Let’s not arm wrestle about the cholesterol theory of heart disease. Most cardiologists believe LDL cholesterol is the culprit behind clogged coronary arteries. But there are other cardiologists who have a different perspective and question the routine use of statins in preventing heart disease. Listen to two different views from Dr. Sidney Smith and Dr. Robert Dubroff. They talk to us about “How to Have A Healthy Heart.” There is also this interview: “Doctors Deeply Divided Over the Value of Statins.”
Is It Possible to Control Cholesterol Naturally?
What if you would like to control cholesterol naturally? Is it even possible? Many readers ask this basic question:
Q. What can I take to reduce my cholesterol besides pills? I would much prefer something natural rather than the statin my doctor suggested.
A. You could probably please your physician by taking red yeast rice. This product contains naturally produced statins that have been shown to lower cholesterol (Nutrition, Metabolism, and Cardiovascular Diseases, Jan. 2017).
A combination supplement (Armolipid Plus) with red yeast rice, policosanol, berberine, folic acid, astaxanthin and Coenzyme Q10 has been tested in randomized controlled trials (Atherosclerosis. Supplements, Feb. 2017). It lowers both total and LDL cholesterol.
You can learn more about this approach in our comprehensive article:
How Does Red Yeast Rice Compare to Statins?
Other Ways to Control Cholesterol Naturally:
Other strategies include getting regular exercise, following an anti-inflammatory diet, including nuts, grape juice, cinnamon and chocolate in some meals and consuming soluble fiber.
Laura Effel describer her strategy in our book Best Choices from The People’s Pharmacy (now out of print).
“How I Lowered My LDL (Bad) Cholesterol 44 Points in 5 Weeks Without Drugs”
Here are the highlights:
A listener of our radio show contacted us about her success with diet and cholesterol control. She wrote to tell us how she had lowered her cholesterol without drugs. We were so impressed with her story that we wanted to share it. Not everyone can achieve such dramatic results with diet alone, but Laura’s story demonstrates that diet can make a difference. And lest you think this was a flash in the pan, we heard that three months later Laura had maintained her success and even managed to achieve greater improvement by lowering her LDL cholesterol to 70.
“With the help of a food scientist and the skeptical cooperation of my physician, I set about changing my diet to make a difference. Five weeks later, from changes in diet alone, my LDL cholesterol was down 44 points. I had a new way of eating, a permanent change, and I knew my cholesterol would continue to improve.
“My old way of eating had not been disastrous, especially not before the loss of estrogen. After all, at the age of 60, I weighed little more than I had the day I graduated from high school at 18. But I made changes that made a difference.
“Here is what I did:
- Avoided spikes in blood sugar
- Eliminated refined carbohydrates
- Ate a high-protein breakfast
- Substituted olive oil for other fats
- Added soluble fiber to meals other than breakfast
- Focused on fish
- Drank green tea
- Consumed other antioxidants
- Stopped eating before bed
“The experiment worked. My LDL cholesterol not only went down 44 points in 5 weeks, it also continued on its downward course.”
You can learn more about the details of these approaches in our Guide to Cholesterol Control and Heart Health. Anyone who would like a copy, please send $3 in check or money order with a long (no. 10) stamped (70 cents), self-addressed envelope:
- Graedons’ People’s Pharmacy, No. C-8
- P. O. Box 52027
- Durham, NC 27717-2027
It can also be downloaded for $2 from the website:
If you have been able to control cholesterol naturally please share your success story in the comment section below.