“If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?” Albert Einstein
I’m often asked if I think statin drugs are useful. Of course it’s important first to address the issue of cholesterol levels which statin drugs are used to control. I recently wrote a blog entitled “What can Centenarians teach us about cholesterol levels and longevity – It isn’t what you think” in which I provided substantial evidence questioning the current guidelines regarding what is actually a healthy total cholesterol level.
As far as statins go, my opinion is that if people are willing to be involved in their own healthcare by adopting a comprehensive approach to health optimization—which includes a healthy diet and lifestyle, the support of appropriate botanical and nutritional medicines, and a positive attitude—then I see little to no need for statin drugs.
However, if you do feel the need to take a statin, then I will provide you with essential supportive care to both mitigate the adverse effects of statins and to potentiate them, so that a reduced amount might be sufficient.
Continue reading “Statin-Associated Myopathy and Mitochondrial Impairment”
“Medicine qua medicine comes into existence when it appropriates knowledge and skills, no matter what their origin, in order to further its healing purposes.” — Edmund Pellegrino
The world population is aging with a rapid increase in the very elderly aged 80 and up. Those who make it to 100 and beyond (centenarians) are considered an exceptional human model of healthy aging and extreme longevity.
In general, centenarians appear to escape—or at least significantly delay—the diseases of aging that normally cause mortality at earlier ages. In an attempt to understand why some people live well beyond what is currently considered to be the ‘normal’ lifespan, gerontologists have identified a variety of factors that centenarians share. These include not smoking, a healthy diet, regular exercise, avoidance of stress, family connectedness, and a positive attitude.
Continue reading “What can Centenarians teach us about cholesterol levels and longevity – It isn’t what you think”
I’ve had numerous requests for information regarding specific dietary supplements and herbs that can help to normalize cholesterol profiles. Because there is so much misinformation regarding cholesterol, I want to reiterate that cholesterol is not the evil monster that it is made out to be.
Cholesterol is a lipid that is critical for the proper functioning of the body, and is used to build cell membranes, create sex hormones, aid in immune health and tissue repair; and facilitate digestion. However, elevated LDL cholesterol and low HDL cholesterol, in the presence of prolonged inflammation, oxidation (of LDL cholesterol) and elevated blood glucose and insulin levels can contribute mightily to cardiovascular disease.
Continue reading “Botanical And Dietary Supplement Alternatives To Statins”
In part 1 of this series, I provided an in-depth evaluation of the powerful role that diet plays in cardiovascular health, particularly in regard to achieving healthy cholesterol levels. As I pointed out in that post, I do not recommend statins, except in rare cases. Even then, the dosages I recommend are far less than the current standard of practice dictates.
Although cholesterol is often singled out as the cause of cardiovascular disease, this waxy, fat-like substance is essential to our health. Cholesterol is found in every cell, and is an important component of the membrane that surrounds cells. It’s also necessary for hormone production, specifically the hormone pregnenolone, which is the precursor to all other steroid hormones. Additionally, cholesterol is the precursor for bile acids that are necessary for digestion and provitamin D.
Continue reading “Can Statins Be Avoided With Lifestyle Interventions? Part 2”
It likely comes as no surprise that whenever possible, I advise avoiding pharmaceutical drugs in favor of healthy lifestyle changes. Prescription drugs invariably come with a host of side effects—some of which can be life threatening.
Statins, used for lowering cholesterol, are among the most commonly prescribed drugs. Although we’ve long been reassured that statins are safe, the truth is that statin-related side effects—including statin cardiomyopathy—are far more common than previously recognized. Fortunately, this serious condition is reversible with the combination of statin discontinuation and supplemental CoQ-10 (both ubiquinol—the reduced form and/or ubiquinone) and other mitochondrial-enhancing nutrients, such as R-lipoic acid, magnesium-creatine, magnesium glutamine, and botanicals, such as anabolic adaptogens and cardiovascular nourishing tonics.1
Continue reading “Can Statins Be Avoided With Lifestyle Interventions? Part 1”
Most people are aware that essential fatty acids are a necessary part of a healthy diet, and are familiar with omega 3’s, omega 6’s, and omega 9’s. But you may not have heard of omega 7’s, also known as palmitoleic acid. This rare fatty acid occurs abundantly in Siberian sea buckthorn berries (Hippophae rhamnoides), and has been used for thousands of years in Ayurvedic, Chinese, Greek, Russian, and Tibetan medicine. In Tibet, the berries are revered as the “Holy Fruit of the Himalayas.”
Siberian sea buckthorn oil (pressed from the bright orange colored berry and seeds of the plant) has come to the attention of the Western medical community because of its unique fatty acid profile—it’s the only known plant that contains all four essential fatty acids. Studies show that omega-7 fatty acids contribute to healthy skin, hair, and nails; enhance cardiovascular function; boost brain health; and improve gastrointestinal health. Sea buckthorn is also distinctive in that the fruits and seeds contain an extensive array of antioxidant compounds.
Continue reading “The Unique Health Benefits of Siberian Sea Buckthorn Oil”