How to lower cholesterol don't be fooled by your GP

The Good Life Letter

Sunday 18th September 2011

I need to let off a bit of steam.

I have had another heated exchange with a member of the medical profession about their dogmatic approach regarding how to lower cholesterol. They just prescribe statins - a class of drugs, which are supposed to lower cholesterol.

I have argued until I am blue in the face that the present trend for piling stains onto the nation is NOT the answer.

So many research papers are concluding that this group of drugs isn't the cure-all, risk-free panacea we have been led to believe.

Why won't the doctors believe it?

In June last year I told you about the findings of a major research project which concluded that for every person who avoids a heart attack by using statins, two or more suffer kidney failure, liver damage, cataracts and muscle weakness.

This was a trial, which was published right under our doctors' noses in their own publication The British Medical Journal - but what have they done since?

Absolutely nothing that's what - even though there are other options.

For instance, has your doctor told you that there is a natural alternative to statins called red rice yeast?

I'll bet's probably something that has slipped his or her mind.

Statin prescribing is increasing by 30% per year, and pretty soon everyone over the age of 50 will be told they need them.  We even have some health commentators believing that they are SO good that it would make sense to put them into the water supply.

This means that the medical profession is acting like legal drug pushers. In fact, in two million statin users, it was found that twice as many people suffered a serious health problem as benefitted from the drug.

Statins also have a dramatic impact on users' levels of aggression...if you have been taking statins for six months or more, just ask you nearest and dearest whether they have noticed that you are now less placid.

Ask them to be honest, and don't be surprised if they tell you the truth!

The natural alternative to statins isn't a new fad

I think my GP would love to get me onto this drug of choice. I'm the right sex, the right age and have the ideal lifestyle for having high cholesterol.

But it sickens him that every time I have a blood test my readings come back as if I was a virtuous 18-year-old.
I think he suspects that I'm bribing the nurse to switch samples. He might insist on taking the next one personally to make sure.

He refuses to listen to my explanation, and this is a man that I regard as a friend.

What scares him is that I start talking about an ancient Chinese spice and preservative, the thing that gives Peking duck its distinctive tea colour.

And then I tell him it works as effectively as any statin, but without the side effects.

His poor little brain can't cope with the diversity of these two concepts.

He definitely stops listening when I begin to explain that fermented red rice yeast extract contains active compounds called monacolins, one of which works to inhibit the enzyme that promotes excessive cholesterol production.

I've been banging this particular drum for many years now - and I really thought that he had stopped listening.
Until this morning that is...

Why this formulation of red rice yeast makes sense

I had arrived at the surgery to see the nurse for my annual MOT - and there was my doctor friend waiting for me.

"Aha", he said "So, Mr Collins with his natural statins might just be wrong after all."

"And how's that dear Sir", I asked.

"It's been proven that this red rice yeast you keep banging on about isn't so good for you after all", he said with a look of triumph on his face as he thrust a document towards me.

I read with interest the report which, correctly, identified that red rice yeast had been shown to suppress the activity of co-enzyme Q10, a requirement for generating energy in the body and vital for a healthy heart.

If only he had asked.

The red rice yeast I take has this important compound added to it, as well as an extract of grape seed, which enhances its anti-oxidant effect, further helping my cardiovascular health by reducing the effect of damaging free radicals. So no harm done after all.

Anyway he didn't ask, but I delighted in telling him!

A right royal argument then ensued which saw the GP retire hurt to his room, and me stomp into see the nurse with the veins in my temples throbbing - not a good preparation for having my blood pressure checked!

Managing your cholesterol levels naturally is just a matter of doing a few things right;

- Take a daily dose of red rice yeast 
- Eat sensibly, avoiding saturated fats and get plenty of fibre in your diet
- Increase the amount of Omega-3 in your diet with fresh fish
- Eat plenty of garlic, fresh ginger and chilli

Avoid the dreaded day when your GP begins to offer you statins which come with all those nasty side effects.

Take control of your cholesterol NOW!
Yours, as always






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