Lower Cholesterol Without Statin Drugs

If you have high cholesterol and you're brimming with confidence in synthetic pharmaceuticals, then statin drugs such as Lipitor, Crestor, Zocor and Levitor are for you. If, however, you lean toward medicating your body with natural products, there are a variety of items that have been scientifically proven to lower cholesterol - without the serious side effects of statin drugs that include severe memory loss, muscle cramps, liver toxicity, hair loss, heartburn and nausea.

Increased exercise is one of the best strategies to lower cholesterol and improve overall health. But there are a number of foods and vitamins that have been found to be effective alternatives or additions to traditional statin drug therapy, such as the following (consult with your doctor before changing your anti-cholesterol medication plan): -- Blueberries. In a recent study on pigs, these tasty packets of powerful micronutrients lowered LDL and HDL cholesterol (bad and good cholesterol, respectively) by 8-15 percent.

Researchers deduced that the blueberries' flavonoids led to the anti-cholesterol effect, reducing the inflammation on the interior of blood vessels acting that leads to atherosclerosis, or hardening of the arteries. -- Red rice yeast. This lowers cholesterol, too, and is sold at health food stores. -- Red grapes. This fruit is packed with polyphenols, which shield against cancer and heart disease.

Much has been made of the healthful benefits of red wine, which contains compounds that can lower cholesterol and other cardiovascular risk factors. But red grape juice has similar benefits - with none of the dangerous side effects of alcohol consumption. Drinking just a half-glass (4 fluid ounces) of red grape juice a day - even from the frozen concentrate - can reduce LDL (bad) cholesterol.

Other red and purple fruits, such as plums, raspberries and pomegranates, may have the same effect. -- Manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin C, vitamin K, and fiber. These all help with lowering cholesterol. -- Vitamin E. This important vitamin has a long history of lowering the risk of heart disease.


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