nnfa.org/site/PageServer?...g_redyeastrice

Be well,

HH
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  #21  
Old 04-14-2006, 12:24 AM
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Xania Xania is offline
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Thank you Harry. That is a really valuable post and I think I am going to save it.
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  #22  
Old 04-22-2006, 11:29 AM
Roxie Roxie is offline
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Default Myths

RYR gave me all the symptoms of rhabidomyosis (sp.?) just like a statin would. I took Lipitor for awhile before I knew better, and both RYR and Lipitor made me so weak I could barely walk to the mailbox.

Why has nobody mentioned that this whole idea that cholesterol is awful is false? We need the stuff to make our hormones and remove toxins from our bodies and patch up injured places in our arteries. It is more important to prevent arteries from being injured in the first place.

Google "Cholesterol Myths" and read the other side. The wrong info was given out for so long, that it's now accepted as truth, much to the delight of Big Pharma. They keep lowering "normal" levels so they can make even more money. Now they are doing this with blood pressure too, and for the same reason.

Even the famous Framingham heart study does not support the theory.....it proved that higher cholesterol as one gets older is protective, and high LDL is especially protective for older women. After age 70, cholesterol level seems to have no effect one way or the other.

High Triglycerides and low HDL are bad and can signal insulin resistance, but total cholesterol should not be below 200, and high LDL often indicates infection or other toxicity that should be adressed while leaving the LDL alone so it can do it's job of toxin removal.

Total cholesterol below 200 is predictive of a 13.5% HIGHER death rate from ALL causes, including heart disease. Very low cholesterol often indicates the presence of cancer, and increases suicide rates. I could go on but read it for yourself.

Insulin, inflammation, homocysteine, and bacteria like chlamydia are the real problems, not to mention stress.

Roxie
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  #23  
Old 05-20-2006, 10:21 PM
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Why has nobody mentioned that this whole idea that cholesterol is awful is false? We need the stuff to make our hormones and remove toxins from our bodies and patch up injured places in our arteries. It is more important to prevent arteries from being injured in the first place.

Right if you try to lower your cholesterol by eating foods that low in cholesterol your body reacts by making more and if you eat high cholesterol foods your body will make less of it. One might say that your body has a much better idea of what your cholesterol level should be, rather then some doctor with an arbitrary number. It used to be that anything below 300 was OK, and then it was drop to anything below 250, now 200 is the excepted number.

So how were these numbers chosen? As I recall12 out of 13 “impartial” doctors that reviewed the data and said that this was a good thing, either worked for or received grant money from the manufactures of cholesterol lowering drugs.

Statistics do show that a group of people with high cholesterol who took cholesterol lower drugs DID reduce their chance of heart problems. This obviously is the statistic that the drug companies love to boldly promote as a reason for taking their drugs. But somehow they fail to advertise with the same passion the rest of the statistical data that shows that many of these same people still died but now it was from the side effects of their drugs.

The statistic I found most interesting dealt with people with “normal” cholesterol levels. They obviously should be living long healthy lives. Surprisingly these people with “normal” levels appear to have essentially the same chance of developing heart problems as those with high cholesterol. So what do you gain by taking these pills and what does the manufacture gain?

How about people with really low cholesterol levels. Here we do see a correlation between cholesterol and heart disease. With it producing a noticeable “increase” in heart problems.

What about people who have lived into their 80’s & 90’s surely as a group and following conventional wisdom they must have low cholesterol levels. Wrong, they are typically high while many of their friends with low numbers have already passed on.
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  #24  
Old 05-30-2006, 11:59 AM
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Default lower carbs ... lower LDL cholesterol

Another study supports the heart-health benefits of a lower carbohydrate diet:

http://go.reuters.com/newsArticle.jh...log/GetContent

Be well,

HH
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  #25  
Old 02-01-2007, 12:10 AM
Mitamins team Mitamins team is offline
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Drugs may interact with herbs, and even vitamins and minerals, causing adverse reactions. The first step in avoiding drug-vitamins interactions is to know where the risks are. You can avoid Supplement-Drug interaction at Mitamins.

Although it is by no means the only major risk factor, elevated serum (blood) cholesterol is clearly associated with a high risk of heart disease. Most doctors suggest cholesterol levels should stay under 200 mg/dl. As levels fall below 200, the risk of heart disease continues to decline. Many doctors consider cholesterol levels of no more than 180 to be optimal. A low cholesterol level, however, is not a guarantee of good heart health, as some people with low levels do suffer heart attacks.

The approach of optimum cardiovascular health is an added focus on the correction of good and bad cholesterol levels. The following nutritional components may be beneficial. Policosanol has been shown to reduce LDLs (bad cholesterol) and raise HDLs (good cholesterol). Red Yeast Rice, Guggul, Garlic, Pantothenic Acid, and Soy Isoflavones all help to lower total cholesterol and raise HDLs (good cholesterol). CoQ10, Ester C and Vitamin E are a group of powerful antioxidants that prevent dangerous oxidation of cholesterol and also lower LDLs (bad cholesterol).

Do not take these statements as medical advice. If you think you may be in need of treatment, please contact a healthcare professional.
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