Friday, July 25, 2008

An Alternative to Statins?

news you may not know Is This Really The Best Way?

Medicine is a fabulous blessing - most of the time. But, in this modern age of convenience, it can also be somewhat of a curse. We're in a consumer-oriented culture and medicine is often the prime enabler. So, instead of actually paying attention to our health, we scan the Internet for the latest quick fix. Or, if we don't have the energy to turn on the computer, we simply flip on the television and wait for the drug companies to do their advertising thing.

Problem solved.

We get on the phone, set an appointment with our doctor, and ask for the latest wonder drug to cure what ails us. But, what if what ails us is really better cared for by a swift kick in the rear? A kick that forces us off the couch, out the front door and down the sidewalk? Yikes - yes, it is a radical approach.

Consider the epidemic of high cholesterol. Now, of course, there are some who are genetically predisposed to having high cholesterol. They really need statin medications. But, most folks can control their cholesterol as easily as they can control their forks. Oops - therein lies the problem.

So, statins may help, but they come at a cost. There's the actual cost of the medication but, more importantly, there's the potential side effects to consider. Liver functions need to be checked on a routine basis. Other possible side effects include fatigue, nausea, dizziness, muscle weakness, and many more.

A recent study indicates there may be a natural alternative: fish oil and red yeast rice. The study compared a group taking a standard statin drug with a group taking fish oil and red yeast rice supplements. The fish oil/red yeast group fared better, after a 3-month trial, than the statin group. They had lower LDL levels and also lower levels of triglycerides.

So, what do you have to lose? Get active, eat right and exercise. Chances are you won't have a problem with cholesterol. But, if you do, think carefully before using a statin. The fish oil and red yeast rice combo may be a terrific alternative.

To read more about the study, see this from the Mayo Clinic. To learn more about red yeast rice, see this from


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