By Kay Hutchinson CAMQ, CAMT
Many people today are concerned about the impact of cholesterol-lowering drugs that contain statins, linked in some cases to possible liver damage in certain people. This article will explore natural statins and plant sterols as tools to lower cholestrol.
In addition to synthetic forms found in drugs, statins also occur naturally in foods such soy products and almonds. However, it is often challenging to get enough of plant statins in the diet to benefit cholesterol levels.
Red yeast rice is a food that is high in statins and has had some clinical success in lowering cholesterol levels naturally.
The downside with red yeast rice is that there is no standardized way of measuring the level of statins in products, so wide variances occur among different brands and even with different production batches of supplements. Furthermore, the side effects that are attributed to synthetic statins may also occur with natural statins. So, you may be exposed to all the risks yet with less effectiveness of the drug statins.
There has also been concern that during the fermentation process of red yeast rice, a toxic chemical called citrinin may produced. So natural is not always necessarily better. Many red yeast rice products on the market today have had the citrinin removed, but in doing so, some of the natural statin may also be lowered to produce a less effective product overall.
The ideal candidate for using red yeast rice to control cholesterol is a person with no other health concerns, no arterial blockages, and very mildly elevated cholesterol levels.
Individuals with moderate to high levels of cholesterol or those with mild elevations but who also have been diagnosed with blocked arteries or heart disease, diabetes, kidney or liver disease are not ideal candidates for using red yeast rice successfully.
There are several food line products that contain natural plant sterols, also associated with lowering cholesterol. These products include Benecol and Promise Activ which make margarine spreads and carmel chews with high concentration of natural plant sterols.
The safety and efficacy of these food products with plant sterols have been well researched in Europe and also recently reported by the New England Journal of Medicine.
Contact Kay Hutchinson, CAMQ, CAMT today for a consultation on how to lower your cholesterol with nutrition, stress management and custom Chinese herbs: www.aikihealing.com