Posted by Admin on January 4, 2007
So maybe one of your New Year’s resolutions is to get that cholesterol under control! There are so many ways to get your cholesterol down: diet, exercise, and medicines like the statins—like pravachol--which lower cholesterol by 30 to 40 percent. There are also medicines which block cholesterol absorption and lower cholesterol another 10 to 15 percent. So, where does the supplement Cholesterblock come in…and can it work just as well? Cholesterblock is an over the counter supplement that claims to block the absorption of cholesterol. The key ingredient: beta-sitosterol--a plant sterol derived from soybeans. “It is the plant version of cholesterol so then the body sees it in the cholesterol tract your body absorbs it instead of cholesterol and it has been shown in extensive studies to block the absorption of cholesterol from food up to 42 percent,” says Peter Meyer, Founder of Heart Guardian, the company that makes Cholesterblock. And that, the company claims, reduces the LDL, or bad cholesterol, by ten to twelve percent on average.

“We’ve had a lot of success at people reducing, eliminating, or hopefully putting off statin medication,” claims Peter. On the company’s website there is a testimonial from r. Schultz saying his or her cholesterol went from 240 to 179 in a month. That’s a twenty five percent drop! Sounds great…but where’s the proof?

 We asked Mr. Meyer if they had done studies specifically on Cholesterblock. “No, we have not done that yet. What we do is the exact same thing that the other studies have done in the exact same form. We consider it a technicality but we will actually do one just to say that this was done from our manufacturer, etc, etc.” It might work…but without the research…who really knows? The company says one huge benefit of cholesterblock over statin drugs is Cholesterblock doesn’t have the side effects of statins.

Mr. Mayer says, “I think pharmaceutical medications are wonderful things. But up to 35 percent of the people who take statin medication suffer side effects. Most of them have muscle pain.” But dr. John Coppola, Chief of Cardiology at St. Vincent’s Hospital, doesn’t buy that thinking. “Every day that I wake up I have a muscle ache and pain somewhere in my body. I take no statins, I’m on no lipid therapy,” says Dr. Coppola.

 Still, let’s assume Cholesterblock does lower cholesterol ten to twelve percent on average. “Now the problem with that is if you have someone who has a cholesterol of 250 and has heart disease, you’re probably shooting for a total cholesterol somewhere around that 130 to 140 range. So a 10% reduction from 250 is going to take you to 225 and they might be happy about it but they are still no where near the level to prevent the progression of coronary disease,” explains Dr. Coppola.

 It might help get the cholesterol down even further while on medicine, and maybe help keep the dose of the statin down. But alone, it’s questionable whether it will greatly benefit the millions of Americans who have a truly significant cholesterol problem. Dr. Coppola says absolutely do not take this in lieu of going to the doctor. The company does say this as well. Cholesterol is a silent disease, but it is a killer. Again, it might work, but it might not, and it’s really important you stay on top of the numbers to make sure it does work to the extent you expect it to work.

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