NIACINIACIN: Since the 1960s, niacin (vitamin B3) hasha been known to be effective in lowering bblood cholesterol and triglyceride levels. In fact, in numerous clinical studies niacin has demonstrated better overall results in reducing risk factors for coronnary heart disease than other cholesterolloweringlow agents—including statin drugs. Niacin typically lowers LDL cholesterol levels by 16–23 percent while raising HDL cholesterol levels by 20–33 percent. These effects, especially the effect on HDL, compare quite favorably with conventional cholesterol-lowering drugs. In addition, some studies have shown that niacin used in conjunction with statins significantly improves patient outcomes, as opposed to using statins alone.
Nonetheless, many people are reluctant to use niacin. The chief reason is that at the levels recommended to lower cholesterol (1,200–3,000 mg per day), it causes a hot, itchy skin reaction known as the “niacin flush.” This problem has been overcome with the development of timed-release “no flush” preparations, shown to be extremely well tolerated with no serious side effects. don’t eat low-mercury, cold-water fish, such as wild salmon, herring, or sardines, at least two or three times per week, take enough fish oil to get 1,000 mg daily of EPA and DHA. Freshness is key, as fish oil can become rancid over time. Masley recommends testing one pill in a bottle by pricking the capsule with a needle and tasting the oil. “It isn’t lemonade, but it should taste pleasant,” he says. MAGNESIUM “If you take a calcium supplement without magnesium, it can make a mag- Cholesterol-lowering statin drugs such as Crestor (rosuvastatin) and Lipitor (atorvastatin) are ubiquitous these days, and more are being prescribed each year. But questions remain about their safety and effectiveness, and they come with their share of side effects, including decreased liver function, interference with the manufacture of coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10), rhabdomyolysis (the breaking down of muscle tissue, which can be fatal), nerve damage, impaired mental function with prolonged use, possible increased risk of cancer and heart failure with long-term use, fatigue, and weight gain.
Fortunately, there are natural alternatives to statin drugs, including these two stand-outs. CITRUS FLAVONES: Citrus polymethoxlyated flavones work by blocking the enzymes in the liver responsible for manufacturing cholesterol and for triglyceride production. For example, they have been shown to decrease the production of apolipoprotein B, a structural protein needed for endogenous synthesis of LDL cholesterol. Sytrinol and Bergamonte are special extracts of oranges standardized for their polymethoxylated flavonoid content. These highly concentrated extracts have been shown to lower total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, and triglyceride levels. Clinical results have shown that Sytrinol and Bergamonte exert effects very similar to statin drugs, but without side effects. Specifically, they have been shown to lower total cholesterol levels up to 30 percent, LDL cholesterol levels up to 27 percent, and triglyceride levels up to 34 percent within 4–12 weeks of use. The recommended dosage for Sytrinol is 150 mg twice daily. For Bergamonte, the dosage is 500 mg once or twice daily.